CMW Night #4: Zoobombs, The Shakey Aches, and more.

My final night at Canadian Music Week started off innocently enough, but it ended with a bang. I’ll get around to that later. After some pre-show vegan eats at Hot Beans and a coffee to get me started, I took in another set from Alcoholic Faith Mission (this time at the El Mo). I already wrote about them in a prior article, but it’s fairly high praise that a bunch of us went back and caught them a second time during such a busy festival. Check this band out!

We had meant to follow that up with a set by Hannah Georgas, but I guess The Supermarket was running behind (sensing a running theme yet?). We headed back to Rancho and saw a stripped down set by Trevor James & The Perfect Gentlemen. Instead of a full band set, Trevor James played with only a Uke accompanying his acoustic versions of TJPG songs. I’m fairly particular about my singer songwriter fare, but this style really suited the TJPG songs well. You really got a sense of how well written his songs are. It was a nice set that hopefully will get more people to check out their recordings, because they’re great guys and a great band.

The next set I caught was The Shakey Aches at Rancho. They played a fun set of fuzzy punk with a 60’s influenced pop edge. Not the most original sound but they were owning it. Dan mentioned they reminded him of what Mark Sultan would sound like as a full band with Feist’s sax player. Pretty accurate way to put it, if you ask me. I regret not purchasing the 7″ they had for sale.

Next up was Short Pants Romance at The Silver Dollar. I’m just going to come out and say it: What a terrible band name! I had given their MySpace a quick listen though, and it sounded promising. Turns out you can’t judge a book by its cover I guess, because Short Pants Romance got up and played a blistering set of retro-punk fronted by an adorable female singer who ruled the room in her own passive kind of way. She was wandering around through the crowd or even just sitting on the edge of the stage while singing. Their guitarist — in full Wes Anderson garb and aping all kinds of Costello moves (think of the My Aim Is True album cover but with more spitting) — was a blast as well.

I was supposed to see Parks & Rec at 1 am next, but I really wanted to check the Zoobombs out at The Comfort Zone. They’re one of those bands that everyone who sees them will always come back raving about. Well now it’s my time to rave. Oh. My. God. Zoobombs may have played my favourite show in the past few years. They were noisy, funky, and full of an insane amount of energy. I can seriously say that it was mind blowing. I don’t know what else to say, but now I know that there’s a reason why they have such a devoted fanbase. They even got an encore!

Being at The Comfort Zone actually offered one advantage on Saturday night: CATL were playing mini-sets between all the bands! I also covered them earlier, but you seriously need to see this band live!

Back at Rancho Elizabeth were playing, I didn’t get a chance to get up front and listen to them, but I liked what I heard from the back. The final show of the festival for me was The Skirt Chasers at 3 am. The Skirt Chasers are a band that really do get better and better every time I see them. I’ve mentioned in the past that the blues-duo genre is fairly overcrowded, but they’re doing it really well. They even brought the crowd up on stage at the end of their set which made for a fittingly explosive end to the festival for me.

And that’s the end of another CMW! I took Sunday off for recovery, and I’m better for it today. I hope all of your festival experiences were as good as mine, see you next year!

Dan Gorman

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