Friday, October 31, 2008

Come all ye children

Several years ago I bought a copy of The Kids' second LP, Naughty Kids. I think it was a bootleg - Kids stuff was hard to come by, despite their good reputation as Belgium's premier punk band. Now 30 years after the band first kicked out such anthems as This Is Rock'n'Roll they've embarked on a short North American tour (Montreal and Ottawa, to be precise). I thought that a chance to see Wire was one of the great improbables of my showgoing experience, but now that I've heard No Monarchy as performed by its mostly original authors, all I can say is don't that beat all. The show at The New Bayou got underway at 9:30. Things were a little soggy around the stage ... at first I had fond hopes the inch-deep water was caused by recent melting snow, but alas it soon became clear that it was in fact issuing from a backed-up toilet in the ladies washroom. I'm just hoping I wasn't standing in urine while I was taking the photo of The Kids - on the other hand it did add that frisson of authenticity

First up were Critical Convictions. Vocalist Maxx is wearing a smock because she was planning to give birth to the baby Jesus. I definitely saw a punk in ersatz Middle Eastern garb wandering the back room before the show, but the band apparently decided they had too little time to rock to bother with such theatrics - or maybe they couldn't locate three wise men in the room.

Next up were Germ Attak!, who I hadn't realized were on the bill. Like Critical Convictions they played a blistering set that had the punks moshing and staggering right from the start. I'll mention right now that they'll be playing the Bayou again in a couple of weeks at one of the punk covers nights, where they'll be masquerading as The Partisans.

I've seen Brutal Knights a few times before, they've always been great - for this show they dressed up - except in the case of drummer John Powers who only wore briefs. Katie G. Warrior dressed as a cop and you can see the rest of the band's colourful garb below. Much moshing and singing along.

So here are The Kids ... Luc Van Den Poel, Ludo Mariman and and Danny de Haes - drummer Franky Saenen is concealed by the post. They rocked things mighty fine. Ludo cautioned the audience that "I still have my own teeth, and I'd like to keep it that way!" but there was no stopping the assembled mass of bristles and spikes from shoving back and forth ... he may be missing an incisor or two now!

Things wrapped up around 1 a.m. and while not as crazy as The Monotonix show earlier this year at Mavericks, it was still pretty wild.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Sail away

Once again Ladyfest staged a series on concerts in town and much fun was had by all except me. I worked two out of three days, so my fun was relatively moderate. I did get to see Flotilla again, though, and once again enjoyed their blend of slowcore with electronica tidbits.

Veronica Charnley in smashing frock and a shadowy Benoit Moniere on drums.

Geof Holbrook, multitasking as usual on keys and bass guitar.

Regular harpist Eveline Grégoire-Rousseau was unavailable, so Kristan Toczko filled in on short notice.

Singalong action!

Harpist action!

The whole lot!

There was some last-minute triangle.

Big finish!

One of these days I'm going to have to catch them when they have all their members present and accounted for - which may be Nov. 28, when they perform at 443 Kent St. (or not - I think I'm working that day).

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Pop start

This post is slightly delayed - when I got home from work last night, the power in my building was out, so no computing was possible. Power's back (at least where I am) so here's the start of Saturday, a new wave intro to a day of mostly blues, courtesy of Ottawa's own Hi Lo Trons.

Mike grips the microphone while Paul rocks the Aviator shades.

Damien on bass and historical T-shirt.

Mike Schultz concentrates and a bit of Phil.

Last time I saw them was in the basement of End Hits. The Giant Financial Institution Stage at Bluesfest is a bit larger.

Keyboard action!

And so on!

The band is currently looking for a "sub drummer" for proposed 2009 touring. If you can drum underwater, look them up.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Get bent

I'm a big fan of 1960s rock: The Who is my particular favourite, and often when reaching for a CD to play it will be something by The Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Action, The Creation, The Birds, The Byrds, The Yardbirds, The Rolling Stones, 13th Floor Elevators, Pink Floyd, The Move, or one of sundry other entertainers from the era that ends up in the player. Near the top of the list are The Kinks. They are probably near the top of the list for a lot of people, because former frontman Ray Davies attracted a big crowd to his headlining sting at the Black Sheep Stage. I got the impression that a lot of the folks in lawn chairs showed up for Shelby Lynne primarily to grab prime real estate for Davies' set.

Ray Davies and sideman Bill Shanley.

Ray emotes.

Shanley contemplates.

The whole lot!

"Could you turn the lights down a bit?"

Shadowy action!

Then some of Lynne's band came on to help through some Kinky klassics and all was done.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Dental plan

How time flies (not fast enough when it comes to catching up my backlog, but never mind). Sept. 15 I went to Zaphod's to see The Sheepdogs, a highly touted bunch of southern rockers from Saskatchewan. Unfortunately they failed to show, but the other two acts did a decent and excellent job respectively of providing a night's entertainment.

First up, folk duo For the Fairest. They were pleasant, but their most remarkable feature, Jean-Guy Menard's energetic percussion, tended to overwhelm Steph Sears' singing and guitar-playing.



The whole lot!

And so on.

That was followed by New Teeth, a far punchier combo. The tune they have posted on their MySpace makes me think of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - with jabs of guitar and tense vocals.

Lucas MacKenzie sings some; I took a few no-flash photos, this is the only one worth sharing.

Matt Gilmour on bass and mod T-shirt.

Aria Leroux on violin.

Will Staunton on drums.

Smokey action!

Singalong action!

Violin action!

Face-making action!

And some final tambourining from Aria.

Big finish!

No news on future shows, though they do say that if you book them they'll "love you forever!"

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Shelby in Ottawa

A while back I got one of Shelby Lynne's albums to review (this was back when I was still writing that kind of thing for the Ottawa Sun). I had mistakenly lumped her in with the countrypolitan trend of Nashville pop dressed up in ersatz country duds. She does have some of that in her musical makeup, but a whole lot besides: As more than one critic has noted, soul, roots, rock, pop, sundry strings of country (from Bakersville to all points east) and jazz have all made appearances in her music. When she successfully blends them together, as she has one her latest albums, she's one of the most formidable performers around. The crowd at the Black Sheep Stage was large but not overwhelming, and she more than happy to joke around with it as she performed a tight set. Many of the songs came from her latest, Just A Little Lovin' (her first on vinyl, she was pleased to point out) a tribute to Dusty Springfield.

John Jackson provides a little intro music.

The lady herself.

Singalong action with organist Randy Leago and Jackson.

Strummin' and kickin'

Shelby either working the crowd or asking the sun to go down a bit lower ... I'm sure bassist Brian Harrison was glad for his sunglasses.

About the only picture I have with drummer Rick Reed in it.

Randy ponders.

And so on!

You can tell the sun is safely tucked away behind the treetops.

Rock action!

A swell performance.