Saturday, May 02, 2009

Get the potty started

The National Arts Centre's "Scene" presentations are a really good idea, bring all sorts of interesting art and artists from Canada's provinces to perform in the capital. There's usually a good range of popular music on display as well. This year British Columbia had the chance to strut its stuff. Unfortunately my work schedule meant missing a bunch of stuff I like: I wish I could have scored a day off to see Black Mountain, for example. As it was, my opportunity to see fabled B.C. punk combo NoMeansNo occurred purely by chance as there was some schedule recalculation to launch The Ottawa Sun's new website. So on April 21 I zipped over to Babylon. The first band on the bill, Potty Umbrella, were just into their second song as I made it in the door. Okay, so Potty Umbrella is not in fact from British Columbia ... but they have toured with NoMeansNo before, and their jazzy side no doubt proffers some connection. According to the band, their music is "ActivePsychoTrans enriched with Elecrto Jazz (sic)." I thought they sounded a bit like Motorpsycho.

I kicked off my shoot with some low-light photos. From left to right we have Maciej Szymborski on electric piano, Slawek Szudrowicz on guitar, Piotr Komosinski on bass and Artur Mackowiak on synthesizer; drummer Piotr Waliszewski is concealed behind Szudrowicz.

Rhythmic Piotrs action!

Slawek rocks the hollowbody.

Korg Poly action!

Artur stands out.

Okay, enough of this black and white stuff - here's some flash photography of their final number, a heavily reworked cover of noted Polish composer Stiviego Wondera's Higher Ground.

Quite an entertaining set, albeit brief. I heard they also opened for The Hanson Brothers ... I wonder how that crowd took it.

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