It will not come as a surprise to anyone that St. John’s, Newfoundland was host to a great party…but I would take it one step farther: “St. John’s Rocks!” I am not saying that as a result of the East Coast Music Awards or the fact that George Street has more bars than most bars have barflies, but because there is an electricity in the air that I cannot say I feel in Sydney. If anything, the award show was a low-light of the weekend. Classics Cafe proved to be much more entertaining, especially after several days of eating breakfast before going to bed. The only thing you can be sure of is that when the official jamming ends the acoustic jam is soon to follow. One interesting moment was seeing the look of puzzlement on Larry Gowan’s face as he examined the after hours fiddlers & accordion players in the lobby. The CBC’s Radiosonic crew set up shop in the lobby of the Delta and broadcast several acts, including SOL, Melanie Doane, and The Punters. None struck me so intensely as Fur Packed Action. Once again, I neglected to attend any of the many officially sanctioned concert series…you could just tell they were assembled by some sort of a committee. Perhaps tighter themes could be used in putting these shows together.
WHEN THE TIDEMARK ROLLS IN
Even though I had a pass in hand, I still had to lie, cheat, & steal to get a peak inside this party. I had just missed the Ennis Sisters’ performance, and began kicking myself repeatedly as everyone I bumped into gave them a thumbs-up.
On the bright side, I did catch the Dave Carmichael Band delivering some tasty originals and a Lucinda Williams cover thrown in for good measure. The audience ate it all up and the funkiness of the music aided the digestion.
Slainte Mhath were next and demonstrated how they got their groove back in only a matter of notes. The venue, which appeared to be a refurbished church, became a temple of boom as the layers of pulsating rhythms and overlaying melodies danced about like free spirits.
The Fables, the latest Irish Descendents spinoff, are superstars on the rock. No doubt Brian Tobin will get them to sing on his next campaign, with backup by the Ennis sisters. They played for what felt like hours to an eager and energetic crowd. Even that wasn’t enough, as they kept begging for more and more even past last call. The bouncers ended up pulling the plug.
IAN JANES – busted the belief that the blues had been buried
GRAND DERANGEMENT – their antics were on the over-the-top side of Leahy…in other words, people loved them
TOM FIDGEN – deep bass, dynamic drums, perfectly timed wah, and a brief look into some new gems from this master songcrafter
KNIFEY MOLOKO – this ensemble delivers the in sound from way out
GORDIE SAMPSON – flawless performance…when is the video?
SLAINTE MHATH – a definite highlight, with the reinvigorated grooves of Brian “Bemus” Talbot on skins