Roxanne Tellier: Indie Week 2014

Roxanne DBAWIS

After five days of independent music and film showcases, along with three days of industry seminars, Indie Week wrapped last night. The event just keeps getting better every year. The bands and fans have a wonderful time, careening from venue to venue, sampling new and new to them music, while rubbing shoulders with like-minded people eager to see and be seen.

indie week 2014

Toronto loves a festival, which is a good thing as there is always another one on its way. Nuit Blanche was two weeks ago, Toronto After Dark Film Festival runs from October 16 to October 24, and Fashion Week kicks off this week. These will be followed by the International Festival of Authors, and – best of all – the Toronto Chocolate Festival!

choc fountain

And that’s before we even hit November! There’s never a dull moment in this city.

Living out in the ‘burbs as I do, I have to pick my spots carefully, and ration my play times within the structures of our city’s transit foibles. The GO Train turns into a pumpkin after its last eastbound run at 12:13, leaving me to the mercies of the night buses. Since most of the winters end bandevents run until the wee hours, with a 4:00 a.m. last call, I either have to leave the festivities early, or snag a place to sleep for the night.

So I can only tiptoe through a few of the offerings. I try to make those moments count.

At the Launch Party at the Hideout, the opening act was a trio from Australia, Winter’s End. They were clearly excited and delighted to be in Toronto and playing the festival.

The excitement continued as UBI & FU, Dusty Tucker, The Hot Sprockets, and Mojo GoGo followed. The most anticipated group The New City Kings, blew the crowd away.

On Thursday, I was a judge at The Paddock. I was psyched to find that Ryan Price, whom I’d met last year when we both were judges one night at Cherry Cola’s, was paired with me again. Ryan is the multi-talented, multimedia whiz behind Stratasfear Productions.  Ryan was raving about Skye Sweetnam’s face-melting band Sumo Cyco that I’d missed the night before. He also showed me some new footage for a Paint video that was like a mini-movie, beautifully filmed.

Our bands du jour were The Black Fever, Josh Speers, Laura Cole, and Ends By You. Particularly loved Laura Cole’s set – part lazy bluesy jazz, part sleazy cabaret.

Laura Cole- Death Row Love

Time constraints and conflicts meant that I had to miss several friends’ sets … J.C. Sandoval with Savanah at the Bovine Sex Club,

j c sandoval savanah

Tyson Froese with Rebel Hero at the Supermarket.

tyson froese Rebel Hero

Mike Stanfield’s BlackDog Ballroom at Detour.

blackdog ballroom

I’d also hoped to get back in for the Friday night set  by Rehan Delal at the Round Venue … I can’t get enough of his smooth r&b sound … like a young Van Morrison with a soupcon of Bruno Mars.

No night out is complete without a visit to Cherry Cola’s, where Cherish Stevenson rules her roost with a smile that lights up the room, and you can generally find Bob Segarini sitting at his usual spot, schmoozing old and new friends alike.

Bob and Cherish Birthday 2011

Bob was judging bands at Cherry’s on Friday and Saturday, so I’m sure he’ll be tipping us to what great music he heard there.

Last night the Indie Week Finals were held at the Mod Club, where the winners from Free Times, Czehoski, Supermarket, Tota, Alberta, East Coast, Cherry Cola, Brooklyn, The Hideout, The Underground, and Country battled it out for the title. Mojo GoGo closed the show. The winner gets a trip to Indie Week Europe, which takes place in Manchester UK in Spring 2015.

The After Party at The Bovine Sex Club, started at midnight, and featured another chance to catch some of the fests outstanding acts, The New City Kings, Sumo Cyco, and The Hot Sprockets. It ain’t over til it’s over!

…and the Winner of the 2014 Indie Week celebration is….

Indie Week is a trip; get your fill of music of all genres, hang with the people that live to make and hear music, and party until your liver screams for mercy. Wouldn’t miss it for the world.

And speaking of indie … gotta get my gear on and get to a video shoot for Shawn O’Shea’s heymacs. This time, I get to be in front of the camera as well as working on the set! Look for the classic Ray Charles tune to be on youtube within the month. Meanwhile, here’s a heymacs cover from a couple of months ago.


Roxanne’s column appears here every Sunday 

Contact us at

DBAWIS ButtonRoxanne Tellier has been singing since she was 10 months old … no, really. Not like she’s telling anyone else how to live their lives, because she’s not judgmental, and most 10 month olds need a little more time to figure out how to hold a microphone. She has also been a vocalist with many acts, including Tangents, Lady, Performer, Mambo Jimi, and Delta Tango. In 2013 she co-hosted Bob Segarini’s podcast, The Bobcast, and, along with Bobert, will continue to seek out and destroy the people who cancelled ‘Bunheads’.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: