Alvvays live review at the Troxy in London by Ryan Beardsley

Molly Mayhem on your doorstep for East London Dream Pop fans, Alvvays are back in the UK and it is naturally a sell out at the Troxy.

It’s also 26 chuffing degrees in here according to my phone; the hottest day of the year combined with a historic listed building with no air conditioning is a lethal combination but the crowd are not to be dissuaded.

The setlist is a culmination of their life’s work, starting with Easy On Your Own from the universally acclaimed Blue Rev, singer songwriter Molly Rankin sheds her diminutive demeanor and comes alive and her voice fills the room like a church choir.

Alvvays are now three records in and they are in that rarest of company in being able to boast that they have literally never recorded a bad song, so they have over 30 gorgeous poptastic tracks to choose from and we get 20 of the best tonight.

Adult Diversion represents the very best of the Toronto five piece, breezy, jangly pop which has seen them inevitably compared to The Smiths, whilst clearly a big influence, I’ve always heard more of The Cranberries in their records, there are definitely Irish undertones to a lot of their tracks. Oh it turns out Molly Rankin is the daughter of John Rankin, a fiddler with Celtic folk family collective The Rankin Family, who enjoyed international success in the 1990s, case in point.

Achingly beautiful ballad Dreams Tonite is note perfect and whisks us away to another world, until some fool gets a lighter out for the classic grunge slow song ritual, but it’s far too hot for that nonsense and it’s swiftly blown out by a hero without a cape.

Archie, Marry Me gets the biggest reaction of the night and why not, it’s a perfect pop song and I suddenly realise I’m surrounded by heavy petting lovers, belting it out into each other’s faces leaving me relieved to be single and not covered in someone else’s perspiration (honestly!).

Before we wrap up with debut album favourite Atop A Cake, Rankin thanks the crowd for not fainting, which is a mean feat in these conditions, and they leave the crowd signing, dancing and fanning themselves in delight.

I can’t help but make a comparison to another North American, female singer songwriter who down the road has played to half a million people over the last week at Wembley stadium. Were there any justice in the world, the roles would be reversed and Alvvays would be on that stage playing real music about love, loss and life to the masses. If only most people weren’t stupid.

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