Pat Blythe: 2015 – A Year in Summation

 

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Personally it’s been, indubitably, a year of massive, incredible change….a complete turnaround….a 360….that’s two 180’s, and I’m still spinning. It’s been jam packed full of opportunities, challenges, reconnections, new connections, bags of music, loads of dancing, early mornings, late nights, no sleep, G&T’s, club hopping, previews and reviews, outdoor patios, fast food, fine dining, ear-splitting bands, (did I mention dancing), photo shoots, video shoots and writing. Okay, deep breath, plunging in, here we go….the year in review. Really!! ….and WELCOME BACK!

guitar happynewyear

Cherry Cola’s, Rivoli, The Hideout, Inter Steer, Hugh’s Room, The Local, Mod Club, Coalition, The Dakota Tavern, The Phoenix, Cameron House, Lee’s Palace, Danforth Music Hall, The Horseshoe, The Pilot, Orbit Room (and my favourite bartender Adrian), Silver Dollar, Tranzac, Fitzrays, Rock Lobster, Casa di Giorgio, Carl’s Junior, back to Casa di Giorgio, Rancho Relaxo, El Furniture Warehouse (yes this is a restaurant), Ginger Pennies (not a restaurant), backyard BBQs, Sneaky Dee’s, Sicilian Sidewalk Cafe for THE BEST cannoli anywhere, CMW, NXNE, Indie Week, Vancouver Island Musicfest, TURF, Dirty Loops, Xprime, Emily and Ogden, Rival Sons, Die Mannequin, Secret Broadcast, Maggie Bell, St. Paul and the Broken Bones, My Hollow, The Killing Floor, Blackdog Ballroom, The Damn Truth, Willow Smith, J.C. Sandoval, Matt Lightstone, Care Failure, Cherie Curie, Maria Muldaur, Julian Taylor, Ballroom Babies, David Celia, Julian Lennon, YEAH YEAH YEAH Band, ONES, Oh Canada What A Feeling!, Star Wars, Trumbo, Ant Man, The Avengers, Spectre, Minions, Jully Black, Sarah Smith, Pat Kelly, The Lazys, Jay Sparrow, Matt Groopie, Cherish Stevenson and Jay Macedo, Cherry’s bartenders Randi and Sean, Jennie Baker, Frank Zirone, Frank Russell, Frank Tiefenback, (side note: I now have 11 Franks in my life), Robin Seif, Amy Mech, Tilda and Marshall Mech, Marlene Schuler, Annette Shaffer, Susan Rosenberg, Jain McMillian, Greg Simpson, Lyle Murphy, Deb Aber, Godovitz, Martin Melhuish, (shit, all that could be a new RAP song), my sisters Chrissie and Carrie, my brand new great-nephew Cameron, Jonathan Barrie (MY IT guy), Elaine Sawyer, Tara Scott, the Merry Widows (I’ll explain that another time), Michael and Lisa Stanfield, Peter Kashur and, the most important person in the world to me….my mom….the DBAWIS team of writers Roxanne, Cameron, Jamie, Frank (there’s another one), Doug, Darrell and Gary who keep you entertained and informed, and of course our illustrious editor Bob Segarini, who keeps us all entertained. ….oh yes, second floor AND backyard renovations. Throw in the Toronto Council on Aging (new on the Board), Friendly to Seniors (volunteer), Gilda’s Club Greater Toronto (member and volunteer), and treasurer for the Beach Triangle Residents Association (BTRA) and my plate is crammed, but I’ll always go back for seconds. My life has never been so chock-full of fun, exciting, awesome, fabulous, beautiful people. It has indeed been an exhilarating ride and it’s only just beginning! My cup is never half full, it runneth over.

