Posts from the ‘Jazz’ Category

Rick Keene Music Scene; Top Ten Musician New Year’s Resolutions 

The new year brings hope.

 

 

Not just for regular folk, business people or pets. More than anyone, artists and musicians require a changing of course to right a sometimes leaky boat. It ain’t easy maneuvering the seas of art, just ask the Flock of Seagulls circling aimlessly overhead.

Here now are The Top Ten Musician New Year’s Resolutions. 

10. In 2018, out of respect for my spouse, I will no longer sleep with the man / woman in row 4, seat 6 …

 

9. ‘ Moves Like Jagger ‘ doesn’t work live unless you ‘move like Jagger … ‘

 

8. No more gigs with ‘money for nothing and chicks for free …’

 

7. Investigate the reason why my manager is driving a Porsche while I take the bus …

 

6. No more appearances at 5am on ‘Tom Cruise’s Telethon of Scientology’ 

 

5. Don’t enter any more contests where I have to pay for winning! 

 

4. No more gigs that are interrupted by badly played hockey by the Montreal Canadiens.  

 

3. Before singing ‘when I think about you I touch myself’ at a wedding gig, make sure Harvey Weinstein’s victims are not in attendance. 

 

2. ‘You Dropped a Bomb on Me’ must be scratched from the set list before touring North Korea. 

 

And the #1 Musician New Year’s Resolution ? 

 

1. If I actually write a song, I can stop delivering pizzas full time ! 

 

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Rick Keene Music Scene; Top Ten Signs Your Music Career May Be in Trouble. 

Music is the gateway to the soul.

If the entrance is locked , jumping fences can only end up bad. There are no shortcuts to success in the music business.

Here are the top ten signs it may be time to change careers in 2018.

10. Two years after playing the Montreal International Jazz Festival , your most lucrative gig is playing at the local dive for shots !

9. Your merch guy gives away CDs so he doesn’t have to carry the box back to the van.

8. You win a music contest to compete in a far away land but you can’t afford the airfare …

7. A GoFundMe campaign is created to stop you from making anymore CDs.

6. Your tour manager goes on tour without you!

5. You are added to a festival of one hit wonders and your band performs on the side stage.

4. Your performance on a nationally televised telethon is interrupted by the ONE phone call.

3. Your family are the only ones who come to your gigs.

2. Audiences at live performances leave their phones at home.

And the Number One Sign your Music Career May Be in Trouble ?

1. Your agent sends you for a gig in North Korea with a one way ticket !

 

It’s A Charlie …er …Rick Keene Music Scene Christmas !

Christmas comes once a year boys and girls ! Unless your name happens to be Christmas and you are … um … never mind.

 

‘Tis the season to be jolly as they say and there is no better way to get into the Holiday Spirits ( and spirit) than listening to Christmas tunes !

Please listen below to some great Christmas tunes and a few surprises if you are naughty or nice …

 

 

 

 

 

Rick Keene Music Scene; The Lyric Theatre Singers Add Purity to Christmas 

Since their inception in 1990, the Lyric Theatre Singers have entertained Montrealers young and old. Christmas is special. Especially a candlelight version.

Bob Bachelor

Forced to move from the familiar surroundings of Tudor Hall ( renovations are taking place), the Lyric Singers took up residence over the weekend at Loyola Chapel on the Concordia University campus. Bigger venue means more exposure for a group that deserves it. More tickets sold means more funds to not only keep the group intact, to increase the already firm legacy that exists.

Peter Colantonio

A Candlelight Christmas, constructed and directed by musical director Bob Bachelor – is mystical in many ways. Combining old school Christmas favorites with Bachelor’s intriguing arrangements; the concert is borrowed but new. Traditional sounds engulf the ears yet the ups and downs of tunes from around the world turn the show into a magic carpet ride. The valleys hung by the choir with care. 

