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CMW 2017: UTA / Julian Taylor Band with One Bad Son, Birds of Bellwoods and Friends

Saturday night of Canadian Music Week is huge. And while there are a couple of shows on Sunday, it’s really the last night of big, late shows. And… it’s Saturday night with a 4:00 AM last call!

We found ourselves at The Horseshoe Tavern for the United Talent Agency’s Showcase featuring The Julian Taylor Band. With an outstanding roster, UTA was able to put together a dynamic show. The supporting lineup included The Dead Projectionists, The Treble, One Bad Son, Midnight Shine, Julian Taylor Band, Birds of Bellwoods, Towers, and Radio Caroline.

One quick note, Midnight Shine was a late addition after Adam Baldwin was unable to play the showcase.

We arrived very early and were first in line, the only way to guarantee a good spot near the stage and our favourite bench seat. Now we don’t recommend trying to stand on that bench, not unless you want to get chucked out by security, but they do turn a blind eye to people sitting on the top of said bench. A nifty little trick for those of us who are of the shorter persuasion. Shout out to Lorna and Ian who we met in line and who were our table companions for most of the evening. They’re huge Julian Taylor fans and try to get to all of his live shows.

Our first band, The Dead Projectionists are a five-piece band who call Toronto home. They’ve got an ethereal rock thing going on and they were the perfect choice to get things started. I’ll be keeping my eye on their local live schedule. They’ve got a self-recorded and self-released album, called Detractor and we think you should give it a listen.
The Dead Projectionists - Julian Taylor Showcase - CMW2017

Second on the bill of eight, were The Treble. An alt-rock band from Winnipeg who delivered amazing harmonies, beautiful melodies and great hooks.  They released their debut album in February and Modernaires should be on your playlist. Their live performance was mesmerizing. I have to admit, there was a moment where I wondered about lead singer, Mark Brusegard, “How cool do you have to be to wear a leather jacket when it’s so hot?”.

As the guys played the room continued to fill up and by the time they finished the room was full.
The Treble - Julian Taylor Showcase - CMW2017

At 10:00 One Bad Son arrived. And they arrived with a bang. Energetic and at full volume, Shane and the rest of the band dominated the room. It was loud and it was fun and everybody was all in. There was jumping, spinning, flying hair and fingers. There was epic rock wailing and screaming. The Saskatoon boys were on fire!

They played old songs and their new single Raging Bull and they talked about working hard, here in Toronto to finish the new album. We’re definitely looking forward to that release party.
One Bad Son - Julian Taylor Showcase - CMW2017One Bad Son - Julian Taylor Showcase - CMW2017

Now if we’re being honest here, I wouldn’t have wanted to be the band to play after One Bad Son. How do you follow that? Next up was our last minute replacement band Midnight Shine. And yet when the guys got on stage and started playing, it was very different, and it was perfect. Still rock but with a lighter approach, blending roots, classic rock and modern rock. The four-piece from James Bay were engaging and Zach Tomatuk shredded on his gorgeous Ibanez JEM guitar. With it’s the tree of life inlay and gold bindings and trim, it was hard to look away.

Adrian Sutherland on lead vocals is a warm and charming presence on stage and along with George Gillies on drums and Stan Louttit on bass, they come together as one. Their voices blend together beautifully and the lyrics take us to open fields and northern Ontario. They were nominated for Best Rock CD at the 2015 Indigenous Music Awards and they’ve got a brand new single out too! Check out Sister Love below.
Moonlight Shine - Julian Taylor Showcase - CMW2017

At the midnight hour The Julian Taylor Band took the stage. The stage was bursting with musicians, instruments, equipment and it was spectacular. Horns, two keyboards, drums, bass and guitars creating a full rich backdrop for Julian’s vocals.

We got to hear Fever, Set Me Free, Bobbi Champagne and so many more. Before singing the uplifting Just a Little Bit, Julian asked us if we’ve ever felt like giving up and admitted that yep, even he has. It didn’t feel like banter, it felt like a sincere conversation. This song’s a reminder that we should never give up and it was one of my favourite moments of the set.

