Another rousing night of Guided by Voices covers and karoake

Guided by Robots at the ANZA Club, Vancouver, 2012

Guided by Robots at the ANZA Club, Dec 15 2012. Shawn Conner photo

Guided by Robots at the ANZA Club, Vancouver, 2012

Guided by Robots is now in its tenth year, which means that for ten years Vancouver-based fans of Guided by Voices have had something to look forward to every fall. This year saw some changes, however. Instead of mid-November, the usual time of the event, it was mid-December, when people are busy with holiday and Christmas things. And instead of the ANZA Club’s cozy basement, the band—members of local indie-pop outfit SK Robot with Kevin Perley on vocals—played upstairs, where there is no pool table in the way and there is an actual stage and sound system and lights!

A couple of the band members seemed a little nervous about the move, fearing that the more “rock-show” elements might deter the faithful from joining in on the GBV-karaoke portion of the evening, and that the timing of the event might deter some folks from showing up. Me, I was a little nervous because the bar upstairs is way more limited in its choices than downstairs.

Fortunately a good number, maybe 60-70 people were smart enough to ditch other Xmas plans for the event of the year. And the stage didn’t stop anyone, newbies and vets, from trying their vocal chords on Guided by Voices classics like “Gold Star for Robot Boy”, “Chasing Heather Crazy”, “Game of Pricks” and a whole bunch more.

As usual, there were a few repeats—the band had already torn through a substantial portion of GBV’s most popular songs during the two sets that kicked off the evening—as well as some surprises. These included the relatively obscure “Hey Hey Spaceman” (performed once by the band with Perley and again with someone named Geoff, according to the sign-up sheet my girlfriend grabbed on the way out) and “As We Go Up We Go Down”… I think.

Anyway, the night’s a bit of a blur, but that’s par for the course for Guided by Robots night in Vancouver.

I recorded some of the songs on my phone. You can see them on my YouTube channel.


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