Shelagh Hannigan

Winter cold and ice not your thing ? Spend a moment in Africa with the rhythms of  Photo ni fun Oluwa ( Glory to God in the Highest ). The world renown choral composer Rosephanye Powell contributes to the Candlelight Christmas with the perfect upbeat appetizer to the feast to come. Complete with the Lyric Singers framing the audience and intertwining their baritones and altos – the concert is immediately set apart from most.

Bachelor constructed this version of Christmas with diversity in mind. All the trouble in the world requires an understanding of diversity more than ever.

Ben Kwong

Calypso , Celtic , Gospel, Pop and Chanukah. All represented throughout the show with acute renditions both traditional and rearranged by Bachelor. The sways in moods range from tearful to joyous. Heartfelt to thoughtful. The singers complimenting the musicians and vice versa with a oneness.

Laurie -Ann Jean-Baptiste, the soloist in Sweet Little Jesus Boy ( Altos and Sopranos accompanied) , renders a vocal performance so incredible, so beautiful – the bar was set high for the remaining tunes. Luckily, the other soloists (Katherine Fournier, David Cchiv, Tarik Azgoui ) not only maintained the level of talent, they tweaked and pulled it in different directions. The glove fit the hand. The fingerprints stayed on the souls.

Laurie-Ann Jean-Baptiste

A Candlelight Christmas would not be complete without the Christmas everyone knows.

Rudolph the Red- Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Zat You, Santa Claus? , Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.

Enough of the tv / film commercial hits to raise the ears of the children in attendance. The older folks smiling with Christmas’ past.

Too often in Christmas shows , boredom arrives with the all-too-familiar hymns and carols. Cool at first with the attention span waning later on. A Candlelight Christmas manages to spark the tinder of melancholy. Igniting the imagination and the kid at heart simultaneously.

Christmas for The Lyric Theatre Singers’ audiences ? Special.

Visit The Lyric Theatre Singers Here 

Rick Keene Music Scene – Dr. Trevor Payne Exits The Montreal  Jubilation Gospel Choir 

The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.

 A standard misquote from the first chapter of the Book of Job.

 Dec.3rd 2017, Dr. Trevor Payne’s final appearance as head of The Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir left no room for misquotes. Perfection was perceived by everyone with the possible exception of Dr. Payne himself. Perfection never obtained by the artists themselves.

Dr. Trevor Payne

For thirty – five years ( officially ), the good doctor has guided the Gospel Choir to unimaginable heights ( performing for Nelson Mandela ) and equally unimaginable anxieties. The choir was his child. His offspring . His legacy. His love. His life’s work. His calling.

Putting all the above aside to move on to different projects privately is difficult. Saying goodbye publicly is immense. Ensuring the final performance is not marred by emotions – inconceivable.

Dr. Payne reading good wishes before the show.

 On stage , in rehearsals at Place des Arts, the emotions were in check. The run-through of vocals , music and timing as smooth as the top of Dr. Payne’s head. Good natured ribbing , laughter and smiles framed the always professional choir as they focused on the task at hand. The ‘well oiled’ machine almost didn’t need Dr. Payne. The ‘well oiled’ machine is Dr. Payne. The machine is – ‘ well oiled ‘.

Payne directing the choir.

One by one , the choir and musicians take turn performing as part of a sound. Each person listening attentively to the words of Dr. Payne. Not often and not irrationally do the instructions flow. Calmly the music is stopped and the singing is hushed. Like a Father lovingly teaching – Dr. Payne repairs or introduces observations to make the choir the best they can be.

‘People may teach what they know, but they reproduce who they are’. – John.C.Maxwell

As each of the soldiers of God ( soloists ) took turns rehearsing , Payne conducted but mostly exuded admiration toward his pupils. Hugs were given either before , during and after each performance. Rehearsals give the opportunity where ‘the show’ does not.

Sharon Othello ( Highway to Heaven Medley ), Genevieve Bikond Nkoma ( He’s a Shelter ), Mary Manon Meresier ( Joyful, Joyful) and Janique Montreuil ( Changed ) – a few of the members embracing the musings and admiration from Dr. Trevor Payne.

