Pat Blythe – Indie Week — Act II

…..and I’m not completely done yet….. It’s 5:19pm on Tuesday, November 21 and I’m just now starting tomorrow’s posting. It’s going to be a long night……and now we have network/modem problems……SIGH!!!!

I’m in London with my mom. A few things have sent me in this direction…..spending some time with mom, a concert and a GingerPennies delivery. The concert is Gowan with opening act The Spoons. Looking forward to this. I haven’t seen Gowan since his Rhinegold days back at The Gasworks and Piccadilly Tube. Fast forward 40 years and he’s been leading the vocals with Styx since May, 1999. Chris photographed Rhinegold at The Tube April 4, 1978 and again at the Nickelodeon the following year. (the latter is on slides and I can’t remember the specific date) I’m now hoping to shoot Gowan in two days….another “full circle” event. As for the GingerPennies, I created a new FB page and posted it last night and within 15 minutes I had three orders, one of which I am delivering tomorrow. For you ginger lovers these delectable little morsels can’t be found anywhere but my kitchen.

GingerPennies all ready to go…..

It’s now 5:19pm on Wednesday. Modem’s fixed….what a palaver!!! Plumber now in and mom wandering through the hallways of the house……nothing on the telly worth watching…..trying to keep out of everyone’s way. I’m typing like a mad woman and editing pics. So, without further ado…….

Now, to catch up on the rest of Indie Week and a few other tidbits. First though, I completely missed the Songwriters Circle at 120 Club on Friday night. Led by Chris Birkett, the audience listened to the back stories of each of the songs which were then performed by individual artists. Brian Sasaki, Jessica Speziale, Glen Hornblast and Karen Zila Hays along with Birkett all regaled the audience with “tales of the songwriter” and then proceeding to perform their work. It was interesting, engaging and fun and the music was a joy to listen to. Very unique and different approaches to writing and the songs themselves and I loved how they backed up each other both vocally and with their guitars. I’d like to see something like this again next year with more promo behind it.

Jessica Speziale

Glen Hornblast

Brian Sasaki

Chris Birkett

Karen Zila Hays

Alright, on to Saturday and Waves That Stray (Sean MacLean) at the Painted Lady (unfortunately I missed all but two songs and there was absolutely NO lighting for photos) I love the music MacLean writes….the dreaminess combined with the catchy beats. The issues he addresses are masked behind the tunes and when put together delivers a powerful message. I had the pleasure of meeting Sean’s dad. I think it’s wonderful and extremely important when family, especially parents, come out to support their offspring in the musical pursuits. I have posted the following video in a previous column. As well, it’s making noise again on FB and in Frank Gutch’s column last week. I think it’s worth the repeat.

Brick by Brick – Wave That Stray

Cynical Sickness – Waves That Stray (released September, 2017)

Then it was over to Cherry Cola’s for the semi-finals and then the U.K. showcase, where the ever lovely and welcoming Cherish Stevenson was overseeing the bar and her patrons. The  Royal North, Trampa, Suzi Kory, The Free Label, HMS Morris, Tokyo Taboo (I’ve got a couple of stories about these guys), The Empty Page, Single By Sunday and, once again, Blackdog Ballroom all took the stage that night. I did miss The Corks and The Grass Grows Back as I was on “Painted Lady duty”. So, well ensconced at my end of the bar at Cherry’s, camera stool behind the bar in position, it was ready, set….go…. Non-stop music until the wee wee hours of the morning.

ALL the music that wonderful Saturday night was good… great! It’s rare when you hit the nail on the head, band after band. The recipe….good solid rock and roll, fab harmonies, hard core fun, screaming guitar, theatrics, audience dancing and whistling….stir and the result is a perfectly done evening that easily sailed through to 4am and a McDonald’s run.

Trampa (finalist) — crazy, raw, wild, Brazilian rock — from the Indie Week site, “Trampa has been active since 2006 and its current formation is: André Noblat (vocals), Pedro Cardoso (bass), Arnoldo Ravizzini (drums), Rafael Maranhão and Rodrigo Vegetal (guitars). The band featured in many festivals such as South by Southwest (SXSW, USA), Indie Week (Canada), DoSol, CoMA, Porao do Rock, Grito Rock, Rolla Pedra and Tendencies Rock Festival, among others. They are currently touring “¡Viva la Evolución!”, their most recent work.”

