Friday, I’m in love…with two bands I saw at CMW this year

The weekend! This is when Canadian Music Week really hits its stride for me, mostly because I don’t have to get up early for work the day after the shows. I am 30 now and I get sleepy.

I think Friday might have been my favourite musical night of the festival, though Honheehonhee were pretty awesome. I started this one off really well though, with Patti Cake, fronted by the excellent Kritty Uranowski. Kritty is one of those frontwomen who can not only sing circles around her peers, but has personality to spare — she’s just a ton of fun to watch and listen to.

As a bonus, Patti Cake’s music is great too. Any mash-up between retro girl groups and indie rock is right up my alley, and I give bonus points for a song about a ghost cat. Can’t wait to see this band again.

I spent the rest of the night back at Rancho, where I caught three more bands. James and Blackburn — not the names of anyone in the band — had a much fuller sound than their three-piece arrangement would suggest. They play fairly straight-ahead indie rock, but it’s very tight and catchy indie rock. It’s hard to go wrong with an accessible sound and good musicians. Fire and Neon were also a three piece but leaned more on the electric side, complete with an impressively large keyboard setup. I felt like they got a bit lost in the Friday night line-up and I’m surprised they didn’t have more people out to see them, considering I had heard some buzz for the band. It can be hard during the festival; there are so many good bands, and not all of them get their fair due.

One band that did, however, was Meanwood, who stand out as my favourite act of CMW this year. Meanwood’s lead singer, Viktoria, is a former Rancho bartender, so we all know her well. This did mean, though, that I was a bit worried I wouldn’t dig their set — she was right there! What if I had to lie and she could tell?! That ended up not being a concern at all; I loved the band’s ballsy country sound and Viktoria is a great lead singer. They played an awesome set, especially considering that their bassist Eric was out of commission due to an unplanned meeting between his bike and a streetcar just days earlier. But they had no sign of jitters despite the fact that they were playing with a sub-in bassist, and Eric even joined them on stage for a couple songs despite having one arm in a sling. Definitely my favourite surprise of the fest.

Watch for the final night’s review tomorrow!


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