Pat Blythe – VOTEing…..Indie Week…..ONE WORD on ONES…..with music

I know we’ve all had more than enough of politics and politicians in the last three months. Today (I started to write this on Monday) is voting day. Today we have the privilege, the democratic right, to select who we want to represent us here in Canada and on the world stage. Voting is the only tool we have that has any kind of impact. Who we choose to guide this country for the next four years is decided today. I voted. One out of two of my sons voted. At this writing, my mom is waiting to vote. My sister will take her. But there are more who don’t vote than do. Telling….in oh so many ways.

With all the rhetoric, finger-pointing, obfuscation, blame, name calling, avoidance (of answering pointed questions), lying, divisiveness, back peddling, it’s extremely challenging for the average voter to make a selection. Waaaay too much noise. Each candidate tries their damnedest to appeal to everyone. Didn’t your mom ever tell you,” You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can‘t please all of the people all of the time”. – John Lydgate.The incoming political party is always happy to reap the benefits of the incumbent and claim it as their own….quick to accuse the incumbent for any shortfalls as well.  …..and so it continues….

By the time this column posts our new Prime Minister will have been in office for 48 hours and for better or for worse, he is the captain of our ship for the next four years. Live with it. Work with it. If you want to make change, get involved. Get up off your collective asses and vote. If you don’t vote, protest. Move!!!! Get on it!!!  ….and if you do nothing….well…. don’t complain.

Oh ya…..then there’s this…..from the man who is “for the people”….some people maybe…..

Chris was the political animal in this house. I always had one ear cocked and watched the elections on TV but I didn’t get involved the way Chris did. Years ago he was the official photographer for the Conservatives, federally and provincially, remaining friends with then Ontario Premier Bill Davis long past his role as his photographer. Uncle Billy (as he was fondly referred to) turned 90 years young July 30 and is still involved in politics today. Chris was also the official photographer for the PMO when Brian Mulroney was in charge from 1984-1993.

When we purchased our home back in 1999, Chris became actively involved in local/municipal politics beginning with the public school our son Thom attended. Chris was on the Lakeshore Task Force, the Gardiner Task Force and was President of the Beach Triangle Residents Association (BTRA) for many years. He worked with City Hall and local politicians when the old Greenwood Racetrack was torn down and the housing construction began. That huge green space framed in by Lakeshore, Coxwell Ave., Eastern Ave., Queen St. E. and Northern Dancer (known as Woodbine Park)…..Chris was instrumental in ensuring it existed.

The pond, the playground, the protected wildlife area….he worked on the team to make sure it was all included and nothing was missed. He was involved in the Portlands, liaised with the TTC on behalf of the BRTA, was on the Community Police Liaison Committee (CPLC), and so much more. He loved every minute of it.

I read, I listen, I watch, I hear Chris’s voice inside my head. Then I vote. Took me all of 10 minutes from the moment I left my house to the moment I walked back through the front door. As my English cousin Rhoda would say, “easy peasy”.

Indie Week pre-launch…..

So the obvious question is, “Indie Week, are we going to have a post-launch bash?” Everybody loves a big party and the folks at Indie Week are no different. Held at the venerable Hideout Toronto, the club was overflowing with bodies. Performers, media, photographers, fans, sponsors, Indie Week personnel and your requisite gadabouts all enjoying the music, food and fun. Of course the Canada Rocks Media RV was prominently parked in front of the venue where owner Hartley Pickens was co-ordinating interviews. There were a number of familiar faces dashing about, had a lovely chat with the beautiful and talented singer Audra Santa and managed to squeeze in a few shots of the first few artists before I had to leave.

I love this guy’s t-shirt (he performed with Adrian Sutherland)

Spotlight on Rachel Romu. I thoroughly enjoyed her performance. I loved that she went from sweet, soulful almost folky voice to wild rocker. Her passion is palpable, her songs are dark, coming from deep within and you get the feeling it’s screaming to get out….trying tell the audience they need to understand something. There’s also a story behind Romu. Did anyone notice her cane. I know I didn’t until I looked at my photographs.

Rachel Romu

Singer, writer, model and activist, Romu was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome in 2016, a genetic connective tissue disorder. She was a track and field star and represented Canada in the Youth Olympics in Singapore in 2010. Now she goes nowhere without her cane. According to the interview with Jeyan Jeganathan below, Romu “pursued a career in modeling in the hopes she could to dispel misconceptions disability created by people like Kylie Jenner, an able-bodied model who was photographed in a wheelchair for the cover of Interview Magazine.” Unfortunately I am unable to find any videos or music by Romu. Here’s hoping.

The Agenda with Steve Paikin

Kudos to all the artists who performed including Adrian Sutherland, Rachel Romu, Kelly Fraser, Mountain Head, Ghost Caravan, Blow_flyy, Young Doctors in Love, Excuses Excuses and Fonfur.

