Thursday, April 03, 2014

Gigs on the fly: some photos

Had pleasant news a few weeks ago when Terry Russell (Slow, The Liquor Kings, that podcast with Hamm) contacted me via Facebook to say I'd won tickets to see Delhi2Dublin at the Commodore. I'd entered a contest, telling a story about a favourite experience at that venue, and had related a tale - I hope it's going to get used somewhere! - about seeing Maple Ridge ska-punk band Los Furios opening for Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra, and getting an unbelievably genki reception from the hundreds of ESL students in the audience... I had never heard Delhi2Dublin before, didn't even realize they were a Vancouver band, but I proved a fast study, and it was great to be at the Commodore again - lack of money and my suburban dislocation have kept me from seeing anything there for years, maybe since Amon Amarth played there, and it was nice to be reminded what a terrific venue that place is (and introduce my girlfriend to it). We both greatly enjoyed the cultural complexity, playfulness, and infectious energy of Delhi2Dublin's music, which is exactly what it sounds like - a fusion of Indian and Irish music. I have nothing much to say about them, but I now count myself a fan, and snapped these pics:

Then I managed to catch part of Chris Arnett's solo gig at Chapel Arts. The Prettys did an able opening set - they're Kelowna power-pop transplants currently working on an album - then took on the role of backing band; Chris brought his usual playful swagger to his performance, sunglasses on, guitar slung low, arms swingin' in his loose, jangly, at once cool and subtly not-so-serious manner. Love this guy's music and delivery. It's unfortunate that I couldn't stay for the whole thing but it's kind of cruel and unusual that gigs run so late on weeknights; had to be up by 7am so my gal could get to her job, and we faced an hour's commute between the venue and her apartment, so what could we do but leave early? I got to hear "Share the Love" and "Downtown Eastside," anyhow - and we had an entertaining time chatting with Taylor Little in the doorway while he smoked a cigarette or three. He apparently caught the Blue Oyster Cult at the PNE at one of the shows that ended up on On Your Feet or On Your Knees! The Furies will be playing the Summer of Love fest this year in Kits, and Chris told me that he will be working on that second Furies album - meantime, those of you who have not read my interview with him are directed here, and if you haven't heard Chris' solo album yet....

It was very, very hard to get photos of Kill Matilda at the Wolf Bar. I liked Dusty Exner's delivery a lot - nice that the Vancouver scene has a horror-punk riot grrrl bandleader, and Dusty is charismatic and engaging; you can download their new EP (and a free comic!) via their website, and if you like bands like Hole, L7, Bikini Kill or, indeed, early Misfits, you really should. Don't mean to complain - I love that there's a venue for punk and metal shows just a couple of blocks from my apartment (and as I mentioned, Scythia plays the Wolf on April 11th!) - but the bar tends to under-light things, and apparently I didn't keep any of the (dark, blurry) photos I took that night. Sorry, Dusty. Had similar problems getting photos of Beijing rock band Carsick Cars at Pat's Pub - nothing I caught on my camera was much worth showing, though I did get a couple cool video clips (and managed to interview the singer briefly, which I hope to do something with ASAP). Note: the link above is to the unshortened, online-only version of my Straight review of that show, if you haven't read it...

On the other hand, I got more than I needed, photo-wise of Jimy Now, the Milk Pipes, and the Creaking Planks the other night at the Railway Club. Once again, it was a gig that put suburban commuters at a disadvantage; if we didn't want to be on the dreaded "drunk bus" back to Burnaby, we had to split before the last band, My Dearest Friends, even took the stage (or indeed, before the Creaking Planks had finished!). Much as I love the Planks, that night was totally stolen, for me, by certain well chosen covers performed by the Milk Pipes. They brought all the energy (though less of the alcohol) that the classic lineups of the Replacements/ Beat Farmers brought to the stage, and while I don't listen much to either the 'Placemats or the Beat Farmers THESE days, it was still a fun gig to be at (the Pipes should really consider adding "Riverside" to their set). Three members of the band took turns on vocals - the keyboardist taking the front to do a rendition of the Jam's "Down in the Tube Station at Midnight," the plaid-shirted fellow doing the 'Mat's "Can't Hardly Wait," and the dude in the hat (the one who looked like Heisenberg, as some wit observed) singing, at show's climax, Jim Carroll's "People Who Died." The band punched a hole in that song by STOPPING at the end of the last verse, catching those of us who were shouting along ("he looked like 65/ when he died/ he was a friend of mine") out in the open, screaming into sudden silence, while Heisenberg grinned and said, "psych!" before they picked up again. It was a memorable, fun moment. Milk Pipes:

Roots rocker Jimy Now with friend Esther (Jimy did a set packed with classic blues rock and Bo Diddleyisms):

And hey, how long have the Creaking Planks been covering "Creep" for? Nice one. In truth, I've seen the Planks do tighter sets, but even when they're loose, the "jug band of the damned" is totally charming.

Any gigs I get to see these days are like grapes stolen from a neighbour's vine - covert, hastily consumed, fraught with concern that there will be consequences, but all the more delicious for that. Maybe I might get to attend the Wacken Metal Battle semi-finals on May 3rd at the Rickshaw? I sure would like to, though that might be a hard gig to drag my girlfriend out to... I'm glad Unleash The Archers got a slot, since they were nice enough to come play one of those weirdo church gigs in Maple Ridge awhile back. Speaking of which: anyone reading this might want to know that the Bonedaddies, Montreal's The Skinny, Remember Lite Brite, and maybe one or two other bands will be playing a cheap all-ages gig in Hammond (at the ODC Theatre, 11931 Dartford) on Sunday night! Jonny Bones is trying to make a "stable all-ages venue" out of that place, and has apparently rented the main hall, not the crappy little box off to the side where these gigs usually take place. Not sure what that will look like, but bless him for tryin'. Who knows, I might even show up - show starts at 7:30! Now that's more like it!
(Bonedaddies at Adstock 2013. All photos by Allan MacInnis).

No comments: