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Happy Holidaze ... (a fairly long read inside)

mark tonin

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Went to the Fat Cats show last night (Dec. 28) at The Casbah in Hamilton. Wow!!! Fans were out in full force, and the band kicked ass! Two full sets of electric fatties, with plenty of danceable grooves, sweet songs, and intense jams. In addition to Todd, Dave, Chris, and Joel, fans were treated to a surprise as former keyboard player Ron (I hope I got his name correct) sat in for the whole show and he definitely helped to fill out the sound. Very phat!!! At one point during the first set (maybe during Climb?) I remember watching as Ron was playing some groovy keyboard part. Todd gave a signal to change, and then Joel resisted and tried to urge the band to stay in the groove so that Ron could explore some more. Some dissonance occurred as part of the band made the shift and part of the band didn't (I was rooting for Joel and Ron at that point). Interesting stage dynamics and musical dissonance - got my head spinning for a while. I was really glad to hear Ron come through more in the second set, particularly at the beginning of the set during a long keyboard led jam. I love the fatties and think that Todd Gillies is an awesome singer and guitar player, but in my opinion this band brings it to a whole new level when keyboards are part of the mix. And I really dig it when Chris plays his tunes - again, adds to the whole fatties experience. As per usual, Dave Hill was laying down some bottom end that had my body shaking, and it was so nice to have Joel back to play at this show - good luck to him as he heads back to drum school in New York. He can play!!! Also nice to see so many people from other bands at the show, including Mike, Jer, and Darryn from BNB, John, Geoff and Paul (I think Paul was there … unless it was a hallucination) from Jomomma, and Jeffrey (formerly of BNB). I look forward to the next fatties show, whenever it occurs.

The New Year is rapidly approaching, and I am planning on taking John Kent's advice when I make any resolutions - I will do more of all of the things that I enjoy doing!!! Speaking of the new year, there are many exciting NYE alternatives available this year, be it nero & Grand Theft Bus in Frederiction, Moses Mayes in Winnipeg, BNB, tND, or Caution Jam in Toronto, or Jomomma in Kitchener-Waterloo. Personally, I am going to be at the Jomomma show, and it will be a wicked party!!! These guys have been playing a lot recently, and are getting ready to record a new cd in the next few months. I'm sure we'll hear lots of their new material at the NYE show, including catchy new songs and space funk jams. And for those of you who haven't been, the venue is a treat - a relaxed "anything goes" atmosphere and a sweet sounding room, with some added visual effects (lights and smoke) that will make it even more memorable. Tickets are going fast for this event so if you are planning on going and don't yet have tickets be sure to call (519)883-0340 or email the band at quasilay@hotmail.com.

The end of the year is always a good time for "best of the year" and "favourite" lists, so here are some (partial) lists to ponder and reflect upon:

My favourite Canadian jamband shows from 2001:

BNB at the University of Guelph on March 21

Groovediggas and then BNB at Frontier Town on May 20

nero at the Fall Music Fest in Kitchener on Sept. 21

Jomomma at the the Fall Music Fest in Kitchener on Sept. 22

nero at the Circus Room in Kitchener on Nov. 10

Fat Cats at the Casbah in Hamilton on Dec. 28

Some bands (in addition to those mentioned above) that I am looking forward to seeing in 2002:


Grand Theft Bus

The Jimmy Swift Band

Moses Mayes and The Funk Family Orchestra

Peace to everyone as we head into 2002 …..

Mark Tonin



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