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Found 6 results

  1. Guest

    Supercrawl line-up announced

    The line-up for this year's Supercrawl has been announced, and upon initial reflection I find it weaker than last year's, but there are still more acts left to be announced. Two ticketed kick-off events: - August 7th: Caribou, Jamie XX @ Pier 4 Park - September 10th: Whitehorse, Corb Lund @ New Vision United Church The main festival is September 11-13th and it's free, including (artists I recognize) Daniel Lanois, Eliott Brood, Monster Truck, Rich Aucoin, Terra Lightfoot, The Killjoys, and The Sadies. http://supercrawl.ca/music There is also a band called Royal Canoe which, by default, have the greatest name for a Canadian band ever.
  2. It was a cold rainy day in the UK last in the spring of 2013 when I heard of Charles Bradley for the first time. I was watching some BBC after dinner, and was bemused by their evening line-up: a documentary on Marvin Gaye and a Barry White concert, two legendary soul musicians. But stuffed between those two episodes was a documentary on one Charles Bradley. I wondered to myself “who is this Charles Bradley who is bestowed the honour of being placed between Marvin Gaye and Barry White??” The documentary was entitled “The Soul of America”. This set expectations rather high obviously, but also triggered a curiosity in me to discover some new music, as I always tend to want to do. That cold wet evening, as I watched Soul of America I discovered soul and funk music, and my music rotation was never the same again. Fast forward to this past month’s Supercrawl event in Hamilton. I was shocked that Charles Bradley himself was the main attraction on the final day of the event. He seemed an unlikely act for Hamilton. But shock was quickly replaced by excitement and anticipation… especially when the full day’s line up included an entire array of artists from Brooklyn’s Daptone music label, dubbed the Daptone Soul Revue. Unfortunately a favourite Daptone artist of mine, Budos Band, were not on the bill, but knowing the label quality I knew that it was going to be a special afternoon. Before the Daptone takeover there was one band I was looking forward to seeing, and that’s Hamilton’s own Dinner Belles. They are a folk country ensemble that reminds me of a real good Saturday night back in the day in Ottawa. With guitars, mandolin, banjo, simple snare/high hat drum kit, and solid vocal harmonies, this band has the allure of being that real good group of friends that get together and jam for the love of music. Their set was entirely enjoyable, and triggered some nostalgic sentiments in me, which brought on a big smile for the duration of the set. After this feelgood set the crowd started buzzing in anticipation of the rest of the acts. So my plan was to essentially stick to the main stage all day, skipping a couple of notable acts on an another stage, including Arcade Fire’s Sarah Neufeld performing material off her solo album, and Dinner Belles’ Terra Lightfoot who followed the bands set with a solo set afterwards on a side stage. First up were The Sugerman 3, a trio of non-distinctive but talented musicians, who played some tight funky grooves. It was nothing spectacular, but a good warm-up for the crowd to introduce the rest of evening. This is probably the long-term destiny for this band in fact, a warm up act for main bands, or possibly the backing band to some stand-out talent. Next up was gospel legend Naomi Jones and The Gospel Queens. Ms. Jones, an elegant elderly lady was treated with great respect by the audience as she took us to church with her music, and by the end she was presented with roses by the Daptones. Her backing band was none other than the Mehanan Street Band, a Daptone standard and favourite source of original grooves for hip-hop artists such as Jay-Z, 50 Cent, and Kendrick Lamar. After a long break, supposedly due to last minute border problems delaying a few members, Anitbalas took to the stage and proceeded to blast the audience with their funky politically-fuelled grooves. The step change from the previous act was quite noticeable, as Antibalas are definitely a world class band. The crowd broke into dance at this point, as the party was really getting started. Due to the scheduling issues that plagued the latter part of the schedule, there was some concern that Charles Bradley & the Extraordinaires’ set would be cut short due to curfew and equipment teardown time, but it was announced that Supercrawl extended the curfew so that Charles Bradley could get his full set in, which was really the only thing to do to avoid a riot in the crowd. What can I say about Charles Bradley that someone familiar with his music doesn’t already know? The man bares his absolute soul and leaves everything he has on that stage. This man is 65 years old, and still does the splits and various other James Brown moves. And how can you not feel absolute happiness by seeing the grin on the face of a man having the best time of his life after spending a significant part of his life living in poverty? The set towered through Charles Bradley’s best songs off of his two albums, including Heartaches & Pains, The World (Is Going Up In Flames), and The Golden Rule. His stage presence is absolutely incredible. You MUST stare at him for fear of missing a special moment. At the end of the set Charles Bradley came out into the audience, and gave hugs to everyone. Overall the Daptone Soul Revue was tremendously entertaining despite long wait times between bands, and was a tremendous conclusion to a terrific free three day event organized by the City of Hamilton. If the event continues to grow year-over-year as it has thus far, I simply cannot wait for next year. Highly recommended.
  3. Guest