Adrian Sutherland

Now in its 17th year, Indie Week has grown by leaps and bounds since its first celebration of independent artists back in 2002. Founder Daryl Hurs’ “hobby” has grown into an international event and now teams up with Indie Week U.K. in Manchester, England. Indie Week in Toronto includes a vast array of music from Spain, South America, Germany, United Kingdom, Sweden, Denmark, Pakistan, Israel, Iceland, Finland, Estonia, Italy, Canada and the U.S. Over 200 artists and bands will be performing 20+ venues across Toronto

Kelly Fraser

It’s not all about the music…..well….not totally. There IS a conference portion too. From the Indie Week website, Indie101 takes place in downtown Toronto, the center of the Canadian music industry and one of North America’s biggest music markets, artists not only get the chance to showcase in front of industry professionals but they are also invited to participate in the Indie 101 conference. The conference features industry panels, mentorships, B2B meetings, demo listening sessions, Tech Day, Health & Wellness, industry mixers with over 350+ Delegates. 

It’s your chance to learn from and ask questions to the best in the business!”

Learn a little, schmooze, make connections, say hi to Daryl and congratulate him on 17 years, have fun and celebrate independent musicians from all over the world. See ya there!

I had two places to be in a single evening. I can cover up to five venues in one night as long as they’re in downtown Toronto. Luckily the Hideout isn’t far from The Rex. Dashing over to see the premiere performance of Paul DeLong’s band ONE WORD, a brand new configuration that simply knocked it out of the park. All five performers fit together seamlessly, with only three rehearsals under their belt. The room felt alive and the music just poured off the stage and enveloped the room. It was a joy to watch and listen to five musicians so in tune with each other, the music and simply having a blast.

Paul DeLong

ONE WORD is Victoria Yeh on electric violin, Marco Luciani on keyboards, Steve Lucas on bass, Michael Murray on lead guitar and of course, Paul DeLong on drums. Every single one of them stellar musicians.

Jazz-fusion is forceful and complex music with an intense amount of drumming. I can’t keep up with (or understand) the timing….4:4, 3:4 and even 6:8 doesn’t exist….but DeLong is a master of timing on the drums. There are no obvious points of entrance and egress, start and stop, when an instrument begins and ends. The music emerges from the inside, oozing through the veins to the fingertips. Each performer is the music, knowing exactly what to do and when, becoming one cohesive unit.

Victoria Yeh

l-r – Victoria Yeh, Paul DeLong, Steve Lucas

Michael Murray

Marco Luciani

One highlight for me was The Mahavishnu Orchestra’s A Lotus On Irish Streams. Stunningly performed by Yeh, Luciani and Murray, it held the audience spellbound and had many of us in tears. To hear it performed live was exquisite.

….and that tiny tease of Mississippi Queen! More cowbell!

A fabulous end to a great evening!

ONES….my favourite Beatles show

It’s Friday night and I’m standing on the stage at the Regent Theatre in Oshawa. Its soundcheck and the band are ironing out the bugs. Once they do, it’s magic. Every instrument of the time period, right down to Swarmandal (look it up), is used to perform these legendary songs. ONES, the number one hits of the Beatles from 1964 to 1969 is a story of change, of experimentation, of friendship, of love, of growth, of the times. Beginning in Liverpool, segueing to swinging London, a detour to India and ending in the year of the summer of love. Four men and six years that are felt through every heartbeat of every song today and will continue to reverberate into the future.

This is the third time ONES has performed at the Regent and as always, the crowd is exuberant. Singing along, dancing in their seats, they are enjoying every note. I soak it all in when I photograph these shows.

A final note…..December 7, Meridian Hall (formerly Sony Centre For the Performing Arts, formerly The Hummingbird Centre formerly the O’Keefe Centre). ONES will be performing for the first time in Toronto. A full orchestra and multiple screens, it’s going to be amazing! Don’t miss it!

…..and in closing I found this posted on IG:



Fool’s winter

Second winter

Spring of deception

Third winter

Mud season – T minus 14 Days

Actual spring


False fall

Second summer (1 week) <<<<<< we are here

Actual fall

A Lotus On Irish Streams – The Mahavishnu Orchestra

Mississippi Queen – Mountain

In Your Eyes – Peter Gabriel (cover by Brigitte Wickens)

Music of the musicians who performed at the Indie Week pre-launch party

We Stole Your Head – Mountain Head

Now That I’m Free – Ghost Caravan

Julianna – Young Doctors in Love

Washington – Fonfur

Politican Man – Adrian Sutherand

Rebound Girl – Kelly Fraser

I came across this a couple of weeks ago. From my good friend Julian Taylor:

So Close – Wolf Den

Mind Over Matter – Excuses Excuses

Sultans of Swing – Dire Straits

Have a great week!


All photographs © 2019 Pat Blythe A Girl With A Camera


Pat’s column appears every Wednesday.

Contact us at:

dbawis-buttonIn “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 husband Christopher Blythe, The PictureTaker©, who shot much  of the local talent (think Goddo, Frank Soda Little Red-headed dancing girland 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!

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