Thursday, May 07, 2015

Swervedriver headlines Wednesday night's Canadian Music Week lineup

The Flying Museum Band

My Canadian Music Week began on Wednesday night at The Cameron House seeing  talented Toronto outfit The Flying Museum Band. There were only about 20 people on hand, most of whom seemed to be friends of the group members, but this is a lineup deserving of more attention with a musical style that at times reminded me of Blue Rodeo and The Band -- though with lesser vocals and harmonies. The playing was tight, the songs were solid and the keyboardist/saxophone player added depth to the material with his contributions.

The Marvelous Beauhunks

There was an even smaller audience at the Bovine Sex Club for The Marvelous Beauhunks, an Oshawa, Ont. quintet featuring two Rickenbacker guitars and a bass from the same company. There wasn't as much of a chiming guitar sound as you'd expect from that instrumental lineup, but the group's mix of power pop and '60s garage rock was well-executed -- if not exceptional. It was enjoyable, but I'd seen and heard it done better.

The Cocksure Lads

The Cocksure Lads -- featuring former Moxy Fruvous members Murray Foster and Mike Ford along with guitarist Tim Bovaconti and drummer Blake Manning -- provided another '60s throwback with a sound straight from the British Invasion at the Rivoli. There were lots of pop hooks and the band rocks harder than Moxy Fruvous could ever have dreamed of, even without rocking that hard. A cover of The Who's "The Kids Are Alright" provided a fitting end to the set. The Cocksure Lads Movie, written and directed by Foster, premiered at the Whistler Film Festival in December and will get a wider release this summer.

Swervedriver didn't have to pretend to be British, as it was a big part of England's shoegaze music movement of the early '90s. I think I saw the band back then, but the memory is foggy and I can't be sure, so I jumped at the opportunity to see it at the Horseshoe Tavern. Big guitars and psychedelic influences are the group's hallmark, and the band provided both during an extended set played in front of a pretty packed house. I'm not particularly enamoured with the new I Wasn't Born To Lose You album, Swervedriver's first since 1998, but the group still packs a punch on stage.

The Steady Rebels
It was then back to the Bovine for a nightcap and The Steady Rebels, a Mississauga, Ont. eight-piece alternative reggae group with a blend of horns, keyboards, drums, guitar and bass that had folks skanking to its rhythmic tunes.

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