Sunday, June 06, 2010

Where The Action is

Later on Saturday I went off to see The Action at The Dominion. I missed their reunion shows but heard all the glowing reviews, so I was keen to see what Ottawa's "first and only" punk band were up to since their resuscitation. They were sharing a bill with burlesque artists The Sin Sisters. I went a bit early since I figured that The Action would be on stage later than 11 p.m. and I figured I could get to see some of The Flats and The Woodrunners next door at Zaphod's. That's how things worked out.

I've listed the Woodrunners a bunch of times in my show reminders ... they seem to play Irene's with some frequency. They have a nice, slighty poppy Americana sound, something like the Cash Brothers thanks to Marc Audet and Curtis MacPhee's combined vocals.

The Woodrunners at Zaphod Beeblebrox
The Woodrunners at Zaphod Beeblebrox, June 5, 2010

I popped back into The Dominion for a while, but there wasn't any stage action yet, so back to Zaphod's to see some of The Flats. They were releasing their new CD Between The Beams and sounding really good, with lead singer Greg Brayford playing guitar with only some vocal harmonies and percussion from the rest of the band. They did turn things up a little later, but they still have quite a spacious sound, despite have two other guitarists, duel percussionists (always switching places) and a bassist. I'd call it sophisticated roots music, like Lyle Lovett.

The Flats at Zaphod Beeblebrox
The Flats at Zaphod Beeblebrox, June 5, 2010

I didn't stay long ... it was time to get back to the Dom to watch The Sin Sisters doff their duds to some old school tunes (Henry Mancini's Pink Panther theme was the one I remember) and various amusing routines, including Headmistress Holly and Scare-ah Lynn Sin's balloon-popping number. I don't envy whoever has to vacuum up all the glitter. Their audience was loud and enthusiastic.

Sin Sisters at the Dominion Tavern
The Sin Sisters at The Dominion Tavern, June 5, 2010

Then The Action came on to rock the joint ... unfortunately most of the crowd seemed to take a powder after The Sin Sisters got off the stage. Frontman Ted Axe had to do a fair amount of audience-goading to get even a few people up to the front of the stage. Oh well, they played a great set anyway, including a Velvet Underground cover, Waiting For The Man. Heer's some guitar-licking action from Ted.

The Action at The Dominion
The Action at The Dominion Tavern, June 5, 2010

The encore consisted of Axe heckling a mohawked audience member who was apparently unimpressed with the choice to play a Rolling Stones cover (Midnight Rambler). Incidentally, Ted's other band Sister Hyde will be at the Elmdale, along with The Sin Sisters, June 12.

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