Saturday, March 2, 2013

Toque Sessions: beekeeper hearts Sidney York @ CBC Vancouver -- 02/28/13

Now in their fourth year, the CBC Toque Sessions is a series of free shows at the CBC Vancouver building, featuring some great local talent, and recorded for later broadcast on CBC Radio and CBC Music.

Hosted by CBC Radio 3's Grant Lawrence, this was a unique session, titled "beekeeper hearts Sidney York", with the "sibling bands" sharing the bill. Aside from being often tour-mates, the two bands also share members; Brandi Sidoryk is the voice of Sidney York and the bass of beekeeper; Luke Cyca keeps the rhythm on drums for both bands; and beekeepers's Devon Lougheed not only plays guitar with Sid occasionally, but also produced their upcoming album. 

Sidney York started the night with their unique indie-pop, with three classically trained musicians and including an oboe & bassoon, two instruments you rarely see outside an orchestra. They kicked off with the upbeat and poppy "Mile High Love" and got the crowd clapping along to the infinitely catchy "Dick & Jane".
As always, so much energy from the three ladies -- Brandi Sidoryk, Sheryl Reinhardt, and Krista Wodelet -- especially Brandi who, when not behind the keyboard, bounces around the stage.
The set also included a few new songs off their upcoming album, Hearts, which saw Devon out to join them on guitar.
Since they joined Brandi to make the group a trio, Krista and Sheryl have gotten much more comfortable on stage, and are fully integrated into the new songs, as opposed to just playing on the songs Brandi had written for the last album. A love song to technology -- as it was introduced -- "Electrolove" saw all three of them played the same keyboard, and Krista had more prominent vocals on the newer songs. After the synthy title track "Hearts", they wrapped up their half of the show with another new one, "Want You Back", a rich and lush song that had me hooked, and definitely looking forward to the new album.

setlist
Mile High Love; Dick & Jane; Doctor Doctor; Math and Fractions; Electrolove; Hearts; Want You Back.

After a brief break, the pre-recorded "Bad Advice Hotline" sounded through the studio (giving apt advice like "if you get confused, just nod") and beekeeper took the stage, launching into "Table & Bed". Their frantic, poppy math-rock can be hard to pin down, with songs routinely changing tempo, key or even time signature, but they're also ridiculously fun and unique. The songs have boundless energy, which comes from all three members, especially from Devon, who hardly stood still all night; even performing a high flying leap off an amp during "I Don't Need Hope, I Need Whiskey" -- which he admitted proved dangerous at a recent show.
They did bring it down for one calm song in the set, the low key "Drownings" saw just Devon on guitar with Luke and Brandi coming to the front of the stage for backup vocals. But they swung the energy right back as the remaining members of Sidney York came on stage for the kazoo solo (yes, kazoo solo) in the catchy-yet-out-of-left-field country swerve that "Oh Hi!" takes, and Krista & Sheryl stayed on to add their bassoon and oboe to the next couple songs.
They wrapped up the night memorably as every members from both bands took the stage for a gorgeous cover of "Your Ex-Lover is Dead", originally by Stars.

The show was a great addition to the pretty stellar lineup of CBC Toque Sessions this season. And as they draw to a close, I am hoping that next winter will see another round of great bands as the Toque Sessions continue.

setlist
Table & Bed; Sudden Cuckoo; It's the Blood; I Don't Need Hope, I Need Whisky; Drownings; Oh Hi!; Good News; Spider Webs/Insect Eyes; Your Ex-Lover is Dead [Stars cover].

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