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