This was my second time catching The Cool Hands at The Horseshoe. They've got a cool, rough-around-the-edges garage rock style and singer Luke James seemed to be channelling Jack White on this particular night. "Smoke Break" was a highlight, "I'm On My Way" was an audience singalong tune. Their set also included "Marijuana Cigarette" and a tune about time travel, "Poor Boys Night". They invited everyone up on stage after their set for a quick pic.
Check out some of the band's music:
Their latest EP, Evening, with "Poor Boys Night", "Watusi Blues", and "On My Way"
The Honeyrunners were the second band to play on January 22 along with SATE, Xprime and The Cool Hands. They're a local Toronto band that plays feel good rock fused with modern soul. I loved their groove and danceable shades of southern rock. "Spirits" was a real stand-out track for me, with it's funky groove and James Gang guitar riff. Their strong vocals and harmonies shone and they all put out a ton of energy, especially their drummer. Fun band!
Xprime were band number three to hit the stage on Friday January 22, heating things up before Sate's stellar performance. Talking to some folks before the show, I heard good things about this Niagara Falls / Welland pop rock band, so I was looking forward to their set.
I really enjoyed their fun pop songs. I found the tunes to be very groovy and funky with those driving beats and that off-beat hi-hat thing that I love. They're a great power trio who even switched up guitar and bass duties during the set and everyone took their turn on lead vocals. "Lipstick Cigarette" was a tune that stood out for it's strut. "Cynical" featured great crunchy power chords.
They even threw in a cover by one of their favourite UK bands, The Arctic Monkeys' "I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor". The set featured lots of new tunes and they hope to release a new album later this year.
Century Palm were up first on The Silver Dollar Room stage opening for Comet Control and Darlene Shrugg. I hear lots of 80s influence in their music. They've got high energy, great keyboards, cool tunes and sometimes frantic beats. Good stuff.
When I was in a band, I always wanted to throw in one cover song. It would be something that highlighted our influences and aesthetic while hopefully giving a new audience something to remember when the rest of our set would have been unfamiliar original tunes. Century Palm created instant love from me with their amazing cover of Husker Du's "Don't Want To Know If You Are Lonely" from their 1986 album Candy Apple Grey.
The Big Pink have released a new track called "Hightimes". It's from their forthcoming EP Empire Underground and it's out March 4. They've announced the accompanying tour dates including a March 2 stop at The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto. I'm going to try to be there.
If you're not familiar with this band, check out my personal favourite tune "Dominos" from their 2009 album A Brief History Of Love.
Oh happy days! The Joy Formidable have announced that their next album will be called Hitch and that it'll be out on March 25. They've released a man-filled video for a brand new tune called "The Last Thing on My Mind". It's a solid track with the usual TJF elements of cool guitars, pounding drums and solid bass with Ritzy's soaring vocals, plus some distorted Ritzy hooks and a hard rocking groove. Nice one!
They've also announced some tour dates, so mark your calendar and see this band live. They're amazing!
I caught Sam Cash and The Romantic Dogs for the first time when they hosted this year's Cover Me Impressed benefit concert. I posted about both set one and set two from that show. I certainly came away impressed with the band and now I get to hear more.
They've just announced the release of their next full length album and have given us a tune to listen to. The album is going to be called Tongue-In-Cheek Vows and it's out on March 25. Alternative rock legend Ian Blurton produced the album. The new song, called "Tossing & Turning", is a straight-up rock tune served neat. It's got the best of classic rock tunes with a driving beat, cool guitar parts and a big, big chorus.
Check it out below and mark the release date on your calendar. Hope you'll join me in seeing a Sam Cash and The Romantic Dogs live show.
Last Friday night, January 22, I caught Sate's headlining show at The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern. Watch this space for pics from the other great bands that also performed - Xprime, The Honeyrunners ant The Cool Hands. I went a little crazy with the volume of pics from Sate's set but the band is so dynamic and photogenic, I couldn't help myself. Make sure you click on the pics to get into the slide show where their beauty shines brightest.
I became a pretty big Sate fan in a pretty short period of time. I first discovered her music when I was checking out all the acts announced for last year's Toronto Urban Roots Festival. I even put up a feature post on her music and the powerhouse track "The Warrior". From that first listening, I was hooked. The song would end up at number 6 in my list of my favourite songs of 2015.
I got to check out the full power of Sate, which can only truly be experienced at a live show, when the band played The Horseshoe for one of the TURF Club Bonus Series shows, opening for the venerable Fishbone. Everything I hoped I would experience came true. The band delivered power with groove, heaviness with soul and attitude with passion. I knew that I couldn't miss the band's Sunday festival slot on the South Stage. It was just as incredible.
Most recently, Sate participated in the second annual Cover Me Impressed benefit on Boxing Day, playing three amazing cover tunes. More on that later...
Enough with the history, let's get to this show. It was a Friday night at one of my favourite venues, The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern. Three great bands got the crowd warmed up and ready for Sate to hit the stage. Many folks in the crowd had experienced a Sate show before so they knew what to expect. For others, this was their first, but certainly not their last, Sate experience.
She and the band did not disappoint, sounding tight, powerful and excited to play this show. They played the tune "What Did I Do?" second. This tune has a video, embedded below, that was released on Friday. The song starts out with a slow, dirty, blues riff and Sate's forlorn wails, before kicking into gear and hammering out a deep groove. The set continued with "Know My Name", "Try" "Live On Your Love" and "Mama Talk To Me". We then got to the single most familiar to me and several others in the audience, "Warrior". We got to participate in a big, three-part sing-along for this tune. The set closing tune was "Silence". This latter song took us out on a high, high note with the repeating chorus ending. Take a listen to many of these tunes below. These are extremely powerful songs that get the audience just as whipped up as you might expect. Sate is truly one of the best live bands playing today, with a refreshing and invigorating sound and message.
While many bands don't do encores, I really hoped that Sate would return to the stage and treat us to more music. When the audience kept cheering and chanting for more, the band had to come back. Earlier in this post I mentioned that I would have more to say about Sate's appearance at Cover Me Impressed. There was one of her three covers in particular that I was super-impressed with. I thought that it was too good to be a one-off. Sate returned to the stage to play us her version of Black Sabbath's "War Pigs". It was incredible. I feel like it must be one of those dream songs for a band, and specifically a guitarist, to play on stage. They did an amazing job with this tune and I think it should be a regular part of their set.
Here's everything that Sate has on her YouTube page, including the brand new video for "What Did I Do?". Listen up, and watch out for their next show.