Blog Archives

SueFest: a Celebration of Life @ Knights of Columbus – Sept 12

SueFest a Celebration of Life fundraiser for the Heart & Stroke foundation

Celebrate Life!

Support the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada while having a blast
at the 2015 SueFest: A Celebration of Life!

A day full of celebration featuring two stages of live music, family fun, carnival entertainment,
BBQ, bake sale, live art, prizes and MORE!

On September 12th the Knights of Columbus Hall will be filled with life-affirming joy.

Featuring performances by:
Blaine Bomberry
Cory Mercer
The Delta Shakers
The Dumpster Bees
The Elmo Combo
Huckleberry Gin
The Lightning Dogs
Mark Leslie Wilson
Nate Friesen
Paul Agriesti
Ruby’s Revenge
Strummers Union

from SueFest.ca

The idea for SueFest was born in late 2013 after
the sudden passing of an incredible community member
known for her gentle kindness, musical ability and
commitment to the deaf blind community.
Susan Elaine Wallbank-Maher was a local teacher who
spent a lot of her time fundraising for charitable causes.
That is why we are excited to boast that in the festivals first
year we raised nearly $10.000 for continued research for
The Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada!

Tickets are available:
Online: Ticketscene.ca
In Person: P.A. Music Shop (139 Charing Cross St)

Ready‘ by Tomi Swick (of Strummers Union)

Blaine Bomberry w/ Retrofit Blues Band performing ‘The Lovin’ I Miss‘ by the Tommy Z Band

Nate Friesen performing ‘Hearts on Fire‘ by Passenger

SueFest 2015

click image for Full Schedule

Who? Nate Friesen | Huckleberry Gin | Blaine Bomberry
Cory Mercer | The Dumpster Bees | Paul Agriesti
Ruby’s Revenge | Mark Leslie Wilson | The Lightning Dogs
Strummers Union | The Delta Shakers | The Elmo Combo
Where? Knights of Columbus Hall
Date? Saturday, September 12th
Time? 2pm – 10pm
Cost? $20 advance
$25 door
free for children 12 years and under

#brantfordrocks #heart&stroke #livemusic

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Songs for H.O.P.E fundraiser @ Brantford Arts Block – Sept 11

Songs for HOPE fundraiser featuring live acoustic music from Logan Staats and many more

live music for a great cause

Help support Brantford’s local H.O.P.E. organization while enjoying some excellent acoustic music!

Brantford Arts Block is hosting this wonderful evening
with local musicians coming together to foster hope and charity within the community.

Featuring performances by:
Logan Staats
Caleb Turgeon Coates
Chris Strei
Less Than Three
Terry Weaver

from facebook

H.O.P.E. is a Not for Profit organization with the aim of helping and hiring those with long term health difficulties reintegrate back into the workforce on a part time basis with the goal of them gradually building to full time employment elsewhere in the community.

Tickets are available at:
Starving Artist Cafe (42 Dalhousie)
Neat Stuff (116 Dalhousie)
Brantford Arts Block (111 Sherwood Drive)

What You Love‘ by Logan Staats

Take Your Records‘ by Chris Strei

Caleb Turgeon Coates performing ‘Summertime Sadness‘ by Lana Del Ray

Join the Event on facebook!

Who? Caleb Turgeon Coates |   Chris Strei
Less Than Three  |  Logan Staats  |  Terry Weaver
Where? Brantford Arts Block
Date? Friday, September 11th
Time? 7pm-10pm
Cost? $15 minimum donation

#brantfordrocks #hope #acoustic

X-Press Yourself an evening showcasing women in entertainment @ Manny’s Place – Sept 19

xpress yourself an evening showcasing woman in entertainment

Give it up for the ladies!

Fantastic music, hilarious comedy, captivating slam poetry,
burlesque dancing and henna body art
all under one roof!
One night only at Manny’s Place!

Local females are coming together on Saturday, September 19th
to rock your socks, paint your hands, tickle your funny bone,
electrify your mind and do other things to your body that I won’t get into detail about.

from facebook

Come out to support our sisters as we take the stage
to bring you live music, comedy, slam poetry and burlesque!

Tickets are $8 in advance and will be available at
Manny’s Place, The Music Academy, or from
Waking Life band members, Dan Taylor or Nikole Taylor.