Suzi Kory — hard ass rocker, Guns N’ Roses biggest influence, driven, screaming vocals, take no prisoners attitude, as she say on her website “balls of steel”…. Kory is currently writing her first EP with four tracks already completed.

The Free Label — slick, funky, put on your dancing shoes, harmonies, old school/new school, soulful. Band members are Josh Daniel/vox, Mathew Fantini/bass, Malik Mungo/guitar, Daniel-Leigh McLean/drums and Cole Mendez/keys. The audience didn’t want them to leave the stage!

HMS Morris — Hailing from Cardiff,Wales this Welsh band popped and rocked their set away. Lots of synth, hooky melodies, quirky, dreamy…..I love this description from Bandcamp, “pulsing and brooding…..cinematic electro pop….devilishly and deliciously unhinged…..a woman who rivals Kate Bush (agreed) for mascara-smeared caterwauling, then anchor this ship of cool to your heart.” Band members include Heledd Watkins/vox/guitar/synths, Sam Roberts/bass/synth/loops/vox and Wil Roberts/drum.

From The Neck Down – HMS Morris

Tokyo Taboo (finalists) — Snarling, swaggering, swirling and twirling, thrashing, visually brilliant, unabashedly unashamed (is that a double negative?), in your face 21st century punk rock mixed with 1980s Japanese-influenced glam. More caterwauling with punk rock vocals, definitely reminiscent of Lena Lovich and intense guitar riffs. Five-year couple Dolly Daggerz/vox and Mike/guitar are the core of Tokyo Taboo. One thing….tossed mic stands, crowds and expensive camera gear don’t mix. People get hurt and equipment gets damaged or busted.

Daggerz is a huge supporter of women in music. An interesting quote regarding the dirth of female performers in music, “It starts with the live scene. Many promoters won’t book female fronted acts because they aren’t ‘credible’ or ‘serious’ or ‘serious enough’. They like to book shoegazing male bands all dressed in black and who mostly sound the same. There are exceptions to this though.” …..responses?

Bubbilicous – Tokyo Taboo

The Empty Page — From Manchester, England….forceful, gritty, heavy rock, punk influenced, pounding percussion, hammering guitar, uncomplicated songs. I love to see a woman on bass. Named after a Sonic Youth song, The Empty Page is Kelii/vox, Giz/guitar and Jim Hotep/drums.

Deeply Unlovable – The Empty Page

Wardrobe Malfunction – The Empty Page

Turbulence – Empty Page

Single By Sunday — Glaswegians all (from East Kilbride, Glasgow, Scotland) this young quartet produces some damn fine danceable, hip shaking pop/rock. Great harmonies, visually Duran Duranesque, loads of fun. Band members are Josh Ladds/lead vox/guitar, Jonny Eakins/guitar/vox, Jack Black (yes, that’s his real name) vox/bass and George Wilson/drums/piano. From their website, according the lead singer Josh , We just want to write songs that we can jump around to, and hopefully, everyone else will want to jump around to as well.”

Get Up Get Out – Single By Sunday

Say What (You Want) – Single By Sunday

Just thought I’d throw this in….Toronto’s own B Girls. They hit the proverbial punk nail right on its punking head!

Lucasta Ross of The ‘B’ Girls @ the Freddy Pompeii fundraiser, February 2017

B’ Side – The ‘B’ Girls

Gotta go….


All photographs copyright A Girl With A Camera “The Picture Taker” unless otherwise noted


Pat’s column appears every Wednesday.

Contact us at:

dbawis-button7“Music and photography….my heart, my passions.” After an extended absence —  33 years as a consultant and design specialist in the telecommunications industry — Pat has turned her focus back to the music scene. Immersing herself in the local club circuit, attending the many diverse music festivals, listening to some great music, photographing and writing once again, she is eager to spread the word about this great Music City of ours…..Toronto. Together for 34 years, Pat little-red-headed-dancing-girlalso worked alongside her late husband Christopher Blythe, The PictureTaker©, who, beginning in the early 70s, photographed much of the local talent (think Goddo, Frank Soda and the Imps, BB Gabor, the first Police Picnic, Buzzsaw, Hellfield, Shooter, The Segarini Band….) as well as national and international acts. Pat is currently making her way through 40 years of Chris’s archives, 20 of which are a photographic history of the local GTA music scene beginning in 1974. It continues to be a work in progress. Oh…..and she LOVES to dance! 

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