Friday, May 22, 2009
EVENT PREVIEW: Big Night of Awesome at 156 Chatham St. West
I've had a lot of wonderful nights at 156 Chatham St. West. I've played some great shows at both The Loop and The Coach with almost all my past musical projects. I've had some great nights of drinking (which resulted in some not so great mornings of cursing drinking) at Pogo's, and watched some amazing music at every venue in the building.
Tonight marks one of those great nights where the Loop and the Coach simultaneously have shows going on that I desperately want to see. It makes for an exciting night of running up and down the stairs, burning calories in the name of rock and roll.
Downstairs at the Coach and Horses is a send-off show for Death or Comber. These guys have quickly become one of my favourite new local bands in recent memory - their self-titled debut CD is superbly produced by James O-L (he of Villainy fame), with some fantastically mature songwriting from guys who used to be in the pop-punk band Majority D. But it appears that Death or Comber may be over before they really began, which is a shame. It appears their singer is going off biking on the East Coast for the summer and their drummer is moving to New Zealand for teacher's college. Here's hoping that when the singer - known only as Kurt - comes back from his maritime cycle tour that they regroup with a new drummer and keep this machine rolling. These guys have a bright future ahead of them if they chose to pursue this avenue. They're being sent off with some great opening bands - two bands that could easily have headlined this show, or any show for that matter. Explode When They Bloom and James O-L & The Villains are opening the show, which is slated to start promptly at 10pm. Death or Comber, closing out the night, is expected to go on around midnight, so don't show up at 1am expecting the show to still be about to start. You lose, suckahs!
Upstairs at The Loop is a triple threat bill of some great music as well. Starting off the show is the sultry sounds of Andrew MacLeod (of The Mindframes). MacLeod has been playing a lot with his band, The Mindframes, and as part of Eric Welton's band, so it's nice to see him playing his own solo show. Not sure if he's bringing a backing band of any sort for this - I'm not sure The Loop's size is very acccomodating for solo acts, but you never know. Andrew has a great presence of mind, so if anyone can pull it off, he will. He's followed by Tara Watts & The Vamps - which is Tara Watts avec backing band (see I learned some French in Montreal), which I'm assuming is the same backing band she used at her CD release party - Chad Howson (Another Saturday Knight) on drums, Johnny West on keys and her brother Brandon Watts on bass. Tara's CD About Love is a true gem of an album, beautifully recorded by Eric Welton, with some great playing all around. Finally, the night is being closed out by the electro-acoustic lushness of Two For The Cascade. Since becoming a four piece from a two piece, 24TC been steamrolling some great shows and picking up a lot of buzz as they approach their highly anticipated CD release party in July. Which will probably be their last live show for some time as vocalist/Moog tickler Stefanie Zaccagnini is due to give birth with her and husband/vocalist/guitarist Kevin Buckridan's child in the coming months. The special bonus? Prior to the show, they'll be screening Martin Scorcese's brilliant documentary/concert film The Last Waltz featuring The Band. This movie is pure musical magic.
And you know what will make "gig surfing" an even more viable option tonight? Both shows are 100% completely FREE. So now you have no excuse.