Pat Blythe – Sisters, More Indie Week, a Finale……and Music!

Question: How many sisters does it take to screw in a light bulb?

Answer: Apparently two…..and that took over an hour!

Allow me to elaborate. I have a faux fireplace that, when switched on, displays (you guessed it) a faux fire, tricking my brain into thinking it’s warm and toasty on the main floor when in fact it can be, on some days, a tad on the coolish side. So, after a rather late night clubbing followed by a slow rising morning, my sister Chrissie (who is visiting for a couple of days) and I lounge around upstairs until we decide it’s coffee time. Off we trundle into a rather chilly downstairs. Chrissie decides to “light the fire”. She flicks the switch to ‘on’. Nothing. Tries the other switch, then the dial. Nothing. So after much switching back and forth and checking the plug, we determine a light bulb replacement is necessary. How difficult can that be? We were about to find out!

The flame has died…..

Any attempt to lift or force the faux charcoal/wood out doesn’t work. There’s no obvious “press here” or any indication how to get to said light bulb. Now my little fireplace is about 10-12 years old…..probably a tad out of date and any instructions have long since been tossed. So Google it is! Chrissie searches for a model or serial number. Found it! We discover the entire back must come off. REALLY!!!! Out comes the battery-powered screwdriver. We unplug the unit and after chasing half the screws across the kitchen floor we find the bulb is behind what looks like a giant silver bottle brush with rather sharp, rigid edges, and there is no way in hell it’s coming out! There is absolutely no simple access to get to the light bulb. We don’t give up easily and always love a challenge but Chrissie is still healing from a severely broken wrist (one plate and several screws later). We have to somehow curve our hands in weird angles around the “bottle brush”, grip the bulb with two fingers, unscrew it and lift it out WITHOUT dropping it into the bottom of the cabinet. Can they make it any more difficult?! Let the games begin…..

I put the coffee on.

The “bottle brush” reflectors. Notice the bulb hidden behind and below.

The tools….

Just over an hour, many hand contortions (hello Cirque du Soleil) and several cups of coffee later we have managed to replace the bulb. Acronyms don’t do this one justice….OH MY GOD!!!!! This bulb better last 10-12 years too!

José Feliciano – Light My Fire

Success!!!!

So the following morning my sister decides to vacuum up a few crumbs. I come downstairs to find her in my back sink, the entire vacuum taken apart. Apparently, after opening the wrong end to empty a “fullish” canister (I’ll let your imagination take over that one) she decides all parts require cleaning. Today (Tuesday) it just took me almost an hour to put it back together and I’ve still got three “spare” screws that refuse to screw in where they’re supposed to….I think. My sister…..Mrs. Helpful…… I love her but I think I’ll hide all my appliances before she comes down again!

ONES….on the road again and the finale….

My favourite traveling troupe. The ONES show was headed to Brockville and Ottawa and we have our own bus!!! A BIG bus!! Enough room for all the guitars (I lost count) and a few people. A rainy drive we were a tad late arriving in Brockville and far too late for me to suddenly remember my “stage” clothes I had hung by the front door. Shit!!! I couldn’t believe it! Forced to go shopping Cindy Lalonde (who resides in Brockville), Diana Zirone and Beth Wiggins all accompanied me. Cindy, who manages the local Winners was our escort. I don’t think I’ve shopped with three other women in like……ever. We (or should I say they) managed to find a few pieces and within the hour we were on our way to coffee and some delectable baked goods. I bought the last two slices of pumpkin cheesecake to share. Yummmm…… Thank you so much Cindy!

l-r – Bruce Nasmith, Paul DeLong, Frank Zirone, David Love, Greg Wyard, Marty Morin

This was ONES second appearance in Brockville and the reception was just as fantastic. For many in the audience this was a repeat performance and by the end of the night the aisles were full of happy feet. Then it was on to Ottawa. A sold out performance with a wait list. One thousand cheeks in seats or, as we say in telecom, butts in chairs. It was an incredible night and I managed to get in a few dance steps with some audience members in front row. Thank you Ottawa for welcoming us with such happy faces and dancing feet. Riding home the following day in beautiful sunny weather I’m surrounded by the snoring of tired vocal chords ….and not in harmony either! Ah…..the rock star life…..where’s those earplugs?? https://www.onesshow.com/

“The DeLong Stance” – l-r Jain McMillan, Peter Genrick, Marty Morin, Jeffery Wiggins, Frank Zirone, David Love, Bruce Nasmith (Paul DeLong had to fly out very early Sunday morning so the group decided to “include” their drummer in spirit)

While in Ottawa I connected with an old high school friend whom I hadn’t seen in about 20-25 years. Although we’ve kept in touch, it was wonderful to see him in person and catch up on our lives. Two hours wasn’t enough. Steve worked in government for years (now retired) and is also a professional race car driver (not retired). The man always felt the need…..the need for speed.

The final ONES show of the year took place November 17 in Milton. This particular performance also saw an old friend in attendance….one I hadn’t seen or spoken to in 15 years. We reconnected about three weeks ago and haven’t stopped talking since. Tracy is corporate by day, rock singer by night….why am I not surprised! We have a lot of stories to share and several acres of ground to cover in the days and weeks to come. I’m looking forward to it.

