2:54 – [Live]

Friday, 22 June 2012

UK sisters Colette and Hannah Thurlow, a.k.a. 2:54, already had a tall order to fill when they appeared on the radar as one of this year’s breakthrough buzz bands. Getting featured as one of the must-see acts by NXNE itself when the festival boasted about 650 groups on the bill this year is saying something all on its own – so it was odd that 2:54 were the 9:00pm opening slot at the Lee's Palace showcase. The house was full of fans eager to hear the band's brand of droning pop tunes when 2:54 took the stage, but they were caught unaware when the band started playing because the stage lights never came on; in fact, 2:54 played in almost perfect darkness for their entire set. The reasoning behind the lights remaining down for the whole show is as hazy as the visibility on the stage was that night; It’s easy to understand setting the mood of course, but people still want a decent glimpse of the band they came to see. Nevertheless, the guitarist with mystique Hannah stayed side-stage with a loose Keith Richards stance while Collette’s beautiful voice carried out above their QOTSA-influenced brand of melodically stunning dirge.

Happily, 2:54's music spoke volumes above their reasonably inert stage show. Their guitar tone was crisp and warm marrying seamlessly with their smart playing and engaging songwriting. Because they've only released one record so far, there were no guessing games as to what they played, but the standout five-minute-long single, the sexy and growling “Scarlet,” which was placed in the middle of the set and sounded like the Bangles being covered by the Melvins begged special attention and notice. “Creeping,” a dirty and dangerous song, was sexy and cool and had the audience under a hypnotic spell too. In spite of the fact that it was near impossible to see anything, 2:54's set was captivating but, because it’s a festival showcase, it felt over too soon as they finished but with a noisy outro and more lazy tribal dancing from Colette.



2:54 – Lee's Palace – Toronto, Canada – 06/15/12


2:54's North American tour continues. For an updated list of shows, click here .


2:54's self-titled debut is out now. Buy it here on Amazon .

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