Out with the Sheep and in with the Monkey

77C2tSheep and monkey? Well, February 19, 2015 to February 7 is/was the Chinese Year of the Sheep. It appears those born under this sign are very creative and well-suited to the arts and entertainment field…actor, musician, editor, interior designer. Since these critters come ’round every 12 years, those of you in the biz start doing the math to see if you’re a sheep. On the down side, 2015 was a year of tumultuous change for many, increasing turmoil (people and weather wise) around the world, a year of gun violence coupled with the absolute and profound stupidity south of the 49th parallel. It’s a year none of us will soon forget….but it’s over, gone now, flushed down the toilet of life, buried in the ocean of “what was”. We’re working with a clean slate, a fresh start and, here in Canada, a young, hunky PM who’s busy putting this AH04ucountry of ours back on the map. So, welcome 2016 and the Year of the Monkey. So very apropos. According to the Astrology Club, This cheeky animal bursts with exuberance, bringing a lightning fast pace and fantastical motivation. The Monkey increases communication, humor and wit, helping us get through stressful times with grace and ease. Business flourishes and risks tend to pan out. The Monkey’s gift is the ability to find unconventional solutions to old problems. Daring to be different can lead to success.” I can hardly wait….2016 proposes to be more of the same busy-ness although hopefully slightly less frantic (or is that frenetic?). 2016….the year of planning and strategy (one can only hope) and ensuring Mr. Gutch makes it to Ontario.

Pluggin’ away

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Already on the books and in the calendar is Poor Angus at Hugh’s Room January 22; Xprime at the ‘Shoe January 22 (how to be in two places at once when you’re really nowhere at all); Robbie Burns celebrations in London January 23 (I am 50% Scottish); Blackdog Ballroom at Cherry Cola’s January 29; SING! Toronto fundraiser Feb. 16 at Lula Lounge with Kongero and Countermeasure; CMW (the Brits are coming!) May 4-14; SING! Toronto Vocal Arts Festival May 7-15 (notice ONES_thumbnail_Blackthe overlap with CMW….oh for a pair of wings or that damn matter transfer unit); NXNE June 15-19 and  TURF September 14-19 ( their permanent home now officially at Historic Fort York Common). Also note, after 35 years performing around the world, The Nylons will hold their final Toronto performance May 14 at the Jane Mallett Theatre. The 2016 ONES show tour opens at the Stephen Leacock Theatre in Keswick April 23. ONES is appearing at various theatre venues throughout the summer and into October. Check out the schedule at http://www.onesshow.com and get your Beatles groove on. …. and that folks, is just a nibble! A good friend once said, “you are your own internal adrenalin”

Holidays and a wee bit of scrapbooking

Dee Snider Christmas Tale

I was gifted with a ticket to attend the final performance of Dee Snider’s “Rock & Roll Christmas Tale” at the Winter Garden Theatre on December 20 (it closed a couple of weeks early). What a fun, rollicking performance by the cast, Snider and special guest Taylor Dane. Thank you Amy! A lovely way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

TSOO

A personal Christmas tradition for the past several years is attending the Trans Siberian Orchestra’s Christmas concert. Now in their 16th year and always a sellout, TSO brings together the worlds of storytelling, music and magic, along with breathtaking pyrotechnics and ace musicians, enthralling their audiences every time. Take your eyes off the stage for just a nanosecond and you’ll miss something. The entire show is built around a Christmas tale and narrated by a storyteller. Oh, and the hair tossing….it’s a TSO “thing”. I’m guessing, but I’m pretty sure one of the prerequisites is long hair and rock attitude. But the show…..love it!

If you want to get an idea of their spectacle here’s a 2013 performance. It’s the entire two-hour show so kick off your shoes and relax with a glass of whatever suits your fancy.

Trans Siberian Orchestra Live (2013)

Otherwise, listen to my one of my absolute favourite Christmas tunes. It fills me up and takes me away every time.

Christmas In Sarajevo – Trans Siberian Orchestra

It’s Christmas time in my hometown….

