Excluding Living Elvis Karaoke shows, which don't count, last night was the first time that I'd seen The Royal Crowns play in a couple of years. Canada's best rockabilly band doesn't play as much as it used to and, when it does, it's usually not at The Horseshoe anymore. (Don't worry, Teddy's still bartending there.) But the band returned to the Shoe last night to launch its new After Dark album, the follow-up to the excellent 32 Miles from Memphis. In addition to enjoying some old favourites, I thought that the new songs sounded great, too. Danny Bartley is an excellent guitarist, Scott Gibson knows how to handle a stand-up bass, Teddy Fury is an impeccable drummer and showman, and Bob Taillefer (who replaced guitarist Cricket) adds an interesting new dimension on pedal steel. Hopefully the Crowns will start opening for some more bands at the Shoe again. I missed them.
np Matt Mays & El Torpedo