There will be live music performances from:
High Heels Lo Fi (Toronto)
Sarah Halabecki Band (London)
Waking Life – Band Page (Brantford)
The Ache (Brantford)
Velvet & The Vibe (Brantford)

Stand-up Comedy by:
Abby McWhirter (Brantford)
Rachel Matheson (Toronto)

Slam Poetry by:
Jaded (Paris)

Burlesque by:
Ruby Krueger (Hamilton)

Simple‘ by Sarah Halabecki Band


Happy Purple Unicorn‘ by The Ache


Waking Life performing ‘Love Interruption‘ by Jack White


Join the Event on facebook!

Who? High Heels Lo Fi | Sarah Halabecki Band
Waking Life | The Ache | Velvet & The Vibe
Where? Manny’s Place
Date? Saturday, September 19th
Time? 9pm-2am
Cost? $8 (advance)
$10 (door)
Age Limit? 19+

#brantfordrocks #supportlocaltalent #chicksrock

Acoustic Open Mic w/ Trevor Cobb @ Manny’s Place – Tuesdays

Acoustic Open Mic with Trevor Cobb at 9pm at Manny's Place

Acoustic Open Mic w/ Trevor Cobb

Join Trevor Cobb for an Acoustic Open Jam every Tuesday night at Manny’s Place.

For us non-performing listener types it’s always great seeing local musicians let their music free.

Rock, soul, folk, country, blues, death metal (acoustic death metal obviously),
no genre is safe from the Open Jam!

If you’re looking to have some fun jamming out with local musicians
get down to Manny’s and Trevor will get you up on stage.

The Acoustic Open Jam starts at 9pm.


Who? Anyone who wants to jam acoustically
Where? Manny’s Place
Date? Tuesdays
Time? 9pm
Cost? No Cover (free)
Age limit? 19+

 


#brantfordrocks #supportlocalmusic #openjam

Hit the Spot: Cory Mercer at BDoggs

Hit the Spot Cory Mercer at BDoggs

Cory Mercer, Fine Street Food and Craft Beer!

On Thursday, June 11th I strode into B●Doggs Fine Street Foods and quickly saw the creative local entrepreneurial spirit continuing to thrive in Brantford.
Serving up deliciously elegant “street food” alongside craft beers from the area with some smooth live music for desert.

The patio, or “beer garden” is a great place to enjoy some live acoustic jams.  It’s split into sections with greenery all around.  There are plenty of tables and benches that surround the perimeter with a clear view of the performance area from any angle.

from bdoggs.com:

What makes one patio better than the next?
We believe it’s in the vibe, the tunes, the greenery and the name.
Doesn’t a “beer garden” sound much more inviting than “a patio?”
Ours is certainly worth a visit, or two or three.
Don’t be surprised if our play list jumps from a reggae one-drop to 80’s yacht rock or indie top hits.

Cory Mercer jamming out some live tunes at B.Doggs in Brantford

And I hope you like jammin’ too.

Cory Mercer delivered some awesome original songs, along with a slew of great cover tunes.
Flowing through the genres, effortlessly switching from rock to folk, pop to alternative, again and again.
His melodic voice lent itself perfectly to any song.
Cory took a number of requests during his performance, including more Paul Simon than you could shake a stick at.
Unless you had a fairly large-sized stick, of course.

Cory had fun with the crowd, always friendly and engaging.
His bohemian style and attitude were perfectly aligned with the general vibe of the venue, very free-spirited.

His originals were beautiful hand-crafted songs straight from the heart, with plenty of hooks to keep the crowd grooving.

Cory Mercer singing and playing some great songs down at B.Doggs

Cory Mercer singing in the shade

A great time, a great place, a great band.  It was a damn great time for everyone.
It was also quite tremendous, wicked, exquisite, copacetic and excellent.
But mostly, it was great.

Every Thursday from 6pm – 10pm:  live local music & fresh local cuisine at B●Doggs Fine Street Foods.

Thee Empty Hours, Chris Strei, Waking Life, Gag Order and MANY MORE! @ Manny’s Place – June 13

Future for Scott's Legacy Lives On fundraiser featuring waking life, chris strei, thee empty hours, pay no mind, gag order, Synchronized Silence, High Heels Lo Fi , The Whatever Device, Familiar Fiends, The Dirty Kulprits

Future for Molly

Future for Molly, Scott’s Legacy Lives On.

Ten (10!) great bands
all coming together to remember Scott Randall
and raise what they can for his daughter Molly.

