“I’ve never thought of us as a full punk band,” says The Regrette’s Lydia Knight, “because that felt wrong, and poser-ish to me. We wrote some punk songs.” Of course, that description also belies the band’s talent as well as Ms. Knight’s songwriting skills. Perhaps slightly edgy power-pop would be a more apt description.
In any case, The Regrettes rolled into Madison Live on August 6 and smashed it before a curious mixture of young girls and old dudes. Hopefully the later were brought in by hearing the group’s ‘80s-isnpired guitar sounds on Spotify or some such.
Knight, guitarist and principle songwriter was joined by …. At first, they are reminiscent of the very great Gos-Gos and not just because they are (mostly female). It’s more so the youthful energy combined with solid musicianship and stage presence that inspire that comparison.
The set list was a fairly even mix of tracks from the new album, How Do You Love? and the band’s first long player, Feel Your Feelings Fool! Right out of the gate they hit the crowd with one of their best-known tracks, “California Friends,” which nicely set the table. Other highlights included the Strokes-inspired “I Dare You,” the first single from the new album and “Pumpkin,” a somewhat tongue-in-cheek, as it were, love song written for Knight’s boyfriend, Dylan Minnette of Wallows.
The Regrettes, who hail from Southern California, were supported by Hot Flash Heat Wave from Northern, California. Not quite as energetic as the headliner, their mix of surf and 2000’s era power pop turned out be a real crowd-pleaser, with the audience getting more enthusiastic as their set progressed.
PF Wilson has been writing about music, TV, radio, and movies for over 20 years. He has also written about sports, business, and politics with his work appearing in Cincinnati CityBeat, The Houston Press, Cleveland Scene, Cincinnati Magazine, Cincy Magazine, Atomic Ranch, and many more. Check out his podcast PF’s Tape Recorder available from Podbean or in iTunes.