Thursday, March 06, 2008

Midnight Surprise

concert review: Lightspeed Champion @ Horseshoe Tavern (Toronto, Ontario), March 4, 2008

Lightspeed Champion @ Horseshoe Tavern: photo by Michael Ligon

I had a bit of a dicey drive in to Toronto from the 'burbs during a few evenings ago's evenings snowy conditions but in the end it was well worth it to see UK's Lightspeed Champion's Toronto live debut at the Horseshoe Tavern during Dave Bookman's no-cover Nu Music Nite.

Yes it was icy and snowy outside and Lightspeed Champion's Dev Hynes was dressed for the weather in a ski sweater and fur hat, but he was so comfortable on stage he hardly seemed to break a sweat(at least on his forehead - well except towards the end when he finally wiped his brow).

Nary a lap-steel in sight(as I'd heard on a song or two from his debut album "Falling Off The Lavender Bridge", Dev brought his songs to life(playing a set without a set list) with his solid but respectable guitar work, the complimentary violin arrangements of violinist Mike Siddell(played with the similar casual sonics of say Final Fantasy) and Dev's melodic vocals. Stripped down to the duo, the music was less pastoral/folk-rock from what I'd heard from the album and had a much more raw feel to it. The whole set musically was sublime.

Banter-wise, Dev sounded as seasoned as any music veteran, throwing out quips and comments with a rambolic charm. The obligatory comment about how much he liked Toronto was counterbalanced more specifically with how much he liked "this street"(Queen St) at least[you knew that that was the only part of Toronto that he probably he'd actually seen]. In introducing a new song, he went into a rambolic explanation of how 'new' the song was but in the end just admitted that most of the songs he was playing that night were new to us. Oh, and the refrigeration of beef story was priceless, but you had to be there.

Check out a few of my photos over at my Flickr.

More reviews/photos from the show over at Chromewaves, lyncanthropy, and The Panic Manual

MySpace: Lightspeed Champion

I just noticed that Toronto indie record label Unfamiliar Records has just relaunched a brand spanking new website, in no small part to celebrate their showcase with Musebox tonight at Wrongbar in Toronto. Unfamiliar will bringing tonight The Airfields and The Paper Cranes and filling out the rest of the line up are Toronto's Lioness, plus Norway's Syme and some other band called Boys In A Band. Full details here. And as the same Stille Post thread says here, look out for some upcoming Unfamiliar Records releases from The Paper Cranes, The Airfields(!), The Two Koreas, Snailhouse(!), The Clips and Chad Blue.

New Sub Pop signees(for US distribution) Foals make their Toronto debut on May 2 with a show at Lee's Palace. The band's album "Antidotes" is out in the US on April 8. As Pitchfork put is, the band perform ", feisty, post-punk tunes..." if that's your thing.

Cyndi Lauper's True Colors tour returns to Toronto for a show at Molson Ampitheatre on June 4. The official website hasn't been updated yet but Pollstar is listing it.

Good news, I got my CMW media accreditation. It's just a matter of going down to the Fairmont Royal York Hotel and registering onsite. Thanks to those who suggested I e-mail them about it.

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