Alexandre Paquette ( bass) looking on

Soundchecks can be a difficult affair for the most seasoned performers. To be in tune , in sync and in ‘ motion ‘ – often requires the spirit to be as one. Larger groups of musicians can be more obscure at unity in the beginning of ‘ practice’. Not the Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir.

Once the notes commence , with very few exceptions , does the engine stop. The train starts rolling and the conductor likes it that way. The battery shovels the coal. The guitars and horns provide the food. The choir are the whistles echoing across the valley signalling the Glory Train is strong.

Right before showtime , Dr. Trevor Payne was nervous. Former choir members from as far away as Spain in attendance. Memories present and counted for.

Adulations from Dr. Oliver Jones and Jazz Festival co – founder Andre Menard (among many ) greeting Payne onscreen in a video montage praising and congratulating the ‘ master ‘ on a career which is legendary. A career unmatched in the Montreal and perhaps global gospel community. Verbal imagery for a job not only well done – above and beyond what was necessary.

All the way from Deep River ( arr. Roy Ringwald) to the Calypso Christmas Medley ( arr. Dr. Trevor Payne ), the final performance under Dr. Payne was brilliant. Payne himself , displaying no signs of emotion except for talking about his Mom and Dad. His Father, explained Payne, carrying bags at Windsor Station to put food on the table , a roof over the head and enough money aside so Trevor could take piano lessons.

The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away

Thank you Dr. Trevor Payne

Visit The Montreal Jubilation Choir Here 

 

 

Rick Keene Music Scene – The Lyric Theatre Singers; Lighting Up Christmas with Class

The world is a mess.

With everything that is happening around the world these days, The Lyric Theatre Singers are literally – to the rescue.

Their Christmas themed show; Candlelight Christmas, a welcome relief from the noise all around us. Silence among thieves. Calm in a global storm.

Bachelor

Please listen below to my chat with the musical director of The Lyric Theatre Singers; Bob Bachelor. He explains everything and – a little bit more.

Bob? What’s up?

 

 

Visit The Lyric Theatre Singers Here 

 

 

 

Top Ten Reasons to Attend Bands for Baskets 2017

 

 

Visit Bands for Baskets Here !

 

Click on the links below to HELP FIND JESSE GALGANOV

 

 

Missing Children’s Network Click Here

Facebook Page 

 

Rick Keene Music Scene – Diana Krall Reminds Montreal of All That is Good

A good concert is an occasion to make new friends. You leave the venue satisfied. The soul filled with goodness.

Diana Krall and her four piece ensemble did just that.

 

Exploring and paying homage to the likes of Cole Porter, Tom Waits and Bob Dylan, Diana reminded everyone why music was created and how diverse the beauty may be.

Commencing with the tune Deed I Do, the punters quite aware the evening would be a treat. Rarely does such talent grace Place des Arts all at once. Rarely does such grace inhabit the talent all at once. Anthony Wilson (guitar), Robert Hurst ( Bass), Karriem Riggins (drums) and Stuart Duncan (violin) displayed such touch on their respective instruments. Such finesse. Such magnificence. They were so good, at times, Krall could be seen watching and listening in awe. When ‘ the boss’ is happy the product must be good.

The Turn up the Quiet Tour is named after Diana’s new album. Following a long excursion overseas, Krall is back on home turf and Montreal – according to Krall, ‘feels like home’. 

The Montreal International Jazz Festival was one of the most important building blocks in Krall’s steps to Juno and Grammy Awards. Last night, the love affair was evident with a few people yelling out ‘ we love you Diana’. Krall shouting back ‘ I love you too’. One fan even managed to alter the encore. ‘S’Wonderful – the brilliant Ira and George Gershwin ballad replacing the scheduled song as an audience request.

 

Turn Up the Quiet , the album, is a return to The Great American Songbook for Krall. A place where she discovered her talents and passion. Isn’t it Romantic, Blue Skies and Sunny Side of the Street were delightfully displayed live and the band took turns implementing their skills within each. Waits’ Temptation, as close to a Rock song as you’ll get in a Krall concert. A tad demonic with the stage lit up in Satan’s color. A rendition perfect to break the theme of the show yet keeping it within the boundaries of jazz. Within the boundaries of Waits.

