Cameron Carpenter: The ABC’s Of Rock’n’Roll – L is for Looking Back, Looking Forward

Camharry-bensonThe Harry Benson show/sale at the Liss Gallery is extraordinary. The world renowned photography has captured popular culture for just over fifty years and as I am 54 he has captured many of the figures that have had an impact on me. His series with The Beatles is fantastic, and is the focus of the show, but it was the other images that caught me by surprise. andy and biancaThere are great stage photos of The Who, The Rolling Stones and Barbra Streisand, as well as shots from the set of The Godfather. The biggest, and priciest photo in the collection is a shot of Andy Warhol and Bianca Jagger, it can be yours for $25,000.00. Jacquie O and JFK are represented as are O.J. Simpson, Dolly Parton, Roman Polanski and Jack Nicholson. It is a stunning collection.

cam-and-wendi-janeAfter the show Wendi-Jane and I headed over to the recently opened Kensington Lodge (21 Kensington Avenue). The owner of the intimate bar/restaurant is former Lava Hay member Michele Gould. It’s a lovely hidden gem, housed on the main floor of a 19th century home, and the back patio will be a great summer hiding spot next year. There is a limited menu of light fare and the dining area is separated from the intimate bar Kengsington lodgearea. Good selection of beers (with a couple on tap) as well as all of the rest of your liquor and wine needs. Thursday nights there is an open jam and the last Friday of every month will feature a euchre tournament. It opens at 6:00 PM Wednesday-Friday and at 1:00 PM on the weekend. As a heads up it is cash only at this point. You can check them out here.

Sunday night is was off to Hugh’s Room for the first of the two Midge Ure solo acoustic shows. I spent a good deal of time with Midge in the late eighties and it was great to get a chance to see him again in the musically friendly sounding Hugh’s Room. It was just Midge aloneMidge, his guitar and a slew of classic rock songs from his solo albums, Ultravox and Visage as well as an early Fleetwood Mac cover “Man Of The World” and “No Regrets” from The Walker Brothers. His guitar playing was exceptional (let’s not forget he was once in Thin Lizzy) and his voice still packs a wallop. Crowd faves included “Vienna”, “If I Was”, “Dancing With Tears In My Eyes”, “All Fall Down”, “Fade To Grey”, “Love’s Great Adventure” and a great crowd sing-a-long to the song he co-wrote “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” When you can strip down a synth-heavy song such as “Fade To Grey” and still make it as compelling with nothing other than an acoustic guitar you know that you have written a great tune. As good as the show was what I really enjoyed was our 20 minute catch-up chat in Midge’s dressing room prior to the performance. A lovely man. Hopefully we will see Ultravox again on these shores soon. The band is currently readying themselves for their Simple Minds tour next week.

The Brothers MaelIt was fun to see a stripped down Sparks on their “Two Hands One Mouth Encore” North American tour a few weeks back at Lee’s Palace. The place was packed as the brothers Mael played a cross section of material from their 20+ albums. Highlights for me were “BC”, “Big Boy”, “This Town Ain’t Big Enough For The Both Of Us” and their selection of songs from “The Seduction Of Ingmar Bergman”. Although the show was serious fun I would love to get a chance to see them again with a full band.

Looks like there is going to be a second country bar about to open in Toronto. December 4th will see the launch of the Rock’n’Horse Saloon at the old Tap House location on Adelaide Street West. I am looking forward to checking out the new space in a couple of weeks.

LeckieI am also looking forward to the return of Steve Leckie and The Viletones when the legendary punk band performs at The Phoenix on viletones posterDecember Friday December 13th (appropriate date). This is a special version of The Viletones and will feature Ian Blurton (C’mon) and Scott McCullough (Rusty) on guitar, John Sutton (Weakerthans) on bass and Damon Richardson (Danko Jones) on drums. There will also be DJ sets from Don Pyle (Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet) headstones posterand Wade MacNeil (Alexisonfire). Should be a killer show.

A few weeks later a couple of bands that I have worked with will be sharing the stage at The Music Hall as Gloryhound will be opening for The Headstones as they storm Ontario the week between Christmas and New Year’s. Two great rock’n’roll bands who will tear the roof off of the Danforth venue.

As we are looking forward and looking back here are ten songs from my iPod worth “looking” at.

“Looks, Looks, Looks” – Sparks

“Look After Me” – Hot Chip

“Looks That Kill” – Motley Crue

“Look Sharp” – Joe Jackson

“Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow)” – The Monkees

“Look Back In Anger” – David Bowie

“Look Wot You Dun” – Slade

“Lookin’ After #1” – The Boomtown Rats

“Looking For Someone” – Genesis

“Looking For Lewis & Clark” – The Long Ryders


Follow Cam on Twitter @CC59

Cam’s column appears every Thursday

The ABC’s Of Rock’n’Roll are proud to be presented by The Bovine Tiki Bar and Bovine. Time is running out to hit the patio so the sooner the better. If it is cold or rainy plant yourself at The Rock Lobster Food Co. in the former home of the late great Shanghai Cowgirl. 

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DBAWIS_ButtonCameron Carpenter has written for The New Music Magazine, Music Express, The Asylum, The Varsity, The Eye Opener,  The New Edition, Shades, Bomp!, Driven Magazine, FYI Music News, The Daily XY, New Canadian Music, NXNE Magazine and Don’t Believe A Word I Say.

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