Vancouver Sleep Clinic live in Sydney
Brisbane-based Vancouver Sleep Clinic have been one of the ‘bands-to-watch in 2014’, which I have witnessed popping up in internet feeds, after a positive reception in Triple J’s Unearthed competition last year. It’s particularly surprising to read that front-man Tim Bettinson (pictured, above) is only 17-years-old after hearing his flawless smooth falsetto tones, which are reminiscent of Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon. The gentle but powerful atmospheric instrumentation created to complement his voice works beautifully. Kicking off their first ever headline tour for their album ‘Winter’, on the Australia’s East Coast, Vancouver Sleep Clinic performed to a sold-out crowd on Friday evening at Sydney’s Goodgod Small Club. Their polished performance provided great promise for what is to come.
Arriving at Goodgod in time for the supporting Brisbane-based band Wafia, I was welcomed with a capacity-filled room, illuminated by blue light, and the gorgeous smooth, dreamy tones from lead vocalist Wafia Al-Rikabi. Wafia (pictured, below) played a stunning set, which set the bar high for the night. Her smooth, heart-warming vocals accompanied well with the compelling guitar and drum rhythms, flowing with ease through the captivated crowd.
Vancouver Sleep Clinic perfectly followed. Instantly Tim’s powerful vocals were captivating, alongside the striking, glistening guitar strings, synthesised keyboard melodies and a smooth, steady drum beat. Their name suits their soothing, wintery sound well, correlating with Vancouver’s chilled, natural beauty of misty forests, lakes and mountains. The members of VSC are incredibly humble and the passion for their music is evident. It is great to see them reaping the rewards for their work in return. Singer-songwriter Tim joked about how only a year ago they performed their first show to a small crowd of six people, mainly their parents. This contrasted greatly to their noticeable presence and the capacity crowd filling the room, actively listening and singing their songs on the night.
Wafia graced the stage with a second appearance, featuring in a couple of tracks, while Tim moved to the back of the stage to sing and play from the keyboard, reinforcing how well the two bands harmonise with each other. A special treat was hearing the first track written by VSC, ‘Vapour’, which Tim said was initially created on a broken laptop with cheap microphones and an old keyboard. His lyrics are honest and reflective, providing stories the listener can easily relate to. It was special to witness an occasion that is likely to stay with this band for a long time in years to come, as a seminal night in their musical careers, which Tim described as a “teenage dream coming true”.
Overall the night provided music sung from the heart. It was great to see such a high level of talent coming from these young Australian bands. It will be exciting to see how these two bands develop in the years to come.
See all the photos from the night on our Facebook page.
Vancouver Sleep Clinic live review and pictures by Heather Vousden.