Tickets are available now at

from facebook:

The sudden passing of our dear family member and friend Scott Randall, has left our hearts with an emptiness that words can’t explain.

Scott’s beautiful, amazing and extraordinarily intelligent eleven year old daughter lives on without the companionship, fun and financial aid that her father provided.

Let’s come together for a fun night of music, food, prizes and camaraderie in Scott’s memory and get the lovely Molly a giant start on her education fund!

Also, many of you have asked, “what can I do to help?”
As you know, Scott was a chef (and a very good one, at that!!), and he loved food.
We would love to have people bring something they love to eat to share.

We’ll have live music right from 4:00pm on.

Thee Empty Hours 4:00 – 4:45
Chris Strei 5:00 – 5:45
Pay No Mind 6:00 – 6:45
Gag Order 7:00 – 7:45
Synchronized Silence 8:00 – 8:45
Waking Life 9:00 – 9:45
High Heels Lo Fi 10:00 – 10:45
The Whatever Device 11:00 – 11:45
Familiar Fiends 12:00 – 12:45
The Dirty Kulprits 1:00 – 1:45


Take Your Records‘ by Chris Strei


Feed the Greed‘ by Gag Order


You Win Again, Tequila‘ by High Heels Lo Fi

Thee Empty Hours facebook music youtube
Chris Strei facebook twitter music youtube web
Pay No Mind facebook youtube
Gag Order facebook twitter music youtube
Synchronized Silence facebook twitter music youtube
Waking Life facebook music
High Heels Lo Fi facebook twitter music youtube web
The Whatever Device facebook youtube web
Familiar Fiends facebook music
The Dirty Kulprits facebook music youtube

Join the Event on facebook!

Future for Molly fundraiser

Who? Thee Empty Hours, Chris Strei, Pay No Mind, Gag Order,
Synchronized Silence, Waking Life, High Heels Lo Fi
The Whatever Device, Familiar Fiends, The Dirty Kulprits
Where? Manny’s Place
Date? Saturday, June 13th
Time? 3pm – 2am
Cost? Adults $10
Kids 6-12 $5 at door, 5 and under free,
Age limit? All Ages until 9pm
19+ after 9pm

 


#brantfordrocks #supportlocalmusic #futureformolly

Bethany Schultz @ the Station – April 17

Bethany Schults & Mikie Bray

photo courtesy of J.Roorda photography

There will be a going away party for Bethany Shultz (of Bethany & Mikie)
as she is about to leave Brantford to serve our country proud.
See Bethany (possibly with Mikee) live at the Station for one last show.

from facebook:

As you may or may not have heard, I’ve joined the military!
I am having a going away party for my family, friends, and fans to come together and send me off in a big way!
The first two hours are open mic style, for anyone who would like to play a few tunes, tell a few jokes, or say a few words.
From 7-8pm I’ll be playing a set for those who would like to hear one last show
(hopefully with Mikie Bray)!
After that, we’ll mingle and hug and all that jazz…
but I have an early morning and long drive after,
so the party will come to a close around 9pm.
Beer & Wine, Coffee & Tea, Quick Dinner Foods & Treats..
available for purchase throughout (support the venue!)
As always, a donation jar will be there (support local musicians!)


Don’t Want to Be Alone‘ by Bethany Schultz

Bethany Schultz
facebook music youtube

Join the Event on facebook!

Who? Bethany Schultz
and friends
Where? The Station Coffee House
Date? Friday, April 17th
Time? 5pm – 9pm
Cost? $5 suggested donation
Age limit? All Ages

 


#brantfordrocks #supportlocalmusic #folkrock

Brantford Open Stage @ Best Western – April 12

Brantford Open Stage at the Best Western on March 13th

Great live jam with the community.

The Brantford Open Stage will be happening, one time only, on a Sunday afternoon!

Usually held every other Friday, this week the Open Stage will be taking place at a special date and time: Sunday at 2pm.

Best Western plus Brant Park Inn is once again hosting the fun & folksy open jam for local musicians.

from brantfordopenstage.org:

We are oriented to folk and acoustically-based music in general.
The emphasis is on encouraging live performance.
We are an open mic forum for performers,
both accomplished and developing,
to present a 2-song (10-minute) set.
Additional note: Please keep in mind that as a live music venue,
we discourage the use of performing to ‘backing tracks’.
Your cooperation and understanding is appreciated.

