Photographs by Tyson Elder

The rain held off for the ragtag few of us who didn’t make it up to Tall Tree’s Song & Surf Festival on the far coast of Vancouver Island. Photographers, band members, music fans, and friends packed into Lucky Bar for an early show with the thought of cold beers keeping the winter rains off us for a few more hours.

It’s just over a month into the new year and Robbie Aylesworth has already made some huge strides forward. Most musicians dream of the day when they can focus solely on making music. Those days are here for Robbie; he quit his day job to focus on his music career. A bold move, but he’s certainly got what it takes to push himself and his band to the next level.

Speaking of Robbie Aylesworth’s band… they’ve found themselves a name: Dirty Relics. For the last few months, Dan Ball (bassist), Noah Edwards (guitar), and Robbie have been throwing some hilariously obtuse band names back and forth. We won’t repeat any of them here, because some were a little foul. They’ve finally settled on one, and it seems to fit.

Dirty Relics is Victoria’s best answer to a super group. It features members of four fairly successful bands and solo projects. They radiate that quintessential rockstar energy as soon as they hit the stage. By the time the first song is finished, everyone in Lucky Bar had made their way to the front of the stage to catch a genuine rock show.

Robbie’s voice pairs well with his blues guitar stylings in songs like “Top Yourself” (Raconteurs cover) and “Slippin’ Out My Pocket.” At points during the show, it felt like the band sunk into a bit of a groove reminiscent of local jazz group Weird Party, before kicking the back into high gear for “Make a Choice.”

The Dirty Relics left the local crowd wanting more, and that says a lot in Victoria, a city of fickle hipsters and lumbersexuals.

Seeing bands like Vancouver’s SAVVIE is a breath of fresh air here on the west coast. Often we find ourselves at rock shows that aren’t really rock shows. They are best suited for campfires after a long day of surfing or hanging out on the beach. Don’t get us wrong, we enjoy that, but sometimes you need a solid female-fronted indie rock band to knock you back into place.

Strong, confident, and sometimes sexy lyrics hold you between the words and the music. There is something to be said about a well-rehearsed band, whose skill particularly shone on their lead single “Without You.”

When Savannah puts down her guitar to sing songs like “Dreams of Surrender,” her almost manic energy is similar to early Black Mountain or San Francisco’s Doe Eye. Beautiful but intense, both lyrically and sonically.

While fairly new, SAVVIE is a powerhouse, and destined to achieve success. They left the Victorians at Lucky Bar in awe, hoping that they come back soon. At the end of the night, many picked up SAVVIE’s debut record “Night Eyes” on their way out into the winter rains. It’s worth both your time and money.