It’s been a while since I’ve been to church. A few Christmases ago I stood in the porch of my former parish for about five minutes but my brother’s potential for spontaneous combustion and his proximity to myself soon overcame my need to attend. Church halls, on the other hand, are a different matter; in fact, I’ve experienced considerable sonic and sensual pleasure in the halls of some of the most prominent parishes in the city.
About a year and a half ago I wandered out of pouring rain into the basement of St. Joseph’s Parish Hall. In there I heard a sound that I will never forget. A band called Shaft was just beginning what I’m positive would have been a stunning set but before they could prove me right the night was cut short (I think there was a problem with a backed-up sewer but I can’t remember for sure). In those brief moments of noise I found a craving that I was sure would never be satisfied.
Shaft played few shows after that and its members eventually spread themselves throughout half the country. This Christmas though, the members of Shaft found themselves within mere miles of each other and managed to get together for two shows at the Christ Church Hall. The first of the shows held some kind of cosmic power, altering the probability to occurrence ratio in such a way that three bands whose members live all over the province and country were thrown together at one time to play. The Unwanted Guests suck so bad that two girls decided to beat the shit out of each other so that they didn’t have to listen. But these guys played a killer set and I didn’t even stop watching them to watch the fight. Next was Shaft. They were amazing. I watched people smiling the entire way through their set… what else can I say? The last band of the night was Tilted. Since the first time I heard them they’ve been one of my favourite bands and I’ve never been less than riled at the end of one of their sets. As far as I know Blindside and Crazy Knees Carbone opened the night but I was about an hour late.
A few nights later I returned to the same venue but unfortunately missed most of the show. Despite really bad sound (disappointing considering the really good sound of only a few nights before), ’77 Impala Special and Shaft were truly impressive.
This holiday season saw a barrage of shows in the local area. Although I only made it to a few, it’s pleasing to see the efforts of bands and organizers in promoting the scene and providing for the fans in the area. At the risk of sounding redundant, I will repeat myself yet again… support local music… support local culture.