 

All these years later, Canada’s favorite musical daughter is all grown up. Now a wife and Mother. Those life changing facts are essential to understanding a Krall concert. Mellow, relaxed and with that old Diana sneaking around just under the stage. Popping up every now and again. Playful with an attitude.

 

Wonder if the old Diana and the new one are friends? Judging by the return to Jazz standards they are.

 

Visit Diana Here !

 

 

Top Ten Reasons to Attend Bands for Baskets 2017

 

 

Visit Bands for Baskets Here !

 

Click on the links below to HELP FIND JESSE GALGANOV

 

 

Missing Children’s Network Click Here

Facebook Page 

 

Rick Keene Music Scene – Emilie Claire Barlow; Basking in Quebec’s Winter

 Not everyone embraces Quebec winters. In fact , most don’t.

Emilie Claire Barlow is one person who loves Quebec winters. So much so, the Toronto native and Juno Award winner took up residence in Quebec. Not only that – she sings about it on her new disc.

A combination of English and French, the tracks are sure to give you frostbite ( in a good way).

Please listen below to my chat with Emilie and hear some tracks from the new album.

Talk soon.

 

 

Visit Emilie Here !

 

Top Ten Reasons to Attend Bands for Baskets 2017

 

 

Visit Bands for Baskets Here !

 

Click on the links below to HELP FIND JESSE GALGANOV

 

 

Missing Children’s Network Click Here

Facebook Page 

 

Rick Keene Music Scene – Top Ten Reasons to Attend Bands for Baskets 2017

Once a year, around this time, Santa visits twice.

 

Make that two Santas. 

 

Ross Griffiths and Peter Angrove; for the twelfth year in a row, place a few local bands together and raise money for the needy in the West Island. Help, in the form of food baskets.

Please listen below to my chat with Ross and discover everything you need to know about Bands for Baskets 2017 and hear the Top Ten Reasons you should attend.

Santa …er … I mean Ross? What’s up?

 

 

Visit Bands for Baskets Here !

 

Click on the links below to HELP FIND JESSE GALGANOV

 

 

Missing Children’s Network Click Here

Facebook Page 

 

Rick Keene Music Scene – Sheldon Kagan; A Success Story.

Imagine telling your Mom; ‘I’m moving out!’ (when you are fifteen years of age?)

 

Imagine the reaction of your parents even if you have a full time job? Imagine the reaction if you only have a couple of events planned at $25.00 each?

Welcome to the start of Sheldon Kagan’s career as a mobile disc jockey. A career that has spanned over fifty years and made Sheldon one of Montreal’s most successful promoters. One of Montreal’s greatest entertainers.

 

 

Please listen below to Sheldon’s story. A great foray into the life of a fascinating man.

Sheldon? What’s up?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Visit The West Island Palliative Care Here !

 

 

Rick Keene Music Scene – David Myles; Real Love

Pop music ain’t what it used to be …

 

 

David Myles is doing something about it. Combining old school thoughts with new school riffs without duplicating anything. Easy right? Make people dance right?

 

 

Please listen below as David talks about the new album and how he came up with the idea to go backwards – musically. 

 

 

David? What’s up?

 

 

Visit David Here !

 

 

 

Visit The West Island Palliative Care Here !

 

 

Rick Keene Music Scene – Sheldon Kagan; A Success Story. Part Four

Imagine telling your Mom; ‘I’m moving out!’ (when you are fifteen years of age?)

 

Imagine the reaction of your parents even if you have a full time job? Imagine the reaction if you only have a couple of events planned at $25.00 each?

Welcome to the start of Sheldon Kagan’s career as a mobile disc jockey. A career that has spanned over fifty years and made Sheldon one of Montreal’s most successful promoters. One of Montreal’s greatest entertainers.

 

 

Please listen below to part four of Sheldon’s story. A great foray into the life of a fascinating man.

