Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Sidney York @ Library Square and also Treelines @ Electric Owl -- 07/12/11

It ended up being a busy Tuesday (of all nights) which resulted in a little bit of venue hopping. I was incredibly excited to see Sidney York for the first time, at the weekly Higher Learning shindig at Library Square, but first there was a stop at Electric Owl for Hair-E-Oke, an event centred around local photographer and all around awesome person Christine McAvoy chopping off 8 inches of her hair to donate to the Canadian Cancer Society.

But before she trimmed her trademark tresses, we were treated to a short set from Treelines. Even though it was only a handful of songs, they were as energetic as ever, with Matt Lockhart drenched in sweat two songs in. They played a trio of new songs, which should be out on an EP later on this year, that all sounded pretty cool; though for one of them, which was a bit of a slow burner, there were some speaker or audio problems that were a little distracting. The problem wasn't consistent through the set, but popped up again during the last song, "Ghost Towns". It wasn't enough to ruin the show, but was enough to be annoying. Despite that, it was the usual fun set that you get from Treelines.
They also mentioned that all proceeds from the sales of "When I Get Grown" from Bandcamp will also be going to the Canadian Cancer Society.

setlist
Summer Song, Linked Arms, "Banger", "Slow Burner", When I Get Grown, Young Man, Statuette, Ghost Town.

(two of these songs are as-yet-unnamed; can you guess which?)

From there it was a quick hop over to Library Square for Sidney York. Unfortunately I missed the opening band, Vows, the solo project of Chris Kelly (of White Knife nĂ© Analog Bell Service) and got there just at Sidney York's first song was wrapping up. Her backing band included members of Hey Ocean!, BeekeeperRococode and York went between guitar and keys, with the sound rounded out with a woodwind section with an oboe and a bassoon.

Before the show itself, though, I think Library Square is now officially one of my least favourite "venues" in the city, as the band is pretty much just set up in a weird corner of the pub, and the sound was really not that great. At all. But despite that, Sidney York put on one hell of a show. Everyone in the band was full of energy, but especially Sidney, who had a great presence, and was incredibly captivating.

The first song was "Dick & Jane", which I was sad to have all but missed, but she hit just about every song off her new album, Apocalyptic Radio Cynic, which has been my favourite "surprise" albums of the year. The infectious "Roll With Me" and somewhat dark "Math & Fractions" were a couple of highlights. Mid way through the band took a break and Sidney played "Falling" from her first album solo, which was a fantastic showcase of her vocal talents. The band came back and wrapped up the set with a pair of songs that York introduced as a bad way to react to to a breakup, "Stalker", and a good way to react, "Mile High Love", which is one of my favourites off the album. After the usual fake-leaving, they came back out for the expected encore -- with Devon Lougheed even lampshading the whole practice -- for another song that was (I think) off the first album, and was a good song to end the set on.

Mediocre sound notwithstanding, Sidney York and her band put on a really good show, and I can't wait to see her again, hopefully at a better venue. And hopefully sooner rather than later. If it was this enjoyable at a place like Library Square, I can only imagine what it would sound like at somewhere like the Media Club or Biltmore.

setlist
Dick & Jane, Doctor Doctor, Tea As It Should Be, Apocalyptic Radio Cynic, Math & Fractions, Falling, Cold In Here, Roll With Me, Stalker, Mile High Love.
(encore) [mystery song]

2 comments:

  1. Hey Kirk!
    Hate to do this, but I think you've made a mistake in your post. Ashleigh Ball played with VOWS but I don't believe she backed Sidney York in any of her songs. Unless, of course, I remember wrong (which is always a possibility!)
    They did sound so great though, didn't they? Loved the music! Not so much the setting though... you hit that nail right on the head.

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  2. You're absolutely right about Ball, but I actually meant Devon Lougheed, who was playing guitar for Sidney. He's the new backup guitarist for Hey Ocean, as well as a member of Beekeeper with Luke (who was on drums)

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