They're Dancing on the Streets of Kensington

Maybe it was the fans. The old Indian lady dancing in the middle of Baldwin St. The lesbian couple chain smoking. The aged hipster who'd seen it before (but came back again). The former punks, now 905er's, who made the trip from Brampton, or Milton.

There is something inherently strange about playing an early show. It always feels good to be done before closing time, but it never feels right. But I made the trip to Graffiti's to sit in with Myke Mazzei's band the Mod Villains. We had one rehearsal a couple nights before, and it felt OK. But I still felt strange about the 5 0'clock start time.

I arrived at 4:30 and caught the opening act. It was political folk music. Topical music is very hard to write. the unfortunate side effect being that the songs may becomes obsolete a few years later. Unfortunately there were a few songs about the Bush administration that didn't really resonate. Do you suppose a lot of folkie's are having trouble writing songs these days? Obama needs to bomb someone and fast... but I digress.

We took the stage at roughly 5:30. We jammed out a bunch of Myke's Neil Young inspired folk rock tunes, to a good crowd both in front of and behind us. If you've ever been to Graffiti's you'll remember the Garage door that opens right behind where the band plays, giving the people on the streets of Kensington more music for their stroll. Good show for us, and I briefly considered ducking out and ending my night, but I'm really glad I didn't.

photo by Eddie Smith

The Throbbin' Hoods have been in the business a long time. Their brand of punk rock has been lighing up clubs in Toronto since the 80's. Although the back line has been playing in the band about 5 years, guitarist Buck Moore and bassist Mark Richads have been doing their thing for 2 decades. I'd never heard of them, or seen them live. The thought of an aging punk rock act was dismaying for me at first, but all that changed when they took the stage. These guys have the energy of musicians half their ages, they're a tight act to boot, one not to be reckoned with. Bass play and singer Richads spit funny and exciting lyrics, reminding the audience that punk rock used to be fun. Words can't describe what it's like to see this band live. So, you get a chance this Saturday at Mitzi's Sister and I urge you to check them, seriously.

photo by Eddie Smith

Come back tomorrow, when I will DEFINITELY have my Polaris Prize picks and rants up for all to see (I promise).


Myke said...

Great review!! I second that opinion. The early start time was good for me though-- love playing for an active crowd! And I can't wait to see the 'Hoods next week too.

Thanks for the review, Shawn... and for playing sax with us on Saturday!

Shawn William Clarke said...

Thanks for reading Myke!