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Bend Sinister reflect on long career for Lethbridge

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Vancouver rock band Bend Sinister’s more or less annual show at the Slice is always something to look forward to, so I didn’t want to miss their Wednesday show, Oct. 18. Unfortunately I missed an opening set from fellow B.C rockers Band of Rascals.

Bend Sinsiter bassist Matt Rhode puts up his lighter during one of Bend Sinister’s slower songs, Oct. 18.. Photo by Richard Amery
 But I arrived in time to catch a “greatest hits” show from a band that doesn’t have any hits, but who should have a lot of them.


 The organ powered ’70s inspired groove rockers have been around for 15 -odd years and dedicated part of their show to playing a song from each of their recording right up to their current EP “ the Other Way.”

They were featured on local radio station 98.1 the Bridge and played the song they played there as well as a new song called “the Beach.”
As usual frontman/ keyboard/organist Dan Moxon jumped and danced behind his organ while delivering powerful, soulful vocals.

The band, drummer Dickey Neptune, bassist Matt Rhode, wearing his usual Daniel Boone hat and sleeveless T-shirt and guitarist Joseph Blood were joined by J.P Maurice on extra keyboards nad guitar, whose shirt Blood was sporting.


They played most of the new EP including the highlight “Get Along” and a variety of relentlessly optimistic sounding  ’70s inspired (ranging from Deep Purple to Steely Dan) crowd favourites, which had most of the audience of about 40 people dancing in front of the stage.Dan Moxon of Bend Sinister at the Slice, Oct. 18. Photo by Richard Amery


Their older materiel showed more of their progressive rock influence.
They wound down an intense and entertaining set with crowd favourites “Be All Right” and “I Got You” before dedicating their song “Rock and Roll” to Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie, who passed away last week.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 25 October 2017 12:03 )
 

Whitehorse and Terra Lightfoot bring light to a stormy night

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The power of music is not only that it heals, but that it also allows you to escape your troubles for a while. So a fantastic Geomatic Attic show, Oct. 17  at the Southminster United Church featuring quirky Ontario psychedelic rock/ alt country/ blues/pop duo Whitehorse who were backed by a crack band and surprise special guest Terra Lightfoot, was just the medicine needed on an apocalyptic Tuesday night fraught with gale force winds and wildfires, not to mention the passing of Canadian musical icon Gord Downie.

Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland of Whitehorse playing Southminster United Church for the Geomatic Attic, Tuesday, Oct. 17. Photo by Richard Amery
So a good sized crowd of several hundred, whooped, hollered and sang alon  and forgot about the troubles of the world for a while.
Probably the best opening act of the year, alt country musician Terra Lightfoot was a pleasant surprise which pretty much made my year as I didn’t know she was opening until the day of the show.


 She brandished a battered Gibson SG throughout an array of crunchy alternative country and rock music as her band kept step with her through a fast paced set of songs from all of her albums, focusing on her latest CD “New Mistakes.”


 She traded the SG for a very cool custom built  acoustic guitar, observing she is always willing to support women doing cool things and noting a female luthier friend of hers built that guitar on which she showed substantial fingerpicking licks on a solo acoustic version “You Get High.” Her band rejoined her after that.


 Throughout her set she and in an immediately appealing hugely soulful voice along the lines of Rita Chiarelli and Bonnie Raitt which made her set a tough act to follow.
 As the wind howled outside the church, Whitehorse proved they were more than up to the task, as they played mesmerizing music covering all of their albums and a cornucopia of genres in front of a hypnotizing light show.

Terra Lightfoot tries out a new acoustic guitar while opening for Whitehorse, Oct 17. Photo by Richard Amery
 Usually Whitehorse’s Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland play all of the instruments and incorporate looping in their set.

For this set, with their crack band of keyboardist Gregory MacDonald, who also plays with Sloan, guitarist Ryan Gavel on guitar and drummer John Obercian in tow, they could relax and spread their wings, though they still switched instruments pretty much every song with Doucet trading one beautiful Gretsch Falcon for another and McClelland alternating between bass, electric guitar and acoustic guitar.Terra Lightfoot winds up her opening set, Oct. 17. Photo by Richard Amery


 They also took turns singing lead vocals and harmonies adding eerie effects by singing through telephone receivers attached to their microphone stands.
They sent the band away mid set for a spine tingling set showcasing their gorgeous vocal harmonies and acoustic guitar.
They had the front row singing along with some of their better known songs.


 Near the end of the set, one fan experienced a medical emergency and fell in his seat during their menacing version of Chuck Berry’s “Nadine” so they stopped the show while another fan called 911 and helped him walk to to ambulance.

:Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland of Whitehorse playing Southminster United Church for the Geomatic Attic, Tuesday, Oct. 17. Photo by Richard Amery
 Once they knew he was taken care of and was going to be all right, they continued their song and wound things up with a few more up tempo alt country/ psychedelic rock numbers including the popular “King Down Your Door” from their latest CD “Panther in the  Dollhouse.