(Note also; there are usually enough accomplished musicians around to put together instrumental back-up.)

If you’re interesting in taking part in the Brantford Open Stage
get in touch with Dave Jensen.

What? Brantford Open Stage
Where? Best Western plus Brant Park Inn
Date? Sunday, April 12th
Time? 2pm – 5pm
Cost? $4 (free for performers)

 


#brantfordrocks #supportlocalmusic #openjam

The Elmo Combo @ Brantford Casino – April 11

the Elmo Combo at Zander's on Saturday, March 7th

the Elmo Combo hits again

A whirlwind of Homegrown, Roots Rock, Funky jams, and Reggae grooves,
the Elmo Combo always put on an excellent show.

From Brantford (and the Norfolk area), the Elmo Combo
(who have recently made another TV appearance,
this time on CHCH morning live),
are back in town to play for us hometown folks.

from elmocombo.com by Jamz M.H. Maher:

Fronted by singer/songwriter Steven Elmo Murphy (guitar, vocals), and backed by eDDie mAx (drums, vocals) with Jon Edwards (keys, vocals) and Gabe Atkinson (bass) The Elmo Combo have become a notable force on the indie music front and are riding the cusp of their break out year.
For years “The Elmo Combo” have been entertaining audiences of all sizes from coast to coast! With an appearance on Breakfast Television Calgary, Three Western Canada Tours and 10 years of consistent shows in Ontario, it’s no wonder that the group received an invitation to play La Tour De Norfolk 2014. They have also landed such high profile gigs as The Festival of Friends, in Hamilton On. also sharing some bills along side large Canadian acts such as Blue Rodeo, Matthew Good and The 24th Street Wailers!
The Elmo Combo has developed a well rounded following as a result of their unwavering commitment to their art, their passion and dedication to provide quality entertainment. The group has also collected a vast and diverse musical catalogue that can cater to any crowd at any time. With 4 albums worth of originals written by Steve (one of which being nominated for a Hamilton Music Award) there is no shortage of material!


Odds and Ends‘ by Steven Elmo Murphy and Friends
video courtesy of Hamilton Blues Lovers

The Elmo Combo
facebook music youtube web
Who? the Elmo Combo
Where? OLG Casino Brantford
Date? Saturday, April 11th
Time? 8pm – 12am
Age limit? 19+

#brantfordrocks #supportlocalmusic #folkrock #brantfordbands

Chris Strei @ Manny’s Place – April 2

Chris Strei Formal '15 Announcement at Manny's Place

Folk-rock originals and classic covers

Folk rocker Chris Strei will be belting out his smooth originals and classic covers down at Manny’s, with possible special guests and a special announcement!
Be the first Strei fan to find out details about this year’s Strei Formal!

Chris has invited his fellow musicians to get up and jam (or marmalade) with him, anyone interested should get in touch, or surprise him the night of.  Everyone loves surprises.

from brantfordbands.com:

Sporting a slightly disheveled dedicated artist look, Chris Strei‘s smooth and vibrantly melodic voice lends itself beautifully to his pop-tinged folk rock originals.
Chris eats, sleeps and breathes music and it certainly shows.  His commitment to the craft comes through in each composition, musical expressions of the vast tapestry of emotion and life experiences.

[youtube:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oai-zqK9ymQ&theme=dark&w=420%5D
Wrong‘ written and composed by Chris Strei

Innersha facebook twitter itunes youtube web
Who? Chris Strei
Where? Manny’s Place
Date? Thursday, April 2nd
Time? 9pm
Cost? No Cover (free)
Age limit? 19+

 


#brantfordrocks #supportlocalmusic #folkrock

Benjamin Rogers is under the Spotlight at BrantfordBands

Local folk singer / songwriter / guitarist / fiddler Benjamin Rogers has been added to the Artist Spotlight at BrantfordBands!  Check it out to learn more about Benjamin and peruse his musical fare.

He has joined rocking indie band Urban Canals under the Artist Spotlight as BrantfordBands continues to shine the light on local musicians.

Would you or your local band (or both?) like to be featured on the Artist Spotlight?
Contact BrantfordBands!
Please include any photos, links, and info that you’d like us to share.

Benjamin Rogers, International Songwriting Competition award(s) semi-finalist!