For those of you who’ve never seen Julian live, you’re in for the most awesome surprise. Nothing can prepare you for the force that is The Julian Taylor Band. A non-stop, balls-out, sing from your heart connection. Rock, soul, R&B, jazz who needs labels? Let’s go with energetic, fun, infectious, make you wanna get up and dance music.

When the band left the stage, the crowd chanted hopefully for an encore until the tech put them out of their misery and turned up the bumper music.
Julian Taylor Band - Julian Taylor Showcase - CMW2017 Julian Taylor Band - Julian Taylor Showcase - CMW2017At this point, there was a shift in the crowd. People who had come specifically to see Julian started to make their way towards the exit but at the same time, new people seemed to surge forward. By the time Birds of Bellwoods picked up their instruments the room was teeming with fans.

The Horseshoe now held a fairly young group and they were all singing along. It’s been a while since I’ve been to a live performance and there have been changes. Everything seemed just a little bit more. A little bit more theatrical, a little louder, a little more intense.

I got to hear some of my favourites from The Fifth including a powerful sing along version of Roll Your Stone and  a much more intense version of Grey Ghosts. There were lots of new songs including their brand new single, A Year Ago. Lead singer Stevie let us know that the new album is on it’s way and I for one, am looking forward to it.

If you haven’t seen Birds of Bellwoods live, you should.
Birds of Bellwoods - Julian Taylor Showcase - CMW2017 Birds of Bellwoods - Julian Taylor Showcase - CMW2017The crowd had thinned out a bit by the time Towers started to play. The bar was now more comfortably full and the band kept the energy level high.

I hadn’t seen Towers since December 2015 and clearly the guys are just getting better and better.
Towers - Julian Taylor Showcase - CMW2017At about 2:15 I headed home. I’m still sorry that I missed the end of their set and that I didn’t get a chance to check out Radio Caroline but I needed some well deserved sleep. I’ve filed this band away as a band I need to see soon. It was an amazing week and honestly, I can’t wait to do it all over again next year.

MORE PHOTOS

The Dead Projectionists
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The Treble
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One Bad Son
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Julian Taylor Band - Julian Taylor Showcase - CMW2017 Julian Taylor Band - Julian Taylor Showcase - CMW2017 Julian Taylor Band - Julian Taylor Showcase - CMW2017 Julian Taylor Band - Julian Taylor Showcase - CMW2017 Julian Taylor Band - Julian Taylor Showcase - CMW2017Julian Taylor Band - Julian Taylor Showcase - CMW2017Julian Taylor Band - Julian Taylor Showcase - CMW2017Julian Taylor Band - Julian Taylor Showcase - CMW2017Julian Taylor Band - Julian Taylor Showcase - CMW2017BIRDS OF BELLWOODS
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7 months ago Views

CMW 2017: Trish’s 3 Don’t Miss Shows ft. The Honest Heart Collective, Aussie Night Out, UTA Showcase ft Julian Taylor Band

It’s almost here! Canadian Music Week is so close I can taste it.

There are so many choices and to help you with your planning, I’ve picked three shows that I think you shouldn’t miss during CMW 2017.

The Honest Heart Collective – Adelaide Hall

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Honest Heart Collective / Texas King / Le Trouble / The Danger Bees / Silver Love Club / Bad River

This show is also on Joshua’s list and that’s because we both know a great thing when we see one. It’s an amazing opening night lineup. Some of these bands are brand new to me but some of them are favourites and I’m happy we’ve got this show to get the week started.

Aussie Night Out – The Hideout

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Aeora / Alice Ivy / Quivers / Eliza & The Delusionals / Bad Pony / Silver Love Club / Letters to Lions / Heart Beach / The Dead Love / Pretty City

I’ve written in detail about this showcase and you can read everything you need to know about all of the bands here but let me remind you that while all of the acts are Aussie based there’s a little bit of everything genre-wise for everyone. Stop by, say hello and check out some amazing talent from Australia.

