Friday, August 27, 2010

Beginnings and ends

It's time for i(heart)music's annual music festival, which this year is a three-day affair at Mavericks. It was evenly divided between a couple of great Ottawa performers and a couple of great not-from-Ottawa bands.

The Centretown Cripplers started things off - and also finished things off in a sense since it was their last show. They went out with a typically chaotic show highlighted by Chris Cook's repeated string-breaking - good thing there were a lot of Telecasters in the house to borrow.

Centretown Cripplers at Mavericks
The Centretown Cripplers at Mavericks, August 26, 2010

The last (and first) time I saw Giant Hand was also his first show, opening for Immaculate Machine and The Hi Lo Trons in the basement of End Hits. Since then he's garnered quite a bit of critical acclaim, thanks to his unvarnished songwriting and penetrating voice. Since that March 2008 gig he's acquired an electric guitar and made some use of looping in a very fine set.

Giant Hand at Mavericks
Giant Hand at Mavericks, August 26, 2010

Gramercy Riffs' sound echoes the days of Richard and Linda Thompson, Lee Hazelwood and Barbara Sinatra and Fleetwood Mac thanks to the dual vocals of Lee Hanlon and Mara Pellerin, though it has plenty of modern kick (and is mostly duet free - Lee and Mara trade of singing duties on a song-by-song basis). Incidentally, Daniel Banoub, brother of The Cripplers' Dave - you may recall him playing with the band at the pre-Cook wedding gig at the Montgomery Legion Hall plays bass in the St. John's combo.

Gramercy Riffs at Mavericks
Gramercy Riffs at Mavericks, August 26, 2010

By the time Parlovr got on stage the audience - never all that large to begin with, I'm sad to report - had shrunk to about a dozen, but they still got a super-active show from a band that would probably give 150% no matter the size of the crowd. The trio has a huge sound thanks to the cunning deployment of an octave pedal and loads of energy to go along with their choruses.

Parlovr at Mavericks
Parlovr at Mavericks, August 26, 2010

The festival continues tonight at Mavericks with performances by Amos the Transparent, The Darcys, Old Crowns and Oceans.
  • Show reminder: Sarah Blackwood, The Mudplots and Jersey Hurtt are at Cafe Dekcuf; Zachary Lucky, The Bravest Ghost and A.R. Coleman are at Raw Sugar; Alaska Army Band, Weak Size Fish and The Weeds play the Rainbow Bistro; The Beat Project gets funky at Irene's.

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