Benjamin Rogers has three semi-finalist award nominated songs in this years International Songwriters Competition

Semi-finalist Benjamin Rogers

Brant’s own Fiddler / guitarist / singer / songwriter Benjamin Rogers has made it to the semi-finals in this years International Songwriting Competition with three (3!) of his songs!

from hamiltonblueslovers:

We all know there’s world-class music in our own backyard but now the world is aware too thanks to the prestigious International Songwriting Competition.  After thousands of submissions, many deserving local musicians were chosen as semi-finalists

Brantford’s Benjamin Rogers was listed for three tracks: Pendulum (Instrumental), Move Ben Move (Teen) and Wayfarer (Teen).

Just having the chance to be judged by industry greats such as Pat Metheny, Sarah McLachlan, John Hiatt, Robben Ford, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Jon Secada, Bela Fleck, James Cotton and many more (click here for a full list of list years judges) is amazing!

We wish Benjamin Rogers the best of luck!  Let him know he has your support on facebook.

For more information about other nominees from southwestern Ontario who made it to the semi-finals, check out this post from Hamilton Blues lovers!

Get a copy of Wayfarer by Benjamin Rogers at cdbaby.com
or grab Wayfarer by Benjamin Rogers at iTunes.

Follow Benjamin on Facebook.

Check out Benjamin Rogers’ videos on youtube.


Benjamin Rogers – Pendulum

 


#brantfordbands #ISCsemifinals #songwriter #rootsfolk

Hit the Spot: Intervals at The Station

Hit the Spot with BrantfordBands at the Station for Intervals

BrantfordBands’ Hit the Spot

An awesome new series debuted at The Station Coffee House & Gallery on Saturday, March 7th.
The first “Intervals a Songwriters’ Showcase” featured local acoustic singer songwriters performing (primarily) original material in a relaxed atmosphere, surrounded by fans and fellow artists. Organized by local music aficionado and performer Chris Strei, Intervals is a wonderful monthly series that encapsulates the thriving creative spirit of Brantford.

Down at the train station might not be one of the first places you think of when you want to check out some great live music, but it should be.  Since 2008, The Station (it’s the building on the far left, not the main train station building) has been allowing travelers and locals a place to enjoy various cultural arts.  Beautiful art adorns every wall inside, most of which is available for purchase.  Monthly updates bring a fresh collection of photographs, paintings and various other art forms to dazzle the eyes.  March brought us the wonderful madness of Dean F. Ellis and his eccentric paintings, pen and ink, photos and sculptures.
The space is not vast, but there is a plethora of seating available.  The building allows an unique sonic connection to each artist, as the entire space fills with lucious sound, allowing you to experience subtle nuances of the music you may have missed at a larger venue.  The occasional passing train really adds to the mood, as though we were riding in the back of a boxcar with a menagerie of songwriters free to openly express their craft.  Fortunately this train ride had a well stocked bar area, with libations and coffee served up by the friendly co-founder / bartender Jeff Sauble.


The first performer of the night was Andrew Bradbury.  Andrew has a strong vocal presence and great skill on the guitar.  He played along with a backing track which may not have been necessary, as his songwriting talent shone acoustically.  His original songs spoke from a place of passion, and his love of music was displayed quite proficiently.  We were able to make a recording of Bradbury performing his original song No Regrets (the video is embedded at the bottom of this post), which sounded even better live.  Andrew is an artist to keep an eye on, and we can’t wait to see how his talent continues to evolve.


Intervals was set to feature hour long sets by each artist.  Due to a last minute change in performers, there was also a ‘free jam’ which allowed everyone a chance to perform a few additional songs.
The ‘free jam’ brought us some great songs performed by Chris Strei, a solo performance by Jason Inberg, and an extra Innersha performance.  Trevor Cobb performed a fun little freestyle acoustic performance before being joined by Mick Montgomery and jumping into a great Mctease performance.


