Nadia Elkharadly: Parting is such sweet sorrow

Nadia LogoMy mantra for 2013 so far has been a good one.  In a nutshell, I resolved to be positive, open, and hardworking and as a result life will be full of opportunities; great ones.  I firmly believe that every one of us is in charge of our own destinies.  A friend once told me that “When you wake up, you decide if you’re going to be happy today”.  But some days just start shitty and stay that way, and no matter how hard you try you can’t see that silver lining.  So on days like that you just trudge along, not even thinking that something will come along and make it better.  That is, until you check your email and see that you’ve just been approved to cover The Darkness that very night.

Darkness_squareTwitterYesterday I discovered that the cure to a bad day is a dose of The Darkness.  This British foursome puts on one of the most entertaining and theatrical shows I’ve ever seen.  It’ll turn your frown right upside down.  The Darkness is one of those bands that you love, but somehow forget you love them until you see their name in print, or you happen to be at Cherry Cola’s watching Xprime do their amazing cover of “I believe in a thing called love”.  Yes, that happened to me.  But reminded I was, and as a result I got to enjoy an amazing live show, and was probably the best show I’ve seen all year.

My musical reunion with The Darkness came after a weekend where quite the opposite event occurred.  This past weekend, one of my favourite indie IMG_2718bands, and Dakota Tavern discovery Catl bade farewell to the stage and scene.  While lead singer Jamie Fleming has clearly stated that Catl would be back to make more music, it would not be in its current form.  That night at the Horseshoe, we were saying goodbye to the version of Catl that included the sassy Sarah Kirkpatrick and drummer Andrew Moszynski.  A great band calling it quits, in one way or another, is always something to be mourned in my books.  Sure, you may be able to buy that band’s recorded music, on cd, vinyl or on mp3 to take with you anywhere.  Their music isn’t something that will ever disappear, but there’s still a loss that occurs.

For someone like me who goes to see live shows literally on a multiple times a week basis, the possibility of the next great show is always around the corner.  The possibility of future shows being great ones is always improved by my prior knowledge of the band.  I’m the kind of person that loves watching the same movies over and over again.  If I loved the movie the first time, I’ll pop it in every once in a while and I’ll discover another nuance or aspect to the film that I didn’t catch the first time around.  Seeing a great band live more than once is the cooler, sensory overload version of watching a favourite movie over and over again – but with a band, a REALLY great band, you’ll always come away having experienced something new and amazing.  When a band breaks up, or decides to stop performing or producing music, that possibility disappears.  But when it’s a REALLY great band, that last goodbye is always memorable, and Catl was no exception.  The band not only put on a killer performance, they were so happy and passionate about it!  Sarah was positively glowing, dancing with reckless abandon and singing her heart out.  From every memory I’ve had of seeing Catl, Jamie always sat in a chair, playing like a blues guitars from decades past, but on Saturday the entire stage could barely contain him, let alone a measly chair.  And Andrew was a Wildman behind the drums – and clearly having a kick ass time doing it.  If there has to be a time for goodbye, it should be a celebration, not a lamentation, and our last night with Catl definitely was.  Check out my review for more Catl ravings and photos.

thesurethingsThis past weekend wasn’t the first time I’ve had to watch an a wonderful local bandsay their goodbyes.  The Sure Things were another great indie band that left the scene back in 2012.  The band’s residency at the Dakota Tavern coinciding my own (my residency being of the beer drinking and roasted nut consuming variety, rather than the musical one), so I’d been lucky enough to see them perform a few times.  In fact, an earlier incarnation of the Sure Things actually became one of my earliest reviews when I started writing for the ExaminerSometimes there was just no better way to spend a night than heading to the Dakota and listening to the country music stylings of this group of very talented musicians.  Their harmonies were impeccable, they swapped instruments like dance partners, and could produce the most mind-blowing and entertaining southern sounding covers.  A Johnny Cash lover for life, the Sure Things drew me in with their versions of “Cocaine Blues” and “Folsom Prison Blues”.  I became in awe of the diminutive but powerful Dani Nash when I heard her bust out her best Nancy Sinatra while singing “Boots”.  And I’ll never forget their quick beated cover of The Strokes “Last Night” – a song I could never have imagined could suit a country twang, until the Sure Things showed me how very well it could.  While the Dakota has hosted, and will continue to host awesome band after awesome band, I will still always wish I could sing along to another mid-week set by the sorely missed Sure Things.

nad-cmonWhile they weren’t performing on a nearly weekly basis in Toronto like the Sure Things, I saw enough C’mon (Photo by Nadia) performances to really drive the sadness home when I found out they were to be no more.  The first time I’d seen C’mon, it was North by Northeast in 2011.  I’d headed out to the Horseshoe with plenty of time to catch hardcore supergroup OFF! play their set, and C’mon was setting up just as I had arrived.  I can only describe the subsequent performance as folllows: Kick. ASS.  And how could it not, with Sir Ian Blurton at the helm.  Catchy, addictive songs, rockin guitars, killer bass (Katie Lynn Campbell is one of my bass heroines) and thumping drums – I was hooked from the first chord.  Sadly, that same year C’mon came to an end.  They had not one but two killer farewell performances, and I attended the one at Cherry Cola.  I’ve never seen better band chemistry than with C’mon – their performance was so intense.  The stage couldn’t contain them, Blurton and Campbell spilled onto Bathurst street, shocking and astounding passer bys, and they climbed into the dancer’s platform and onto the bar when back inside.  Who needs to stay on a stage when you rock so hard?  Not C’mon.  It was one of the best shows I’d ever seen; I’ll never forget it, and I’ll never get to see anything like it again.  Luckily enough, the talented Blurton is always hard at work on a project of musical nature, to amazing results, and also indulging C’mon fans need for more tunes.  One Saturday night stop at the Bovine (where you can here the DJ stylings of Ian Blurton in the backroom) and the former front man sent me home with Beyond the Pale Horse and In the Heat of the Moment on vinyl.  Now I can put the records on, sit back and reminisce about the unparalleled musical phenomenon that is a C’mon show.  (BTW I am still looking for Bottled Lightning if anyone knows where I can get a copy!)

Parting is indeed such sweet sorrow, especially when it comes to music.  Though I may have my memories (and my recently acquired C’mon and Catl vinyl) to keep me warm at night, it’ll never be the same as seeing them live one more time.  However, I’m always on the lookout for my next favourite band.  There’s always more music to (re)discover, and there will always be a next great band on my horizon.

Until next time,




Nadia’s column appears every Tuesday

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DBAWIS ButtonNadia Elkharadly is a Toronto based writer with a serious addiction to music. Corporate drone by day, renegade rocker by night, writing is her creative outlet.  Nadia writes for the Examiner (.com) on live music in Toronto and Indie Music in Canada.  She has never been in a band but plays an awesome air guitar and also the tambourine.  Check in every Tuesday for musings about music, love, life and whatever else that comes to mind.

One Response to “Nadia Elkharadly: Parting is such sweet sorrow”

  1. […] was cured by a dose of The Darkness Monday night.  I already raved about how amazing that show was last week    but upon going through all my photos and writing my review after that column went up, I was […]

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