UTA Showcase – The Horseshoe Tavern 

Saturday, April 22, 2017

The Dead Projectionists / The Treble / One Bad Son / Adam Baldwin / Julian Taylor Band / Birds of Bellwoods / Towers / Radio Caroline

Saturday is going to be a late one but with this lineup, we’re pretty sure you’ll be sticking around until the end. Indie rock, alternative rock, hard rock, Rock ‘n’ Roll, with some funk and soul thrown in for good measure. It’s going to be a high energy show and I’m thrilled to see some of my favourite Toronto bands and I’m always excited to see acts that are new to me. new music… is there anything better?

And now I’m going to cheat and add a couple more bands to my list. I’ve said it before if you haven’t seen Crown Lands live yet, put them on your “must see” list. They’ll be playing both Friday the 21st at Hard Luck Bar and Saturday 22nd at The Bovine.  Second on the cheat list is Andrew Hyatt. He’s been around a little while but Andrew just keeps getting better and better. If you haven’t seen him yet, now is the time to get on board. His latest release She Ain’t You reaches into your heart and says what we’re all thinking. Andrew’s playing the KX Country’s Hot Shots Showcase on Tuesday, April 18th.

Kevin Comeau – Crown Lands

Cody Bowles – Crown Lands

CMT Music Fest - Andrew HyattAndrew Hyatt at CMT Music Fest 2016

7 months ago Views

Beautiful and Tragic: The Trews at the CNE 2016

For more than a decade we’ve been listening to the rock and roll stylings of The Trews, and on Saturday night we took it all in up close and personal at the CNE in Toronto.

The Antigonish, Nova Scotia natives took the stage to an awesome reception of fans who knew exactly what they were getting themselves into, and couldn’t wait to hear the hits and sing along for the night. It’s those same fans (and you too) that need to be ready for Friday, September 9 when Time Capsule hits stores and online outlets.

The Trews CNE 2016Trish caught up with John Angus MacDonald backstage to chat before the show and asked him about the album’s greatest hits & new music combo and found out that it was essential to the band that the four new songs be part of the offering. They did not want to fall into the stigma that a best of or greatest hits album is signaling the beginning of the end – because the band feels like they’ve got a lot left in them to give.

And with a 19 song set in Toronto on Saturday, they showed us all that they aren’t ready to ride off into the sunset at all. With Colin on the microphone, leading the charge, The Trews held the crowd in the palms of their hands. And when it was time to sing, the Ex got loud and proud to support the band, and we loved it. The band did too, or so we expect…

Trish: In 5 words or less can you describe how it feels when the crowd sings your songs back to you?

John Angus: Fu – cking A – maz – ing… there’s 5 syllables.

As the set played on it became clear to me that I had forgotten how much I really loved the songs that The Trews have put out since 2002. And then I realized that I was really happy that we had a Canadian band headlining a Saturday night rock and roll show, with a bunch of fans really into it. Sometimes we take CanCon for granted, but Saturday night we were proud.

The Trews CNE 2016

Trish asked about the changes in the Canadian music scene since the band broke in, and it almost seemed like John Angus didn’t know where to start. He mentioned the scaling down on the industry side with fewer people working for labels and bands. He also talked about the advent of social media, streaming, and iTunes. It’s sometimes easy to forget that all of those things are so new, and a band with a 15 year career has been on both sides of the shift. John Angus also talked about the change in crowds over the years, and how they’ve seen their fans grow up from their early twenties to their thirties – with kids. But they still see the new 20 somethings that are into the music too. It’s a mix that keeps tickets sold and makes the shows a lot of fun.

Note: When Colin stood on stage alone with his guitar and strummed and sang Highway Of Heroes I got chills. You could have heard a pin drop. It was powerful and beautiful. And when it ended I was almost surprised that the crowd didn’t burst out into Oh Canada.

Related: The Trews at 102.1 The Edge – Sugar Beach Sessions

Before Trish let John Angus get ready for the show she got to ask him about Canadian music, and got him to pick 1 band that we should be listening to right now, AND 1 band from the east coast that he thinks should be more popular across the country.

New Band: Towers. There’s new music coming, and John Angus has been in the studio to work on a couple songs with them already, so be ready.

East Coast Band: The Novaks. From St. John’s, NFLD, they started coming up about the same time as The Trews and John Angus thinks that they def. could have gotten a bigger chance. Give ‘em a listen.

