Indie Peter Indie Music Indie Launch

About ten days ago, I was at “The Hideout”. The band spent about 10 minutes warming up, then did a song. During the song, the drummer asked for an adjustment to his monitor, as sometimes happens during an opening number. The band finished and I applauded warmly. The lead singer said “Thanks. Warm up!” Oh well, you can’t be right all the time 😉.

A couple of nights ago, I was again at “The Hideout” again. On this occasion, I applauded at all the right times, as it was the “indie week” media launch party, and peer pressure is a powerful influence! Yes my friends, “indie week” is back. The 16th iteration of this ever growing festival hits a Toronto venue near you between November 6th and November 11th. Musicians from around the world will be competing for the opportunity to perform on an international stage.

For the media launch party, the featured performers spanned the musical spectrum from alt country to hip hop, with a healthy dose of indie rock, much to the joy of the packed house.

The show was opened by “Twin Flames”, fresh from winning Best Folk Album and Best Duo at the Native American Music Awards. They played a very heart felt set, bringing indigenous issues such as the shame of missing women to everyone’s attention with their well written music. It was easy to see why they had been chosen for the launch party, as their performance was captivating. I was especially moved by their poignant song “Porchlight”.

“The Redhill Valleys” were up next, and a fine quartet they were. Their mix of country infused rock, (or was it rock infused country?) was a crowd pleaser, as one could tell by the ocean of heads nodding in time to the music. One of their recent singles is entitled “Take A Lot Of Pain”. Yet another in a seemingly endless line of great GTA bands, and worth watching out for.

“Benjamin M. Doerkson” followed with a very nice set. He has been making a name for himself through appearances in the Toronto area, including shows at “The Painted Lady” as well as fundraising for Camp Oochigeas, a very worthy cause indeed. There’s no secret as to why his popularity is growing, as Tuesday evening proved.

Next performer on stage was “Urvah Khan”, who is a self described “Pakistani Canadian punk rocker”. Making full use of the stage, she and her band The Scrap Army brought a potent mix of energy and enthusiasm to the evening, and many were the “devil horns” thrown during their set. Like so many of these fine people, she is also politically active.

“Leo Vance” is a hip hop artist. Leo Vance is also a good musician. Although he was alone on the stage, he more than held his own, and put on a very good show for the most appreciative audience. His musical commentaries on Life are well worth listening to.

“Phantom Atlantic” is a four piece band from Toronto. After releasing an EP in 2017, they are continuing to write and perform, and are preparing to record a follow up to their initial release. Although I had not heard of them before, I will be keeping an ear out for them in the future.

“The Crooked” has gone from strength to strength since forming just over a year ago. Fresh off a successful tour, with their second EP out to great reviews, they did their usual amazing job in front of a large group of their friends. While most of music they played during their set was from their new disc, they DID play “Glove”, but ignored my request for an encore, which was probably a good thing in the long run.

“Blackie Jackett Jr.” closed the show out with their own special brand of room filling energy. Unfortunately I couldn’t stay, but the place was packed with music fans who were eagerly awaiting the first note.

Note that all of these performers will be playing at “indie week” 2018, by the way, and they all have a presence on Facebook, so well worth looking into.. All in all, it was a very satisfying night, great music, great venue, great people. I ran into so many I know, too many to mention, which is pretty cool, I think.

While there will be great music at indie week, with over 300 bands playing at over 25 different venues, there were also be sessions and presentations on such obvious topics as song writing and touring, but also on such timely and relevant subjects as mental health and addictions.

I strongly recommend that you attend indie week, and that you prepare to be amazed. I will be mentioning some other relevant bands in my column in the weeks leading up to indie week.

Thanks to everyone I ran into on Tuesday night and to The Hideout. It was a great night, and I look forward to next month.

See you soon.


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