Sheldon? What’s up?

 

 

 

 

Visit The West Island Palliative Care Here !

 

 

Rick Keene Music Scene – Sheldon Kagan; A Success Story. Part Three

Imagine telling your Mom; ‘I’m moving out!’ (when you are fifteen years of age?)

 

Imagine the reaction of your parents even if you have a full time job? Imagine the reaction if you only have a couple of events planned at $25.00 each?

Welcome to the start of Sheldon Kagan’s career as a mobile disc jockey. A career that has spanned over fifty years and made Sheldon one of Montreal’s most successful promoters. One of Montreal’s greatest entertainers.

 

 

Please listen below to part three of Sheldon’s story. A great foray into the life of a fascinating man.

Sheldon? What’s up?

 

 

 

 

 

Visit The West Island Palliative Care Here !

 

 

Rick Keene Music Scene – Sheldon Kagan; A Success Story. Part Two

Imagine telling your Mom; ‘I’m moving out!’ (when you are fifteen years of age?)

 

Imagine the reaction of your parents even if you have a full time job? Imagine the reaction if you only have a couple of events planned at $25.00 each?

Welcome to the start of Sheldon Kagan’s career as a mobile disc jockey. A career that has spanned over fifty years and made Sheldon one of Montreal’s most successful promoters. One of Montreal’s greatest entertainers.

 

 

Please listen below to part two of Sheldon’s story. A great foray into the life of a fascinating man.

Sheldon? What’s up?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Visit The West Island Palliative Care Here !

 

 

Rick Keene Music Scene – Sheldon Kagan; A Success Story. Part One

Imagine telling your Mom; ‘I’m moving out!’ (when you are fifteen years of age?)

 

Imagine the reaction of your parents even if you have a full time job? Imagine the reaction if you only have a couple of events planned at $25.00 each?

Welcome to the start of Sheldon Kagan’s career as a mobile disc jockey. A career that has spanned over fifty years and made Sheldon one of Montreal’s most successful promoters. One of Montreal’s greatest entertainers.

 

 

Please listen below to the first part of Sheldon’s story. A great foray into the life of a fascinating man.

Sheldon? What’s up?

 

 

 

 

 

Visit The West Island Palliative Care Here !

 

 

Rick Keene Music Scene – What the Heck is Happening in Montreal Musically?

The city that never sleeps …

Montreal is always on the go. Running, jogging or walking to live music venues everywhere ! It’s a music lovers dream to be in Montreal !

Please listen below to some of the shows coming our way and find out what historical theater in Montreal changed names and has added wonderful stuff for your musical enjoyment !

Thanks for listening ! Talk soon !

 

 

 

 

 

Rick Keene Music Scene – The Strumbellas; A Chat About the Pureness of Music

Canada’s up and coming band are here !

In a few short years the band has gone from playing acoustic  folk inspired melodies to playing acoustic folk inspired melodies. The crowds just got bigger !

Please listen below to my chat with Darryl James about the new album, the fans and what to expect in the future.

 

 

 

Visit The Jazz Festival here !

 

Visit Tremblant

Blues Festival Here!

 

 

 

 

 

Montreal Jazz Festival Review – Joss Stone and Melissa Etheridge

On paper – Joss Stone and Melissa Etheridge look great as a double bill. In reality – they are greater than the sum of two parts …

When Joss Stone was in her Mother’s tummy, she attended one of her Mom’s favorite artists in concert. When Joss was seventeen – she sang as part of a duet with one of her Mom’s favorite artists. Last night at Places des Arts – Joss , once again, performed with one of her Mom’s favorite artists.

Melissa Etheridge remains constant in Joss Stone’s life.

Stone arrived on stage softly and that was about right for what was to transpire throughout most of the evening.

‘The Look of Love’, ‘Landlord’, ‘Stuck on You’ and ‘Victim of A Foolish Heart’ allowed Stone’s voice to shine through. In  past performances at the Jazz festival – too much ‘screaming’ took place which took away from the sheer talent of Joss’ vocals. There is a time and place for everything and sometimes at a Joss Stone show – the lines are blurred.

