I haven't been to The Borderline in a while which is why I'm mildly confused to find the space completely renovated and redesigned, with a huge new bar and loungy sitting areas towards the back of the venue. After a few minutes of disorientation I spot posters announcing tours by The Flatliners and Tiger's Jaw - looks like not all that much has changed.
The reason for my visit at The Borderline on this Thursday evening is to see Lemuria play their 2008 full-length debut album 'Get Better' from top to bottom. Yes, it has been 10 years since it came out, and while references to time make me feel funny and old and panicky it's great to see these songs performed live, though many of them are still an integral of their usual setlist.
Lemuria start off their 'Get Better' anniversary show in London with a comforting, dreamy intro and are capturing their nostalgic audience's heart from the very first notes of the iconic album opener 'Pants'. Timeless bangers like 'Lipstick' and 'Buzz' produce the perfect opportunity for singalongs and the crowd's vocal participation is heightened further during 'Dog'. Guitarist's Sheena Ozzella's big smile is a wonderfully authentic and humble acknowledgment of how much people love the band.
I'm seeing a woman in the front row shed a tear and clutch her chest during the stripped away part of 'Length Away', a ballad led by Sheena before the rest of the band joins in. Bassist Max Gregor adds a huge amount of physical energy while playing faster-paced songs like 'Fingers'. More recent songs like 'Christine Perfect' are added to the setlist and although I would have liked to hear 'Pleaser', Lemuria have been just that for the crowd, who is chanting rowdily along to 'Mechanic' and repeat the chants after they've finished their set.
It's fascinating watching a band that has been around for a minute up close and personal, still playing the same intimate venues. In a way it's a dream come true for every fan of the band. While bands like Tiger's Jaw, Title Fight and Paramore are selling out larger venues - the latter having graduated into a different league of rock stardom since their 2007 breakthrough record 'Riot!' - it's reassuring to have Lemuria continue what they've been doing for the better part of this millenium. It can't just be me who secretly wishes their favorite bands never became as big as they did because no barriers, small venues and seeing the band set up themselves heightens the sense of accessibility.
What does the future hold for the band? Drummer Alex Kerns revealed in this Audiotree Live Session video that they've finished recording a new full length, which may be coming out at the end of this year.