Peter, The Shoe, and Moosic for YOU

This week’s column will cover a bumper crop of “music from the ‘shoe”, as I attended two shows there over the course of the  last week.

On November 21st, I went to the Horseshoe Tavern at the invitation of Jennifer Hall to catch an evening featuring Marlon Chaplin, Rebelle and The Commoners. I have had the pleasure of seeing The Commoners several times, and I had heard good things about Marlon Chaplin, so I leapt at the chance to attend this show. I knew that I would not be disappointed.

Following my own procedure, I got there early and found a comfortable seat. I got the opportunity to speak with both Jennifer and Marlon prior to the show. They both thanked me for my support of indie music. (The darkness hid my blush as I replied😉!)

The Commoners led off the evening with a an excellent set. Their stage presence was great, and their music was tight and rocky. (But enough writing like a judge 😉!) They are writing and recording new music all the time, and they just released a new video. As is the case with pretty much every band I mention that I mention in my column, a look at their band page would be time well spent. One interesting note, the band thanked Marlon for having them on the bill, and the speaker said that they had forgotten their merch, but he encouraged everyone in the audience to buy Marlon’s. So very typical of the spirit of cooperation in the local music scene. Note that The Commoners are playing at Cherry Cola’s on Friday, November 30, at the Jim Dan Dee CD release. Fat Mob will also be on the bill, so be there if you can!

Rebelle, from “la belle province”, played next. Again, a loud proud set which pleased the crowd. This quartet really rocked the place. They are going to be playing in Peterborough on December 15th, by the way. After their set, I spoke to David at the merch table. I mentioned that I had “shared” their show on Facebook, as is my habit. He thanked me and gave me a copy of their new EP, which I listened to while writing this column. Another band worth watching out for, my loyal reader!

Marlon Chaplin finished off the evening and he was everything that I had heard about. The set was energetic and the front of the stage was full of his fans. They called for an encore, and the band did a cover of “Down By The River”, much to the delight of the audience, who lustily sang along. It was, quite frankly, an amazing moment, proof of the ability of music to build bridges, to unite people.

All in all, it was a great evening, and I want to publicly thank Jennifer Hall again for the guestlist courtesy.

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Through Vincent Cammilleri, a promoter from Hamilton, I became acquainted with a band named “Weigh The Anchor“. When I read that they were playing at “The Horseshoe” on November 25th, I contacted them to see if I could be on the guestlist. (The perils of a fixed income 🙁! ) I wound up contacting CONVERSATION, the band who were headlining (as well as hosting), the show, and after establishing my bona fides as a journalist, I was on the list.

The doors were at 7:00 P.M., with the first band onstage at 7:30. I got there about 7:15 (thanks, TTC!), and settled in. I got the chance to speak to Timothy, the frontman before the show. He congratulated me on my writing and asked if there was anything I needed. I said “No”. He then excused himself, as he was running the show.

[A little background here, CONVERSATION had started this tour in Halifax earlier in November with Kids Losing Sleep, and moved westward. The tour lineup had changed somewhat over the course of time, and Ya No Casino and Weigh The Anchor had been recent additions.]

Ya No Casino hit the stage at 7:37 and played a very energetic set, which was a little rough around the edges. Apparently, however, they are a fairly new band. Again, they are working on new material and I have the feeling that the best is yet to come for this band.

Weigh The Anchor performed next. This was the only band who’s body of work I was familiar with, but I didn’t want to come and just see their set, for two reasons. First, as I had been put on the guestlist, simple courtesy dictated that I attend the whole show. Secondly, there’s lots of great music out there and the only way to find it is to go out and look for it. WTA were great, and their song ” This Time Next Year” is even cooler live, if that’s even possible.

I had not heard of most of the bands I have mentioned in this column before seeing (and sharing)notices about these shows. Kids Losing Sleep (Pictured above) was one of these which had slipped under my radar. They had recently won Best New Band in the “Coast’s Best of 2018” competition and it was easy to see why. Their tasty rock made a great evening even better.

“Batting cleanup” was CONVERSATION. This was the last show of their tour, and they were in top form, playing in their hometown. Let me just say that they looked like they belonged on the stage, and the rest of the audience apparently agreed with me. Truly it was a marvellous night for “Mrs Montreuil’s little boy”.

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I encourage everyone reading this to visit the pages of the bands I have mentioned in this column, and like and follow them. As I always say, we are blessed with an amazing and readily accessible indie music scene in Toronto. You can go to a venue and pay the cover and buy a beer and a cd for less than it would cost you to park your car and buy a beer at a big box venue. Don’t forget that there are many PWYC or even “no cover” events as well.

Again, thanks to Jennifer Hall and Timothy John Bolton for the guestlist magic, and thanks to David and Timothy for the cds.

A further note, with Christmas approaching, there are rock shows coming up that benefit food banks or toy drives. Get out there, discover some great music and make a bit of a difference in someone else’s life.

“Gee Peter, there’s no good contemporary music!” Sure there is, but don’t take my word for it. Watch the official video for “Weathered Eyes”, some great music from Mushy Callahan.

Originally from Alberta, Mushy Callahan is a band of 4 brothers, part of a musical family. Great guys, and fun to hang around with too.

See you soon.

=PJM=

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