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Dry Cleaning Hypnotize Sold-Out Crowd At Vancouver’s Rickshaw Theatre

The UK post punk outfit's dry antics kept the cell phones at bay for their Western Canadian debut. 

by Johnny Papan

Photos by Megan Something

January 17. 2023


Rickshaw Theatre

Performing for the first time in Vancouver, the English post-punk quartet Dry Cleaning were warmly welcomed by a sold out Rickshaw Theatre audience.

Coming off the success of their latest two records, 2021’s New Long Leg and 2022’s Stumpwork, the band’s unique blend of psyche-infused instrumentation and unconventional poetic lyricism made for an intriguingly hypnotic performance. The deadpan matter-of-factly singing style of frontperson Florence Shaw is complemented by the band’s intricate musicianship that often veers into psychedelic realms. 

Stumpwork’s “Hot Penny Day,” “Driver’s Story,” and “No Decent Shoes for Rain” offered some of the show’s most ethereal highlights. The crowd was pleased to also hear popular tracks like “Unsmart Lady,” “Gary Ashby,” and “Scratchcard Lanyard.”

Though the band didn’t speak much on stage, Shaw did chime in with charmingly awkward stage banter every so often. The most robust story shared this evening was one of getting egg fried rice up the street, which was met with some chuckles.

It’s worth to note that in an age where every moment needs to be captured on cell phones, there were almost none in sight for the show’s entirety. This is a telling sign of the Dry Cleaning’s uncanny ability to captivate their audience.