Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Wheels keep turning

I spent a goodly amount of time thinking The Coggs were a folk band - something about the name, I guess. In fact they're a blues-rock power trio. They've been playing a residency at The Rainbow (it ends June 7) and have just released a fine debut album, Blackjack and Cigarettes. They played through much if not all of it at their Saturday release show at Zaphod Beeblebrox, and covered blues songs from all eras: Have Love Will Travel, Cream's Crossroads and The White Stripes' When I Hear My Name (and a couple more I don't recall). I liked them, though as I believe I've mentioned before, photographing people in black against a black background in low lighting does not do much for camera focus.

Jeff Coghill.

Bassist Travis Hood.

Drummer Mike Brittain.

Coggs action!

They also have a handful of shows at The Pour House coming up early in July.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Out of many

The Polytones top the list of bands I have strived to see, only to have my hopes crushed by scheduling conflicts. Well, make that topped - I finally had a chance to witness them in action Saturday at Zaphod Beeblebrox. Unfortunately Lesia Manchulenko's onstage twirling and bouncing lose something in the translation to digital, and my pictures of everyone else in the band with the exception of Tim MacKinnon stink, but at least it sounded good.


Ben Wilson, also of That's The Spirit, fisheyelens and Paperjack.

George Jennings, Tim and the notorious Zaphod's post.

I was momentarily thinking of captioning this photo "How did Lesia get up there?" but truth is my watchword ...

Brenda Bedford - next time, more flash.

Rhythm section action!

Singalong action!

Here's that non-stinking Tim photo I mentioned.

Tonal action!

The whole lot.

Their next show is at The Black Sheep Inn June 15 with Red Shag Carpet.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Extra Wattage

The Watters Brothers were the opening band at The Coggs' CD release show. They like that 1960s soul rock sound (they cite The Who, Jime Hendrix and Rolling Stones among their influences ... I might add early Small Faces, and shouters like the Cops'n'Robbers, etc.); they made me think of The Chambers Brothers.

Muddy Watters ... I suspect some shoulder augmentation!

Danny Watters; singing, drumming ...

And pimpin' on the keyboard.

Non-brother Hamish Robertson also played some drums when Danny wasn't behind the kit.

MC Smooth Jay Gerald came up for a song or two.

Oh, and to help up Muddy.

Watters action!

There was a surprising drop in the Watters level.

Lots of stage action from these guys - some might say they're a little on the hammy side (but no more than, say, Jon Spencer). Their next show is at Babylon June 24.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

No Island is a man

Actually, Islands are all guys - at least at the moment. Last time I saw any of this lot was at Zaphod's when Niel Diamonds and J'aime Tambour played as two-thirds of The Unicorns. They were joined on their album, Return to the Sea by Patrice Agbokou on bass and Jim Guthrie on guitar (though I gather this may have been his last show with the band, given Diamond's onstage comment that he didn't know when they'd be playing together again), but the sundry other players have been substituted on stage by the recently added bass clarinetist Patrick Gregoire as well as Sebastian and Alex Chow (who come from Ottawa - their parents were at the show).

Niel (or Nick) Diamonds.

Patrice on the five-string bass.

J'aime Tambour ... like The Dymaxions he hails from Guelph, so I'm wondering (quite irrelevantly) if the connection helped get them on the bill.

Sebastien shakes it.

And sings along with brother Alex.

Patrick Gregoire takes a turn on the keys - good thing too, because there was no way I was getting pictures of the other side of the stage. Incidentally, he has a duo of his own, Sister Suvi, which will be performing at End Hits June 24.

And last but not least a very tight telephoto shot of the soon to depart(?) Jim Guthrie.

Clapping action. Flash + plus long stage + white shirts = crap photo, but oh well.

Island action!

Who is this mystery man ... could it be ... J'aime Tambour?!?

Well yes, it could be. Babylon gets a might sweaty when it's crowded.

Singalong action!

Niel had some fun in the crowd.

Hi there.

Feedback finale!

Although I once again preferred the opening acts to the headliners, this time it was very, very close - their indie-rock mashup is much improved from their Unicorn days.