by Jason Dauphinee and Gary Hatcher
Last year, CAPR radio put on an all-day and into the evening fund raiser at the steelworkers hall in Sydney. Featuring all local bands of almost every description from Industrial music to the blues, the show won the station an award for talent development. This year they expanded the format to include three venues over three days, featuring more then 25 bands from Newfoundland, Cape Breton, the Mainland and Ontario. Gary Hatcher and Jason Dauphinee from Hedge recap the week-end.
FRIDAY, OCT. 6 – Gary Hatcher
I arrived late for the Friday show at the knights Columbus hall in Sydney, which sort of angered everyone because Sci-Fi Hectoblamanam were on first. So Bill Masters started out his set with 3 of his songs, then Jessica Robertson and myself joined him and preformed a short-cut set that included a cover of the rocket from the crypt song “Don’t Darlene”. Done acoustic, it didn’t quite have the impact of the original. Next up was deep voiced Joe Moroz, accompanied by fellow Stranger to Julien-ite freelance bassist Chris Gibson, who also added some surprising vocals in their Small Factory cover. These guys were GRRRRREAT!! Epsilon played next and everyone was stomping to their uniquely danceable folk. The following entertainer was Sean MacGillvary, also know as Jasper. I was outside most of the time, but I heard most of it. From the sound of the crowd, they really enjoyed his set which included a great cover of Sloan unforgettable hit “Underwhelmed”.
Halifax Booming Airlines took the stage and spat out an incredible set that got the crowd back on their feet. Sydney knows these guys, Sydney loves them, I love them, and that’s all I’m gonna say about that. Then the acoustic-inclined night was visited by the gods – RaKad Ko. I have never heard before, and am sure will experience again, anything like there performance. They came straight from Valhalla, sent by Odin himself, like a bolt of lighting. My favorite band. P.E.I’s Strawberry ended the show with a surprise. I knew them from their old demo tape when they used weird percussion and one guitar, but now they are a full band. Sweet vocals and wonderful songs. They were very, very good. And that was Friday.
SATURDAY, OCT. 7 – Jason Dauphinee
Upon arrival at the Northside Youth Centre, I was happy to hear Leonard Conan bustin’ out some cool shit. It was great. An excellent crowd pleaser. Local band Dark Waters was the next act I saw. Technical, very thought out songs. These guys played an exhileration set of metal. I enjoyed it a lot. Potmaster, Potmaster, Potmaster! They are by far one of my favorite bands ever. They’re are so fucking heavy. They made my night a very memorable one, with one of the best distortion sounds and intricate song writing skills of anyone in the whole wide world. And Newfoundlanders are some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. Then came the fiercely heavy Halifax band, Cleveland Steamer. These fellas can play heavy music with out that out of breath exhale that seems to turn me off heavy. They were good and loud and seemed to have a lust for crunch. In all, the night was very enjoyable, very distorted, a very compelling reason for people to acknowledge if not all classes of types of music. I loved every minute of this powerful show. Hopefully we’ll see more of these bands playing around soon.
SUNDAY, OCT. 8- Gary Hatcher
I was late again on Sunday but so was Hedge / Shane Brown Fan Club drummer Hector Smith. The band was pissed, but Hector calmed them down, and they played great. I was in and out of the multi-purpose room at UCCB all night, but I was in when Newfoundland’s Lizband rocked the house. I was also in when Coyote played. These guys are heavy and powerful. Hedge played next but I blanked out after the first chord of the song. The next thing I remember, these three punks attacked Mastodon Ridge and stole their instruments to play a punk version of “The Littlest Hobo Theme”. After they recuperated, Mastodon Ridge exploded onto the stage with fierce force! They’re one of Sydney’s best, I’ll stake my marbles on it. Toronto’s Squirrel were up next and they were amazing. I recommend that everyone pick up their new CD. They were followed by September’s Child who came all the way from Ottawa. But the night had been long, the music loud and the crowd was thinning out, too bad because they had a good set.
“In my opinion, the sounds of the Maritimes go much deeper then fiddles and bagpipes. There’s anger here as well as joy, frustration and understandable contempt for censorship as well as conformity. Whatever anyone else says, there is at least as much talent in the Maritimes as anywhere else in the world.” – Jason