THE VASELINES with AMANDA X at Lee’s Palace (529 Bloor West), Monday (January 19), 9 pm. $23.50. horseshoetavern.com, rotate.com, soundscapesmusic.com, ticketfly.com.
Musical duos are often a study in contrast. Although Glasgow’s the Vaselines had a united vision while writing 2014’s V For Vaselines, their latest and first full-length since 2010, the two members still look at one aspect of rock and roll life differently. Frances McKee enjoys touring, whereas Eugene Kelly finds the long-distance drives gruelling.
“I wish we could use some Star Trek technology and get from town to town much quicker,” says Kelly, reached by phone in Glasgow while taking care of some last-minute errands before leaving on the band’s North American tour.
“Frances has a bit of a hectic home life with her three children, so I think going on tour is a bit of a holiday for her. She doesn’t get to watch TV when she’s at home, so she watches a lot of DVDs on tour. It’s very relaxing for her.”
After rising to prominence in Scotland in the late 80s, the hooky power popsters gained international recognition after Nirvana covered their songs on two records. The band broke up from 1990 to 2006 before reforming with renewed energy, as evidenced on V For Vaselines, composed of 10 short, catchy, streamlined tracks largely influenced by the Ramones.
“I’d gone to see five people playing Ramones songs, and I thought, ‘All these songs are great,'” says Kelly. “I started listening to Ramones records, and at the same time Frances had been playing Ramones records for her children.
“The goal was to take the songs [we’d written] and trim them down to their bare essentials and get them done in two and a half or three minutes, if possible.”
Despite his initial reluctance about touring, Kelly sounds excited about having a day off in Portland, where they’ll stop in to one of the city’s notable microbreweries.
“I love IPAs,” he says. “I’m a middle-aged guy, and that’s kind of what you like when you get older.”
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