The Trews are Juno nominees, East Coast and Independent Music award winners, and Canadian favourites in the genre. They’ve worked hard, and often over the last decade and a half, and by all indications, they’re ready to keep pushing.

the_TREWS_time_capsule_FINAL_Album+Cover+smColin, John Angus, Jack, Gavin, and Jeff put on a show for us at the CNE. From Lotta Work Little Love, through hits like Not Ready To Go, Hope & Ruin, and Tired Of Waiting, and the encore that included a nod to The Hip with Putting Down, and then a collaboration with Leon and Matty of The Lazys on Hold Me In Your Arms and Highway To Hell to close the show – we were all given what we were hoping for, what we expected, and what The Trews have been doing since the start.

We can’t wait to see what the next chapter brings!

The Trews Set List, CNE Toronto 2016

Lotta Work Little Love
Beautiful and Tragic
Not Ready to Go
So She’s Leaving
Paranoid Freak
Hope & Ruin
65 Roses
Power of Positive Drinking
Love Is the Real Thing
Tired of Waiting
Highway of Heroes
Dark Highway
What’s Fair Is Fair
Sing Your Heart Out
I Can’t Stop Laughing
Poor Ol’ Broken Hearted Me
Encore:
Putting Down (Hip cover)
Hold Me In Your Arms
Highway to Hell

The Trews CNE 2016The Trews CNE 2016The Trews CNE 2016The Trews CNE 2016The Trews CNE 2016The Trews CNE 2016The Trews CNE 2016The Trews CNE 2016The Trews CNE 2016The Trews CNE 2016The Trews CNE 2016

1 year ago Views

Headstones: Un-Silent Night at Toronto’s The Phoenix

‘Fuck It’

For most of 30 years Headstones have been working on, playing, and enjoying the hell out of their brand of music.

And while it hasn’t always been a smooth and easy ride, the fans who loved the band at their commercial peak in the mid-90s are still out there and VERY HAPPY to be buying tickets to see Headstones on stage, and supporting Pledge campaigns to get their ears on new music from frontman Hugh Dillon and the band.

Note: For the uninitiated, Hugh Dillon of Headstones is in fact the same Hugh Dillon you’ve seen on TV in series like Flashpoint, Durham County, and Continuum – and movies like Dance Me Outside, Hard Core Logo and Trailer Park Boys: The Movie.Headstones

It’s true that the band isn’t as prolific as they once were, but that hasn’t stopped them from commanding the stage the way they used to. And while Hugh isn’t throwing lit cigarettes into mosh pits anymore, they’re still wholly capable of inciting an emotional response to their music and its “nothing’s off limits” philosophy.

Nostalgia is a funny thing, we can all agree that it’s particularly strong when we talk about music. But when you find those old memories and songs, and combine them with new material that brings things back to the present – you’ve found a sweet spot. And that’s exactly what Headstones are offering the fans that have been with them on this long and winding road.

I did get a peek at their new EP ‘Fuck It” last night. Not sure how, but someone in the front row had a copy. You can check out their Pledge Music Campaign and get a copy of the very limited vinyl edition.Headstones Fuck It Cover

Shout out to Towers who had the fun job of opening the show at The Phoenix. The Toronto based band put on a tight, energetic set. They’re getting a name for themselves playing gigs around the city and you can check them out in January at The Horseshoe. Their self titled EP is available on iTunes. (More Towers photos below)Towers

We were antsy and ready when Headstones hit the stage. The sold out performance was a hot, sweaty, intense, fantastic, punk odyssey. They dipped into the back catalogue with crowd favourites like Tweeter and the Monkey Man, Cemetery and Smile and Wave, threw in a great medley which included Oh My God!/Sympathy for the Devil/Heartbreaker/Low Rider/New Orleans is Sinking/Straight Outta Compton, what?!. And we were treated to a taste of the new EP with ‘Fuck It’ in the encore.Headstones

There was moshing, swearing, drink throwing, mic tossing, amazing bass lines and drumming, monitor pushing, hard driving guitar and of course destruction. The crowd was a mix of ages and everyone was all in.Headstones

Punk is alive and well in Canada. The next time you see them driving by, make sure you smile and wave…

More Headstones Photos
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2 years ago Views
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