I trekked out last weekend to Governors Pub to see PEI’s The Sidewalks. I have only been to Governors a handful of times since their renovation last year, but the set up has felt cramped and awkward. They remedied this on Saturday by removing some tables and changing the position of the PA system—it made all the difference in the world.
The show was opened by John Hatcher of Carleton Stone Drives the Big Wheel. With accompaniment by Dylan Mombourquette on drums, Hatcher’s set was a mish mash of blues, country, and rock’n’roll. Ricochet followed with the most solid I have seen since the integration of second guitarist Sheamus Squires. Squires is a great complement to lead guitarist Orrin Sparrow and bassist JT Mitchell, who often make the most of their technical prowess allowing Squires to hold it all together.
Headlining the show was The Sidewalks. We don’t get much ska on this end of the country. It is a nice change of pace from time to time. From the school of the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, The Sidewalks rock quite a bit while injecting dance inciting hooks into their music. At one point, the band led the crowd through a collaborative rendition of Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face”.
This weekend is rocking a songwritery kind of feel. Thursday has Mike LeLievre of Slowcoaster and Tom Fun himself, Ian MacDougall, at Governors. On Friday, Alicia Penney hosts a songwriter’s circle at Maxwell’s Lounge with Adam White of The Roots and Rhythm Remain, Jennie MacDougall, and John Gill of Black Tooth Grinn. By Saturday night, Governors is back at it with Shaun Robson of the Easy Bleeders, Buck and Kinch’s Donnie Calabrese, and Danny MacNeil. I’d go see them all if I could but, if I had to pick, Robson’s Saturday night set would be the winner followed closely by MacDougall on Thursday.
Thought Machine is the only band in my listings this week, playing Friday night at Governors Pub. The band recently was interviewed on CBC Radio One’s Mainstreet, talking about their upcoming release Maiden Voyage. From the rough mixes on their myspace, I am surprised at how fresh the material is compared to most progressive rock. The band definitely has a classic vibe, but tends to borrow elements from modern acts like Radiohead and even hints of bands like The Mars Volta.
Some great shows were announced this week. May 21 sees the return of three-time 2010 ECMA winners The Motorleague who will be playing at Governors. Also, The Greg MacPherson Band has announced two shows in Sydney in early June, the gem of which will be An Evening with Greg MacPherson at St. Patrick’s Museum on June 6. I am also hearing some rumours about the return of Halifax’s Terratomb to the island this summer, which I am sure will please a lot of headbangers and might just be enough to get locals Stygian Sky out of their jam space and into a live setting.
Until next week!