BY DARRYL MACKINNON
After spending two nights at licensed events on Thursday and Friday, Saturday afternoon offered an alternative to the smoke and sweat of the Port City’s watering holes. The Sinkin’ Dory Awards a.k.a. the No-Cases, a two day festival, celebrating independence in East Coast music, offered an opportunity for fans to see their favorites from the Saint John underground scene and beyond. With bands ranging from punk to pop-rock from New Brunswick, P.E.I, mainland Nova Scotia and Cape Breton Island, there was something for everyone, and the local Saint John scenesters seemed receptive to it all.
The Cape Breton local scene was well represented at the Sinkin’ Dory Awards with performances by The Rudy Huxtable Project, After School Special and Andrea Curry on Saturday and Three Piece Suit on Sunday. As well ex-patriot Capers, The Spincycle Squared and fellow Out of Touch label mates The Burdocks (featuring Louisbourg native Nancy Urich) showed the kids how it was done on Sunday. Some of the best performances of the weekend came from our humble Capers. Besides the locals, here’s a few acts that stand out from the Sinkin’ Dory:
Dionisius – This foursome from Fredericton played a loud melodic hardcore style that seemed prevalent among the New Brunswick bands. They just seemed to do it better than most others. Think Fugazi, Braid and similar acts; kind of a louder version of After School Special.
The Organizers – somewhat of a cross between ‘60s Mod and ‘90s indie rock reminiscent of More Plastic and The Datsons. They seemed to have a very supportive local following and put on a fun, high-energy performance.
Windom Earle – Stephan continues to amaze me and make new fans across Atlantic Canada. The band’s performance of “Beef Chow Mein” had the crowd singing along and literally had me leave the venue for some Chinese food.
Curbside Prawjeks – this one man show featured computer sound samplings, turntable scratching and a couple of guitar pedals being tweaked for effects. This act was as much fun to watch as it was to listen to.
Vetch – As the last set of the Sinkin’ Dory, Vetch offered an intimate selection of songs as an insider’s view of the official ECMA’s with a few jabs at the “songwriting prowess” of Bruce Guthro, that were almost as enter-taining as her captivating musical performance.
In all, the Sinkin’ Dory Awards was a good event, but I have to question the need for a show of this magnitude in light of all the other shows taking place. As well as this event, the Saint John campus radio station had shows about a block away, as well as the “official” ECMA all-ages show and a show on Friday night featuring exclusively Saint John bands called “Audio Five Fold”. Maybe a better effort would have been a collective one with all the aforementioned shows under the banner of one event.