Indie Week continued……

Revival Indie Week launch bathed in a warm red glow

Indie Week saw me scooting around town trying to take in as much as possible. Cherry Cola’s, The Hideout, Paddock, Mod Club, The Joint, Revival, The Cameron House….where’s that cloning machine? So….Tuesday was the official launch shindig at Revival. Both upstairs and downstairs were hopping. The vibes were incredible and everyone was in the mood to celebrate. Great music just kept coming.  The Wolfe, another all female band, Double Experience (who also performed at the Mod Club closing night), ETNO, Bubaseta, Jordan Allen, The Crooked, Twin Flames, The Red Hill Valleys…..the list goes on.

A pictorial walk through Revival launch…..

ETNO guitarist Vitor Fonseca

Ghost drummer Tiago Palma from ETNO

Glasgow pop band Single By Sunday with our very own Cameron Carpenter

The Wolfe vocalist/bassist Siobhan Bayda 

Chilean band Adelaida – l-r – Jurel Sónic, Naty Lane

Double Experience – l-r – Ian Nicols (vox/bass), Brock Tinsley (guitar) with Zack Brey on drums

Huddle time in front of JD. I can just imagine the conversation…..

The guy who’s really in charge at Revival!

Izzie Walsh

Bubaseta

November 7….

This is the first time The Joint, part of Hogtown Smoke, has participated in Indie Week. The Reed Effect, brothers Chris (bass) and Kirk Reed (guitar/vocals) and drummer Bryan Fontez (Last Bullet) brought their version of grunge rock to this tiny club and easily filled the room with their sound. This Toronto power trio play hard, fast and no….they’re not loose…..influenced by Soundgarden, Led Zepplin, Stone Temple Pilots….you get my drift. The first time I saw Kirk on guitar he was “blues-ing” it with Harpdog Brown, Sugarman, Sam Taylor and a host of other performers as part of a blues jam at the Gladstone Hotel (or was it The Drake….I get them mixed up). The next time I saw Kirk he’s producing almost inhuman sounds from his guitar with The Reed Effect. Third time…..he’s doing an acoustic set at the local open mic (sponsored by Music City North) and the fourth time he’s performing with his blues band The Muddy York Blues Machine at the Paddock. The multi-talented performer with the great voice is everywhere and appears to cover many genres. I love the description of The Reed Effect on their website …. “If Nirvana and The Doors had a love child, who was then raised in the desert taking hits of acid with Frank Zappa you’d likely end up with a band that sounds as oddly unique as The Reed Effect.” Perfect! To find out more go here https://thereedeffect.com/

One last note: Drummer Bryan Fontez is the former lead singer of The Last Bullet who disbanded earlier this year. Their final performance was at the Horseshoe Tavern with Hot Lips and Crown Lands and I was excited to photograph it. An intense night of pure rock and a truly crazed audience. One of my shots of The Last Bullet lives on in every club in Toronto on the See Rock Live screens.

No Way Out Of Here – The Reed Effect

Time to head over to The Cameron House to see Suzi Kory who has been spending a great deal of time recording and shooting her new video in Malibu. From hard rock to country, Kory has segued easily from one to the other, finding her voice and her niche with the latter. I first saw Kory perform at Cherry Cola’s about a year or so ago and have been following her ever since. She’s got the chops and the ‘tude to rock and the sweetness to record A Secret Garden, her new single. Kory is working extremely hard pursuing her dream with passion and excitement. Always smiling, her enthusiasm is infectious. Guitarist/vocalist Kirk Reed, whom I had just seen at The Joint, was also Kori’s guitarist for the Cameron House performance. It was a great show and the two together also produced some great harmonies. Kory was asked to sing at the last minute and the band, Matthew Humphreys on drums and Chris Riley on bass, was put together literally overnight performing together for first time on that stage. They all seemed so in synch and at ease with each other I was surprised. Check out Suzi at https://www.facebook.com/suzi.khoury.1

Suzi Kory

Kirk Reed and Suzi Kory

l-r – Matthew Humphreys, Kirk Reed, Suzi Kory, Chris Riley

The Secret Garden – Suzi Kory

I was also introduced to a performer I hadn’t had the pleasure of hearing before, singer/songwriter Kelsi Mayne. It was the Country Showcase that evening and as a rock ‘n’ roll baby, I must admit I don’t listen to much country music. The Red Hill Valleys, Suzi Kory, Tim Hicks, Elyse Saunders and now Kelsi Mayne are changing that. Windsor, Ontario native and now resident of Toronto, Mayne has been turning heads and ears for the past ten years, performing at Boots and Hearts and London’s Budweiser Gardens. A performer with boundless energy, Mayne doesn’t hesitate to do a little two-step with the audience. A woman constantly in motion and one of many talents, Mayne also has her nursing degree and, as an extension of her singing, acts and models. No slouch in the dance department, she’s even competed in the Canada-US. highland dance circuit. Her voice has a pleasant, melodic, country twang that can belt it out with the best of them. To find out more about Mayne check out her website at  https://www.kelsimayne.com/bio

Kelsi Mayne

Still Not Over You – Kelsi Mayne

It’s November 8 so it must be judging night…..

