September 18, 2005, @ The Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto Ontario. This was an enjoyable show, despite the fact that the band didn't get on stage until after midnight. I'm not sure that they were able to capture quite the same dynamic feel that comes through in their album, but we had fun nonetheless.
First of all, the opening bands
From Fiction started off the evening, and for all I'm concerned, they can return to Fiction. Hey, I'm a great supporter of local groups, but this Toronto-born band needs to reconsider how they define music. I'm not sure I understood even one word from their enitre set. And the only time I actually clapped was when they got off the stage. Sorry to be harsh, but their noise was harsh on my eardrums.
The Fembots came on after them. They were a nice break from the senseless noise that preceded them. I would compare the Fembots to the Fruitbats. A little folky, very instrumental, realxing, enjoyable. It was an interesting segue into the main show.
Finally, around 12:15, Clap Your Hands took the stage. These are a group of decent, down-to-earth guys. I should mention that I wasn't even able to get tickets to this show, it sold out fast. But the drummer was kind enough to hear my sad plight, take pity on me, and put me on the guest list!
Anyhow, how was the actual music? It was good. I would rate their album as great, even fantastic. But the show was good. One thing I appreciate about Alec Ounsworth's wicked voice is the variation. Take a song like 'Details of the War', where you get a sense of his well defined baritone range, as well as a very emotive display of that shrill pitch during the climax of the song. Unfortunately when they played this song live, that same high pitch was kept throughout. While this did add somewhat to the fervor, it wasn't clear just how talented his voice really is.
But the guys in the band had a fun, dynamic stage presence; joking with each other, asking the audience riddles while broken guitar strings were replaced. I would see them again for sure!
The big news is that they've just signed a label deal in the U.K. That means if you want to enjoy them before everyone else in the world, NOW is the time! There website is http://clapyourhandssayyeah.com, where you can download a couple of their tracks as MP3s. But I recommend you buy the album, you won't regret it.