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Music

No Hard Feelings: Does It Offend You, Yeah? at Saints, Sept. 2

Posted by Jenny / September 3, 2008

20080902_dioyy.jpg Photo via the band's Myspace page.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I was definitely bummed out about having to head back to school this week. However, as a character in my favourite comic strip pointed out earlier this week, just because freedom is over, fun doesn’t have to be.

The night was hot, sticky and humid, a perfect occasion to hide in doors: at the basement-like venue Les Saints, to be precise. British electro-rockers Does It Offend You, Yeah? (who were featured on last week’s Weekend Playlist Podcast) were playing. And if you’ve been following at all, I’m kind of in love with any and all bands that side of the Atlantic.

After a completely forgettable and un-Google-able double-female-fronted opener called Zambie (which is also the French name of a certain country in Africa) from New York City, Does It Offend You, Yeah? made an un-grandiose entrance. The band borrows its moniker from a line on the sitcom "The Office" although, as vocalist and bassist James Rushent later confided, Ricky Gervais has yet to contact them about it.

Saints isn't known for great sound quality - but what would a great show be without technical difficulties? I think watching a band struggle and try to fill dead air onstage is very telling. DIOYY faired reasonably well. The band has a reputation for wreaking havoc and breaking stuff onstage, but last night they were tame, and whatever equipment broke was positively not intentional.

It was a quick set (headlining is hard when all you've got is a 10-song debut to your name), but one that made every minute and every note count. Onstage, DIOYY's music is unpolished, rough around the edges, but only in the best way possible. They don't try to sound like their record - only like themselves. Rushent, sporting a black t-shirt, black Levi's five-oh-ones, a pair of grey Chucks and his signature cap, just rocked out to his own songs as the kids in the front of the room danced like no one was watching.

20080902_dioyystageset.jpg

We caught up with Rushent back outside afterwards. He had a drink in one hand, a cigarette in the other, and his eyes shone with a mixture of excitement and exhaustion in the light of everything that's been happening to him. The band was picked up by Virgin Records a mere month into their existence, which was quickly followed up by gruesome touring and record promotion. Rushent credits their manager ("He's absolutely amazing," he asserts) but says he regrets not being around to watch his daughter Heidi, whose name is inked on the inside of his left wrist, grow up. "She's one and a half now and I've only been around for four months of her life," he says.

Restless touring definitely can make you lose track of time, it seems. "I was in London when you played there in early June, but I didn't go see you," I confessed. "Now I wish I had."
"We played London in early June?" he repeats, dazed.
"Yeah. Or it could've been the very end of May. That's when I was there. You played at The Islington Academy."
"You know, I don't even remember us playing London in June," he replied. "I'm not saying we didn't. I just don't remember it."

Discussion

8 Comments

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