    Supercrawl Review pt.2 is up!

    The second part of my review of Supercrawl week-end in Hamilton is up on the blog. Please enjoy responsibly: http://blog.jambands.ca/blog/2014/10/3/hamiltons-supercrawl-review-pt-2.html
  4. Hamilton’s sixth annual street festival Supercrawl came as advertised: a celebration of art, food, fashion, and music in the heart of Hamilton. Last year the festival drew a reported 100,000 people over three days, and expectations were high for the latest edition. The format for the festival is simple: close down James Street to car traffic from King Street to Barton Avenue (pretty much the main stretch of downtown), build four stages along it’s 1km span, fill the streets with local artist exhibits, food trucks, and vendors, and offer visitors three days of roaming, exploring, laughing, eating, and dancing to music. Did I mention that it’s all free? The primary draw is obviously the musical line-up, and there was no shortage of amazing internationally known musicians to fill all the timeslots. The festival kicked off on Thursday night with Polaris Prize winners A Tribe Called Red playing their electronic Native-inspired set, followed by Halifax indie-rocker Rich Aucoin. Both events were on the Supercrawl schedule, but were in fact paid entry at venues around the main Supercrawl strip. Friday night launched the outdoor program with local darlings The Arkells headlining the main stage, and drawing arguably the largest crowd of the entire festival. Some notable Saturday daytime acts included Operators, headed by the former frontman of Wolf Parade, and How To Dress Well, both who just released some great new albums. Saturday evening is where I start my personal review of the event, and it really is a story of two parts for me. Upon arriving, the first order of business was to walk the entire festival ground to find my bearings, and generally plan the walking route for the rest of the event. How To Dress Well play to a sparse audience on the main stage The very back of the event ground was where I first parked myself, at the Exclaim! Stage which was being taken over by the UK label Hyperdub, bringing some of their trademark sounds and beats to a small, yet very appreciative, North American audience. I arrived as Ikonika was making her way on the stage to take over the decks from Scratcha DVA, they seamlessly exchanged the controls, and she proceeded to drop some heavy beats that quickly turned the parking lot into a pseudo-rave. I had never heard of her before, but I knew that I was hearing quality, and made a note to explore her catalogue a bit further at some point. I probably would have enjoyed the set a bit more if not for a group of 'woo girls' that seemed determined to "woo!" there way through the as if they were at a Taylor Swift concert. They rightfully annoyed the generally hipster/raver crowd that was trying to enjoy the mood. One of the art exhibits was crowdsourced The main draw for me on this stage was a personal favourite of mine Four Tet, who unfortunately had to cancel at the last minute due to a family emergency, so that was a big letdown, and required me to rejig my planned itinerary for the evening. Towards the end of Ikonika’s set I decided to take a walk around and make my way to catch Kevin Drew (Broken Social Scene) on the main stage. In order to get there I needed to make my way through the throngs of people that for some reason got denser as I progressed back up James Street towards the main stage. At one point I realized that I was not going to make it to the main stage, as the people grew into a crowd, which grew into an immovable wall that was standing still… it didn’t take long for me to see why. Out of one of the intersections a giant steampunk tricycle emerged, spewing flames, flanked by several acrobats, and followed by various freaks. The Circus Orange had arrived. Steampunk trikey I will pause the review at this point so that we can all catch our breath. More to come soon, including show reviews of Kode9, Spoon, a wild Sunday, and more about these clowns.
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