Wednesday, April 22, 2009

East meets west

I feel lucky I was able to go and see Bison B.C., NoMeansNo and Potty Umbrella last night. I was scheduled to be working, but then some training for some coworkers was scheduled and my day off today (which I had intended to use to see Spiral beach and Gentleman Reg) turned into a free Tuesday. So I watched Fight, Zatoichi, Fight! and A Better Tomorrow, then headed off to Babylon. This gig was part of the B.C. Scene, a series of shows presented by the NAC to bring West Coast culture to Ontario, so it was little strange to have an act from Poland playing as I walked in the door, but what the hey.

Potty Umbrella have gone all instrumental on their latest CD, and sound to me like they're influenced by Motorpsycho - good sounding, spacey rock with a pair of keyboardists anchoring each end of the stage. They played a short set and wound things up with a most agreeable cover of Stevie Wonder's Higher Ground. I enjoyed them, but I suspect they weren't quite what the Bison B.C. fans were expecting.

Potty Umbrella, Babylon, April 21, 2009

Last time I saw Bison B.C., they rocked like a streetpunk-injected High on Fire. I seriously dig that sound, really enjoyed their last record and bought their first just after I walked in the door. They were the band I was most hoping to see, and they did not disappoint. They played a completely killer set to a very appreciative crowd.

Bison B.C., Babylon, April 21, 2009

Finally, NoMeansNo. They're a living legend in Canadian punk rock circles for their significant rhythm chops, prog leanings and acerbic lyrics. They've been at it some time, and the trio is a pretty grey-haired bunch. "I don't know what the average age of this audience is, but I think we've raised it," said Rob Wright, before kicking things off with Old. I haven't seen them live before, so I can't say they've slowed with age, but my impression is not really. There was also a human pyramid to celebrate guitarist Tom Holliston's birthday.

NoMeansNo, Babylon, April 21, 2009

Drummer John Wright was nice enough to give me one of his sticks (reduced to a splintery mass for most of the delivery end), since I handed over the song list I snaffled to a woman who said she wanted to give it to her husband. Yup, they've been around a while. They finished things off with an encore of Rags and Bones and Lonely. John noted that "we'll see you again ... reaaaal soon." And so you will, if you go to Mavericks on Friday to catch them in their Hanson Brothers guise.

1 comment:

starlagurl said...


That was fun times. Nice seeing you again, Andrew. We shall have some more fun times at Bluesfest this year methinks.