The Wet Secrets are one of those bands that I came upon accidentally. Going playlist to playlist on some streaming audio site until I came across ‘Chinball Wizard’ and got hooked. Thinking back, it may’ve been the link between The Wet Secrets and Shout Out Out Out Out (that being bassist and lead vocalist Lyle Bell) that blazed the trail for me but it’s not clear. I really got into them just as Rock Fantasy showed up in its initial release, which I think was missing either ‘Hot Roller’ or ‘Boat Gas Death Train’ but once again, memory’s hazy.
That’s the past though; the band released Free Candy last year and having won the first Alberta PEAK Performance Project, they were joining BC winner Good For Grapes from Surrey on a tour to spread their sound. I’d never caught wind of the Project before but the second that I heard that The Wet Secrets would be in town, I was sold.
The room was pretty full and a light display, disco ball, and some sort of PEAK promotional video were all lit up to keep people amused before The Wet Secrets started things off. As the projector screen lifted, the crowd was graced with the band in the full marching regalia that they’ve kept going as a strong entertainment visual and The Wet Secrets did their thing. They played through a 9 – 10 song set that was most songs from the new album Free Candy: ‘Maybe We’ll Make A Plan’, ‘Floating In The Sky’, ‘Get Your Shit Together’, ‘Sunshine’, and the extended version of the single ‘Nightlife’ that had ‘Knifefights’ tagged onto the end. A favourite from Rock Fantasy that seems to be their signature song (given their attire) ‘Secret March’ was great to finally hear live and had the girls playing brass and dancing in sync. I really loved their set, though my complaint would be that Fortune isn’t really the place for the band; the bass is strong in every song but it was a bit too strong in the venue given their sound system and that left the keys being a bit swallowed up instead of playing the full role that they should’ve been.
Good For Grapes are a band that I feel like I’ve seen open for someone before but can’t really place them. They’ve apparently made a bit of a name for themselves and have played numerous music festivals on the West Coast and the PEAK have certainly had their eyes on the band for some time. They’re a very indie-folk band that gave essentially what I would expect from such a band. They’re a tight group and clearly know what they’re doing but didn’t really “wow” me. That’s not to say I disliked anything about them; their set was solid and the range of instrumentation was great (though they also seemed to suffer from a quiet set of keys) but other than my personal highlight of their set, a cover of The White Stripes’ ‘Seven Nation Army’, their set didn’t really stick in my head. Regardless of my personal experience, they proved that they earned their spot as the winners of the BC PEAK Performance Project.
Though the sound wasn’t exactly how I wanted it to be and although I feel like some great songs were overlooked (‘Death Of The Party’, ‘Kill My Love’, ‘Chinball Wizard’), my need for seeing The Wet Secrets live is sated for now. I hope they switch up their setlist and continue to tour in the future because I’ll be there the next time they’re in Vancouver.