Preoccupations: ‘Disarray’

On 27 May 2009 I watched a Calgary band called Women (actually four young guys) wipe the floor with an Atlanta band called Deerhunter (same) at Paradiso in Amsterdam. At the time, I was particularly struck by the energy with which Women’s drummer, Mike Wallace, attacked his task, and the band were clearly having a good night.

Women broke up in October 2010, reportedly after an onstage fight between brothers Matt (vocals, bass) and Patrick (vocals, guitar) Flegel. On 21 February 2012, Women’s guitarist, Chris Riemer, passed away in his sleep. Matt Flegel and Mike Wallace then formed the nucleus of a new band, the perhaps unfortunately named Viet Cong (also guys, none of them Vietnamese), who sounded pretty similar to Women, although with maybe a little extra edge.

Then Viet Cong rebranded themselves as Preoccupations and began pursuing a musical trajectory that I was looking forward to appreciating when, as if to prove to myself that I too still had that indie ‘edge’, I booked a ticket to see the band play live at the legendary Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto in April 2018.

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