Planet Creature, No Aloha, and WHOOP-Szo at the Smiling Buddha

by Jack Derricourt

Saturday Night Fever — the opposite of watching cat videos on vine, hustling blanket real estate like a subprime snuggy cultist. What could be better than three weird and wonderful bands in a west end beer shack? NOTHING, THAT’S WHAT!


I’ve been wanting to see Planet Creature for so long. I reviewed their Christmas album and their most recent release, but hadn’t seen the real deal until Saturday night. Everything I wrote about them is true. They blend genres with supreme skill, with extra scoops of badass. It’s incredibly tight power pop at its best. Big Star lovers were meant to hear this music. Four part vocals, three part, two, they did it all, while screaming for more dry ice to be fired up in the smoke machine. Excellent set, and I wish they’d played more.

No Aloha might be my favourite band. They play rock and roll music that is suitable for a variety of events: weddings, bat mitzvahs, children’s parties, gender parity parades. On Saturday they were in fine form, performing like the adopted sons Brian Wilson never had — hearing them viciously ba-ba-ba-baaaaaing, you know they grew up right.

no aloha

Some new material graced the stage, giving off hints of a more trebly Spacemen 3 (ANOTHER NAME DROP?!?! WHAT IS THIS GUY DOING???) In the end, they came out sounding even more like duelling smiley faces than the last time I saw them play. Very nice, very nice indeed.


WHOOP-Szo, London’s answer to everything heavy you’ve ever heard, played through one of those Fisher Price children’s turntables, put on a great show. The experimentalists delivered churning riffs, touching melodies and rippling drums beats. It’s the most metal performance I’ve ever seen by a man wearing a cat t-shirt. Every show by these guys is a little bit different, and Saturday night at the Smiling Buddha felt like a sideshow act in rock and roll form — the WHOOP-Szo circus act, performing high-flying acrobatics in four parts.

The most impressive thing about the show: every band had at least three part vocals. Whether it was Planet Creature’s bubblegum parts, No Aloha’s Beach Boys bopping, or WHOOP-Szo’s metallic dustup of screeching voices, the choir was jumping. Listen in, boys and girls, and sing along.

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