 A couple of the show highlights were from the new CD including “Manitoba Death Star,” which Doucet introduced by talking about growing up in Winnipeg and his mother setting up a facility for homeless people.
 Of course they were called back for an encore, which including a spooky version of Neil Young’s “Ohio.”

— By Richard Amery, L.a. Beat Editor

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 25 October 2017 11:51 )
 

Moulettes bring a taste of experimental UK pop with lead cello

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The Moulettes came to Lethbridge all the way from the UK to blow some minds and melt some hearts, Oct. 15 at the Geomatic Attic on a busy Sunday night which was competing with Foreigner at the Enmax Centre and a sold out Lethbridge Folk Club show featuring Connie Kaldor.

The Moulettes Hannah Miller and Raevennan Husbandes at the Geomatic Attic, Oct. 15. Photo by Richard Amery
 The Moulettes were well into a trippy set of experimental pop/ rock psychedelic rock which enraptured a good sized crowd by the time I arrived.


They featured operatic vocal harmonies, featured some groovy, jazz infused bass and Hannah Miller’s inimitably spooky lead cello which had the hair standing on my forearms a she shared vocal harmonies with guitarist Raevennan Husbandes, with whom she shared lead vocals.


Jim Mortimore provided complex bass lines, creating innovative textures as well as groove.
 Overall, the set was pretty laid back, though they picked up the pace in places.


 Along with drummer/ vocalist Ollie Austin’s background vocals, they created nature inspired soundscapes  which were equal parts jazz, alternative rock and pop and classical music, by using their instruments to create a variety of textures w that sounded ineffable British.


Miller chatted about nature and some of the animals that inspired a lot of the songs. including a Japanese puffing fish.

“Behemooth,” was one more up tempo alternative rock inspired highlight with it’s plodding detuned rhythm.
 A highlight was a song about growing up and having to make choices about what to do with your life, which featured a heartbreakingly beautiful lead cello solo, which used Miller’s custom built five string cello, allowing her to explore higher violin frequencies.
They received a  standing ovation and returned for a couple more songs.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 25 October 2017 11:40 )
 

Connie Kaldor and family play sold out Folk Club show

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Back in the day, in the ’90s Connie Kaldor was the first Lethbridge Folk Club show I attended. I remember her strumming an acoustic guitar for most of that show.

Connie Kaldor and her family performa  sold out shoew for the Lethbridge Folk Club. Photo by Richard Amery
 So I was glad to  catch part of her sold out Lethbridge Folk Club show, Oct. 15 at the Lethbridge College Cave. It was just great to see the second sold out Folk Club show in a row,
this one was a family affair as she was accompanied by her grown children playing violin and adding operatic vocals.


 She let them show their skills in solo numbers in addition to accompanying her.
She was playing keyboards for most of the set I heard. One son sang gorgeous tenor on the operatic and apt for Lethbridge “ Let The Wind Blow Through,” which was a tough act to follow for the violinist Alex, who was still not be outdone on a beautiful bluesy version of “Ain’t No Sunshine,” which was impressive as he was simultaneously singing and playing violin.


 Kaldor told a story about touring with Stan Rogers and being inspired to sing sea shanties “which is difficult to do when you live in Saskatchewan.”


 So she talked about writing a  “She Shanty,” and ended the set with an amazing feminist anthem “ Come All You Women,” which pretty much brought the house down just in time for intermission.

 —By Richard Amery, L.a. Beat Editor
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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 25 October 2017 11:35 )
 

Whole lot of metal for Dethfest 2017

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The Smokehouse  shook  all night long, Friday, Oct. 13 with the howls, growls and detuned menace of all manner of death metal, power metal  and punk influenced metal bands playing Dethfest.

Mark Russell of Citizen Rage at Dethfest 2017 at the Smokehouse. Photo by Richard Amery
 I only caught a couple of acts as I dodged a mosh pit happening in front of the stage during Calgary death metal band Stab.Twist.Pull’s ferocious set full of sludgy guitar, growling /howling vocals and the bassist doing some pretty cool fretboard tapping to begin their show while their frontman leaped, howling into the midst of the frothing crowd.

Stab.Twist.Pull at the Smokehouse, playing Dethfest, Oct. 13. Photo by Richard Amery
The band I really wanted to see was Calgary’s Citizen Rage who are a pretty wild contrast as they played really anger fuelled more hardcore punk than metal music while surprisingly positive frontman Mark Russell frequently exhorted the crowd to get along with each other and come together as a community.


 They played a variety of snarling crowd favourites and  songs from their new “Pink” Ep including “Not this Time” and  the highlight “Breakdown.” As always, they played an intense sweaty, angry yet fun filled set.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 25 October 2017 07:41 )
 
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