Mctease had not expected to perform tonight, but it was a happy little accident that allowed BrantfordBands to witness their unique and thoroughly entertaining set.  Trevor Cobb is a welcoming and charismatic guy and this comes through brilliantly in his music.  His husky voice, energetic strumming and humourous nature make him seem like the long lost third member of Tenacious D.  That same vibrant energy and love of music are apparent when Mick Montgomery starts walloping his conga drum.  During softer moments Mick played the tambourine in a building credsendo which would inevitably lead back into the massive conga rhythms.  Mctease played a blend of rock, country and generally upbeat tunes.  Whatever genre they flowed through, Mick and Trevor made each song seem completely theirs, even when they jammed a few covers.  Their original songs are wonderfully frivolous, with lyrics that cause bursts of joyous laughter and a rousing cadence that makes it impossible not to stomp along to the beat.  While we can’t share too much of the lyrical content from songs like ‘Pig’ and ‘Pu**y’, it’s safe to say that McTease pushed the all-ages content to the limit (and beyond).
Check out No Cash (Trevor’s now-defunct country band) on soundcloud for a taste of the unique flavour inherent in Trevor and Mick’s music.  Viewer discretion is advised.


Sporting a slightly disheveled dedicated artist look, Chris Strei‘s smooth and vibrantly melodic voice lends itself beautifully to his pop-tinged folk rock originals.  Chris eats, sleeps and breathes music and it certainly shows.  His commitment to the craft comes through in each composition, musical expressions of the vast tapestry of emotion and life experiences.  His driving song ‘QEW’ cruises down the highway of life on a bright sunny day, with breezy traffic full of happy commuters waving and smiling as you pass them by.  Each song has a similar spirit, of triumphantly overcoming adversity, staying positive even in the bleakest moments.
For a brief look into the artistry of Chris Strei check out his profile on ReverbNation.


The final set, Innersha‘s acoustic set, was the cherry on a guilt-free sundae.  Huge sultry vocals and soaring guitar lift the listener to new heights.  Jason Inberg and Kristen Bezemer are both passionate singer/songwriters.  After hearing Kristen’s soft speaking voice it’s a shock when she starts singing.  She has a true country diva sound, filled with authentic emotion and charm.  Her voice embraces like a warm hug on a cold day, with a range that lends itself to any genre but really shines on boot-stomping country tunes.  Jason is no slouch himself, as not only does he play a mean guitar but also has a wonderful voice.  Deep, rough and contradictorily gentle, bringing to mind a soulful Matthew Good.
Innersha‘s original songs are buoyant and uplifting, and catchy in a way that has you singing along the first time you hear them.  It’s impossible not to clap and stomp along to the infectious rhythms.  Their newest release, ‘Know Where Your Heart Is’ makes the crowd eager to answer, “Our heart is in your hands!”.  ‘Chills run down your spine‘ indeed, as this is a song that calls you out to the dance floor to embrace your sweetie, thanking the heavens for the chance to experience life connected with another person.  Any cover songs they perform are transformed, creating brand new Innersha songs.  When Jason and K-Bez join together for duets there’s a definitive unity and shared passion for music that carries the songs to new levels of greatness.
For a preview of the driving tempo and stimulating nature of Innersha head over to their youtube channel.


from Chris Strei:

I want to thank everyone who came out for #‎Intervals‬ last night. Trevor Cobb & Mick Montgomery of Mctease, Andrew Bradbury, and Jason Inberg & Kristen Bezemer of Innersha did a great job on stage. Jeff Sauble at the bar always makes the night complete. Our audience made all our efforts worth the time we put into our music. Last night also gave me some good ideas for next month’s instalment of the #‎intervalsSeries‬.
Stay tuned!

We can’t wait to see what next month’s Intervals brings to the Station, and we’ll be sure to keep you posted when more details are released!


We’ve created a gallery of photos from the event on 500px.
Please note that the original red lighting has somewhat distorted all of the images.  We attempted to colour-correct the photos, but as a result everybody looks like they had sever sunburns in early March.
We sincerely hope that we’ve not offended any performers by posting these photos,
contact us and we will remove any unwelcome photos immediately.


As promised, here’s the video we recorded of Andrew Bradbury performing
his original song No Regrets:

[vimeo 121666471 w=500&h=280]

 

Hit the Spot – Waking Life at Club NV

Hit the Spot with BrantfordBands

BrantfordBands’ Hit the Spot

A great night was had by all who made it out to Club NV on Friday, March 6th.  Two great bands made the end of winter feel that much closer, despite the chilly weather.

Situated in the heart of downtown Brantford (or is it the spleen of downtown? it’s been awhile since my last biogeography lesson) Club NV is a uniquely engaging venue to catch live music.  And it’s still open.  I swear.  They could perhaps use a nice sign indicating when they are open, but I digress.
The sound system they have in place is great, penetrating throughout the building beautifully.  The lighting is very nightclub, dancing around like an inebriated break-dancer (in a good way).  There’s a sparkling fountain of joy that welcomes you to the bar area, where great food and cold drinks are served at very reasonable prices.
A fantastic row of couches directly in front of the stage (pretty much a part of the stage) provide a very immersive experience.


