Question: Can a trio of attractive women influenced by the Velvet Underground, the Kinks and Nancy Sinatra attract gushing praise from the hipoisie?

Answer: Don’t be daft!

Yes, the women of Magneta Lane have garnered enough “next big thing” clippings to wallpaper their loft. Even the least cautious music fan might pause when faced with the ocean of effusive gushing the band has attracted, but it turns out the band’s blend of pop and punk, both pre- and post-, is as engaging as anyone could hope.

The only downside of the show was that their opening act, A Mark Inside, had attracted so many raves that Velvet Revolver snagged them to open for them the night before at the 18,000 capacity Corel Centre (normally a professional hockey arena).
Zaphod’s (capacity approx 150) is slightly smaller, and Magneta Lane is still a young enough group that band parents were manning the merch table.

At 10:15 Magneta Lane took the stage, with drummer Nadia and bassist French immediately heading into a heavy rhythm. French downstrokes her instrument like the Johnny Ramone of bass guitar (but with much nicer legs), while Nadia set up such a ferocious thump on her kick drum I actually felt the blockage in my sinuses shift (and no, that is not hyperbole). In fact, she rocked the pedal so mightily it required some mid-set repair work from an audience member with the appropriate Mr. Fixit skills.

Singer-guitarist Lexi Valentine has a strong, sultry voice, permeated with lively whoops. If Dave Davies had played in Die Haut, he might have sounded like Ms. Valentine: Chunky chords and quarter-note guitar riffs, with a slight metallic tinge from her solid-state Peavey amp.

A good sized crowd of bright young things showed up to catch the band. Their was a great rapport between them and the band, with Lexi chatting between songs and during the repair break, even singing 'Happy Birthday' to one fellow.

Their set was necessarily brief, since they have only one six-song EP and a single to their name, but there was no fat in their smart lyrics and no-nonsense playing, while their stage presence excluded cool without seeming lifeless.

The band’s last Ottawa show was in front of three people. This time they played for about 100, and deserved more.

Question: Will they be playing 150-person clubs for much longer?

Answer: Don’t be daft!

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Commenting On: Zaphods, Ottawa, 24/3/2005 - Magneta Lane

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