Errand day. Got my snows on the vehicle and rolled the summer tires around back of the house and sadly tucked them away for another season. Headed downtown for lunch with my “IT guy” Jonathan. We met up at the Wheatsheaf, a place I hadn’t been to in oh so many years. Wended my way home on the TTC (why oh why do I do that to myself), ran more errands and then it was time to lock the front door once again and aim my vehicle for the Paddock. I was one of three judges that night, listening to T. Thomason, Towers and Trees and The Vidos. Towers and Trees I would see again at the Mod Club and yes, they are the band I chose as the top band for the night at the Paddock.

I had been hoping to make it down the street to Cherry Cola’s and catch Drop Top Alibi but didn’t quite make it on time. I did, however, manage to catch NIGHTS. Then it was over to The Hideout to see The Crooked, Dot Legacy (who hail from France and won Best International Emerging Artist) and The Divided Line. My head didn’t hit the pillow until 3:30am.

J.C. Sandoval of The Crooked

The Crooked – l-r – Neelesh Vasistha, Dell Orso (on drums), J.C. Sandoval, Russ Shipman

Dot Legacy’s insane drummer Arthur Ménard

Dot Legacy – l-r – Damien Quintard, Arthur Ménard,  Damien Quintard,  Arnaud Merckling

The Divided Line – l-r – Blair Ryan Barton, Luke Scott, Cave, Reza Shaffaf

As everyone knows I’m in love with my drums. I would never call myself a drummer but….I’m working on it….privately. I love my Gretsch babies. Thanks to Frank Russell (Downchild/Moxy/Buzzsaw) who sold them to me, Phil Taylor (James Blonde) who set them up and gave them their initial tuning, Kid Carson (Reuben Cherry) and Phil Taylor for providing my sets of cymbals and Paul DeLong (bands to numerous to mention) who gave them their most recent tune-up (yes, I know how to tune them)…..they are in good hands. So, when I’m out shooting I am always watching the drummers and the interaction between the bassist and the drummer. The backbone of every band, these are my two favourite instruments. There were some crazy ass drummers and bassists out there during Indie Week. All of them, as the saying goes, “tighter than a bull’s asshole in fly season.” Watch them closely. I have never seen so many drumming styles in such a short period of time…..ever. I thought for sure some of them would just lift off the stage there was so much energy. When I can feel them, together, work their way up from my feet to my lower gut and slam me in solar plexus, it’s  a deeply visceral, sexual feeling. I’m not the only one who feels that. Most people aren’t aware what causes them to move the way they do on a dance floor. Just watch the women. Yep…..drums and bass folks.

Friday night I stayed in. I must admit, I was a bit knackered. The batteries were running a tad low on only four hours of sleep. Even the Energizer Bunny needs to recharge!

It’s Saturday!!!!

I parked my ass at Cherry Cola’s for the evening to spend some time with close friend Cherish, the owner of Cherry’s. We had a lot of catching up to do. Situating myself at the far end of the bar, gear safely stowed, my one drink of the night in hand, Cherish set up my “shooting” stool behind the bar. It’s what I use to stand and photograph the stage since getting to the front can sometimes be impossible and frequently the audience is this close (thumb and index finger together) to actually being ON the stage. I like the angle and the ability to zoom in on the stage or use the wide angle to capture the audience action along with the performers. If I can’t see the drummer, or I’m looking for a particular shot, I move up front.

It was the Indie Week semi-finals, the night before the finale at the Mod Club, and bands all over town were competing, several of them at Cherry’s. Semi-finalists included Damien McFly, Jordan Allen, MOLO, No Big Deal and Black Absinthe. Later on the bill were King of Foxes, Wild Planes, Toyko Taboo (England), Single By Sunday (Scotland) and Dot Legacy (France). A very very full night!

More music……

Take Me Back – Izzie Walsh

Say That You Love Me – Single By Sunday

Dakota – Dot Legacy

 

Head Down/Heart Up – Towers and Trees

Mufazah – Bubaseta

Fantasma – Adelaida

Just came across this one…..wow!

Disturbed – The Sounds of Silence

Gimme Time – The Last Bullet

It’s a world full of music and talented artists and those who love to listen. The bars and clubs in cities across this country give these performers a chance to share their lives through their music. Door charges for most clubs haven’t increased since 1980….still a standard $10-$15…..less than the price of a movie and popcorn. Add on the music festivals that take place throughout the summer and the choices are almost overwhelming. Find a band or two you love, show your appreciation and get out and support them. Music is truly “soul food”.

Cheers!

All photographs ©2018 A Girl With A Camera “The Picture Taker”

=PB=

Pat’s column appears every Wednesday.

Please scroll down and leave a comment. Thank you.

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! 

2 Responses to “Pat Blythe – Sisters, More Indie Week, a Finale……and Music!”

  1. Rhoda fraser Says:

    Your Sister persuades me tot buy gadgets every time she visits 😊

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