The night opened with North Bay rocker’s Break the Trend who tore it up with their rambunctious attitude and tight musical fortitude.  Though the band has only recently re-formed after a hiatus of several years, they have an awesome unity that is wonderful to hear.  Settling comfortably somewhere between hard rock and alternative, it’s hard not to love Break the Trend.  Patrick Pharand, on bass, was especially energetic throughout their set, jumping around with a contagious enthusiasm that was felt in their music.
The driving rhythms set down by Alex Lajambe’s wicked drumming and Patrick’s funky bass lines are the perfect setup for John Fournier and Lucas Mullins killer guitar riffs.  John Fournier’s voice sends chills down the spine, especially on softer more expressive songs.  There’s a great harmony between lead singer John and back up vocals from Alex and Lucas, and in general a strong unity amongst the band that makes all of their tracks sound fantastic.
Break the Trend have a great sense of humour which bleeds into their set-list, following up their hard rocking track “Cocaine” with their cover of Bad Company’s “Feel Like Making Love” did make perfect sense admittedly.
Every track they played was awesome, I especially enjoyed the previously mentioned “Cocaine” which evoked a rush of energy similar to…a nice cup of coffee.  Alongside softer melodic tracks such as “Fight Another Day” they really showcased the diverse musical spirit of the band.
Here’s hoping that Break the Trend will make their way back to Brantford soon, but in the meantime check out their website, their facebook, and their youtube channel.


Finishing off the night was Brantford’s own Waking Life.  While they may be new on the scene, Waking Life already performs at a level that blew me away.
In spite of having a last minute replacement bass player (Lukasz Gralewicz, former member of Gag Order, who had to learn a selection of 20 songs in less than two weeks!) they displayed a rock-solid musical cohesion that some bands only dream of achieving.
Not only musically wondrous, Nikole and Dan also dress to impress.  Nikole’s heelless heels (apparently called gravity heels; you learn something new everyday) were the cherry on her impressive heroine look which melded well with Dan’s urban cowboy take on a rustic classic.  This not only occurred visually, but audibly their vocals were also a wonderful combination of rocking female edge and soulful male attitude.
Dan Taylor was a charismatic showman, using comedy and audience interaction to let us know the band was here to rock our metaphorical socks off and tickle our toes.  His strong vocal style lends itself well to various genres and his guitar playing is absolutely on the mark no matter what he’s playing.
Lukasz Gralewicz more than filled the bassist vacancy tonight, he brought his energetic style and laid down some fat grooves that rolled out of his bass in a tsunami of thick luscious sound.
A true lyrical vixen, Nikole Taylor throws her heart and soul into her singing.  From soft and sensual to rough and wild, she sings with a fiery passion throughout.
On drums Eric Davis rolled out the beats harder and faster than an octopus on steroids.   He drives the tempo out from a bottomless well of talent and effortlessly holds up the wall of sound created by Lukasz and Dan.
The harmony of Dan and Nikole is breathtaking.  There’s a chemistry that can’t be faked, a feeling that we’re almost invading their privacy just listening to them sing such beautiful melodies together.
Tonight marked the public début of Waking Life‘s new original song “Hate Filled Heart.” Unfortunately, due to a bit of a SNAFU regarding ride arrangements, I had to cut out early and was unable to hear it live.  Having listened online, I’m even more disappointed to have missed out on such a dark and emotional yet upbeat and harmonic song.  Hopefully we’ll be able to see them live again soon to experience more of the unity and passion that is Waking Life.

from Waking Life:

We guarantee to make you feel the feels of nostalgia!

We’re currently looking to book at events and with other bands, if you’re interested or looking, make sure you check out the recordings we posted in our videos section.

We are looking to start playing outside of Brantford too! So if you aren’t from our hometown, and are looking for a band to play, contact us!

Email us at or shoot us a message through our facebook page.

To hear their new song “Hate Filled Heart” check out their reverbnation page.

Check out some sweet shots taken by J.Roorda Photography.

To hear some of the great harmony of their cover songs go to their facebook.
And don’t forget to like Waking Life to stay updated on any tour dates, new songs, appearances, and related Waking Life news!

 

 

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