710e2e4d7fb55cb035e7727c7fd13b23Headed back home to London (Ontario) to celebrate the holidays with the family but not before spending a wonderful Christmas morning with my two sons in Toronto. Boxing Day I was back in Toronto to attend a small soiree with friends at the home of Michael and Lisa Stanfield. Drove back to London the following day where I rested my rump for the rest of the week. New Year’s Eve found me at Victoria Park for London’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve celebrations. Last year’s event attracted over 10,000 people. After a fab dinner at The Keg with mom, I meandered down to the park, heading straight to the bandshell. Opening act was the children’s troupe, Glee London. Cute. Unfortunately, the vocals were buried deep under the thumping music but the kids looked great and were obviously enjoying themselves on stage.

Proud parents were everywhere….

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Members of Glee London

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Selfie!!! Glee London, and London Mayor Matt Brown ( top far right)

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Glee London

Ivory Hours was up next, a band recommended by friend Peter Montreuil. Excellent choice and thanks for the tip Peter. The band has a huge following in London evidenced by the large, screaming crowd at the concert. Standing immediately behind me was the bass player’s grandmother. We had a lovely chat and I have to say, “Chris, your grandmother is soooooo very, very proud of you.”

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Chris Levesque

A pop band hailing from London, Ontario, Ivory Hours was initially started by the brother/sister team of Luke and Annie Roes in 2012. The current lineup includes guitarist and lead vocalist Luke Roes, bassist Chris Levesque and drummer Thomas Perquin. Events in 2015 have been unfolding rapid fire for these talented lads. They released their full-length, debut album “Morning Light” in June, 2015, went on to win 102.1 The Edge’s Next Big Thing contest and then proceeded to win the grand prize of Canada’s Walk of Fame Emerging Artist Mentorship Program.  They’ve also has just announced a 2016 tour. I’m hoping they’ll play CMW this year.

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Luke Roes

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Thomas Perquin

Watch out for this trio. Roes gets some sweet and unique sounds out of his guitar that are not at all “guitarish”. I was trying to figure out what instrument was being played until I realized it was Roes on his guitar. At the moment I find it difficult to describe the sounds. I plan on catching them as often as I can. All three members are skilled musicians and it’s evident they enjoy what they do. A cold night to perform, they pulled it off with aplomb although it can’t be easy in a parka. The only part I didn’t get was the dancing elephant playing the cowbell.

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Ivory Hours and the Dancing Elephant

Warpaint – Ivory Hours

Mary – Ivory Hours

I didn’t stay to see Sloan, I couldn’t feel my feet….

….and that brings me to end of 2015. Who knows what this new year will bring but I am both hopeful and encouraged by the closing of the year that was 2015. Personally, it ended on a propitious note which, in my eternally childish optimism, bodes well for the future.

EnthusiasmFor some reason this phrase comes to mind, “a friend is someone who will forgive you for who you think you are.” Thank you Doug.

 

Cheers!

Photographs of Ivory Hours and Glee London by Pat Blythe, Girl With A Camera “The Picture Taker”

Sources

Google, Wikipedia, YouTube, CBC, Astrology Club

=PB=

Pat’s column appears every Wednesday.

Contact us at: dbawis@rogers.com

dbawis-button7In “real” life Pat Blythe has spent the past 32 years as a consultant and design specialist in the telecommunications industry. After an extended absence Pat is now heading back to the GTA clubs, immersing herself in the local music scene, tasting what’s on offer, talking to people and writing once again — sharing her passions and her deep love of music. Together for 34 years, Pat also worked alongside her late husbandpblytheChristopher Blythe, The PictureTaker©, who shot much  of the local talent (think Goddo, Frank Soda and the Imps, Plateau, Buzzsaw, Hellfield….) as well as national and international acts,  Currently making her way through 40 years of Chris’s archives, Pat is currently compiling a photographic history of the local GTA music scene from 1975 to 1985. It continues to be a work in progress. Oh…..and she LOVES to dance!

2 Responses to “Pat Blythe: 2015 – A Year in Summation”

  1. the things you get up to! Thanks for our first great year as Betty and Veronica! 😉

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