Not last night at Salle Wilfred Pelletier.

The band maybe were caught by surprise as well.

Joss swerving from set-list and improvising like a bird on a wire. Reading the crowd and judging reactions, just one part of Joss’ seemingly arrival at professionalism.

Comfortable in her skin and comfortable with charming banter. Her British humor and accent disarming critics, the audience and her band. The latter injected life into what can be ( at times) a monotonous trip while the former – a very good idea.

‘Put A Spell on You’ and ‘Son of A Preacher Man’ ended things on a high note. Joss and her mates raising the energy and injecting history into the night. Passing the baton to …

 

Melissa Etheridge

If Melissa Etheridge was loved before last night’s show in Montreal, this morning – the city must be erecting a statue of her atop Mont Royal.

What’s with all these artists pre – dating 1995? Was water different in the old days or has political correctness taken all the creativity and passion out of life ?

Etheridge arrived in town on the heels of her new album; Memphis Rock and Soul. Its an album paying homage to Stax Records and all the great tunes which inspired generations of musicians and fans. Horn heavy with R&B and Country music as the ground wiring. In short – the elements which were the beginnings of Rock n Roll.

Etheridge is one of  ‘those’ artists. A woman who has climbed, conquered, descended and now sits revered at the music clubhouse. Take away the battle with breast cancer and the same adulation and love is thrown her way for her music and activism on behalf of the ‘small folks’ in this world.

She doesn’t have to give a damn on stage yet she does – more than ever. 

Melissa’s new (old) songs from the new disc were solid. ‘Memphis Train’, ‘Respect Yourself’ and ‘Rock You Baby’. Three tunes which enveloped the show in a torn up stained envelope. Countless cigarette burns, whiskey stains and sweat were duplicated admirably by Etheridge and her posse. After all – growing up listening to Soul, Country and Rock n Roll in Kansas will leave a definitive impression.

Melissa’s energy was alarming. Anyone under the age of fifty who huffs and puffs while eating Mae Wests at their desk should be ashamed.

Non – stop talking between songs, non – stop guitar playing, non-stop walking from side to side. Toss in some impressive harmonica work and a mini drum solo near show’s end – everyone in attendance needed a nap from watching . Just the power vocally in classics such as ‘Somebody Bring Me Some Water’, ‘I’m the Only One’, ‘Like the Way I Do’ and ‘Come to my Window’ enough to light up the Jacques Cartier Bridge’s pretty blue lights.

 In 2005 – Joss Stone and Melissa Ethgeridge paid tribute to Janis Joplin at the Grammy Awards. Fast forward to Place des Arts last evening and the pair did it once again. The first time the talented duo have performed together since that emotional evening twelve years ago.

“Cry Baby’ and ‘ Piece of my Heart’ were meant for these two ladies of song. Stone’s range picking up the tenderness and the toughness while Etheridge’s emotion and vocals as raw as the spirit behind Joplin’s original impact. Rarely does a moment take place at The Festival these days that leave people talking for a few weeks or months. Ella Fitzgerald did it near the end of her life as she battled diabetes and last night, the combination of Etheridge’s survival status and Stone’s tutelage to one day be the grand lady of Soul – a perfect marriage on the alter of The Montreal International Jazz Festival’s legacy.

A piece of everyone’s heart was left at Place des Arts.

 

Visit The Jazz Festival here !

 

Visit Tremblant

Blues Festival Here!

 

 

 

 

 

Tremblant Blues Festival – No ‘Ghost Town’ for This Blues Band

Out of nothing comes something !

Every band goes through it. Sweating and grooving to empty chairs and a barmaid who just wants to go home …

The learning curve and the classroom for many a band as they climb their way to The Montreal Jazz Festival and Tremblant Blues Festival.

Not only did The Ghost Town Blues Band accomplish the above – they also got a name from it !

Please listen below to my chat with Matt Ibsell as he talks about his band who are not spooky at all.

Don’t be afraid of no ghost !

 

 

Visit The Ghost Town Blues Band Here !

Visit Tremblant

Blues Festival Here!

 

 

 

 

 

Jazz Festival Review- The Triumphant Return of ‘The Hat-less People’. 

You can decipher the title if you want to but if your friends can’t decipher the title – they are no friends of mine …

Men without Hats energized Club Soda on July 2nd as part of Le Festival International de Jazz even though the beginning was short circuited.

As the familiar sounds and moves of the 1982 smash hit ‘Safety Dance‘ grabbed anyone within earshot of Blvd St Laurent by the tuque, the technological gremlins stopped the show around the letter ‘F’ or … maybe it was ‘E’?

Sometimes mistakes, human or not- can be a blessing in disguise. As if the great ‘promoter’ in the sky ventured down Sunday night ‘ a la friendly giant’ and rearranged the furniture. The stoppage created magic.

Acoustic guitar on stage with brother Colin – ‘Close to the Sun’ bonded performer and audience sooner than later. Given that some in attendance not born when the group were all the rage, an introduction of sorts was called for and delivered. Once-in-a-decade kinda stuff with both band and punter responding professionally to the unkind fickle hand of fate.

Electrifying is the opposite of powerless. If it wasn’t before  – it is now. That adjective precisely explains what Men without Hats did last night to the folks with or without head ware. Led by singer Ivan Doroschuk who , along with the likes of Jagger and Tyler; seems to have found the fountain of youth. The sixty year old front man writhed , danced and writhed some more as he prodded duplicate responses from a more than enthusiastic fan base and crowd.

Pulsating and pounding through the MWH catalog – the band only increasing the energy at Club Soda. Start to finish as the band served tunes such as ‘ I Got the Message ‘, ‘Antarctica’ and ‘ Head Above Water ‘ to the hungry tables, the MWH ‘Cafe Canadienne’ was ‘ in the juice ‘. Ivan – the head waiter , as much a contrast in color as a black and white television in a corporate – named stadium.

Political views ( for most of the tunes), in the forefront with a profound Punk attitude. Rebellious. Anti – establishment codes. Enigmas deciphered by true fans of a movement with a fist in the air. Enigmas defined by the song Safety Dance. Ivan himself- almost a caricature. A Cheshire Cat grinning in true cartoon form.

‘Living in China’ and ‘Pop Goes the World ‘ saved the show from becoming one long song. Perfect choices to break up the dangers of monotony. The ailments which have inflicted every original act since ‘that’ caveman hit ‘that’ rock with another rock. MWH have managed to sustain freshness in their lunchboxes even though it’s been in the trunk for thirty odd years.

Along with Safety Dance , the other bookend which held all the ‘ books ‘ together was ‘ Where the Boys Go’. 

That tune live , from the album Folk of the 80’s ( Part lll ) released in 1984, as powerful as any Clash or Ramones’ tune. Anthem – kinda ingredients. Dangerous rallying chords and calls to action. The men in attendance – thrashing their heads, hands and hearts violently in every direction. Lou Dawson ( keys, vocals), Rachel Ashmore  (keys, vocals ), Sho Murray ( guitar ) and Colin Doroschuk soaking it in and ejecting higher frequencies boomerang style. Club Soda was set afire. 

MWH are smart. 

Their biggest hit ( Safety Dance ) was played as the first song to presumably attract the crowd and to also force the crowd to pay attention to everything after. Their biggest hit was also played last to ‘end the story ‘.  For those who arrived late and came for that tune; bliss ! Planned or not – a brilliant move by the band. 

Following the inevitable outburst for a return to the stage, MWH returned the favor with ‘No Security ‘ and the pleasant ‘ On Tuesday ‘. The latter, a duet performed with Ivan’s niece Sahara Sloan. A delightful dessert to a fulfilling meal at ‘MWH’s Cafe Canadienne’. 

At the end of the shift, the head waiter Ivan, standing with satisfaction.  A hefty tip in hand, a smile on his face and not a hat on his head …

 

 

 

 

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