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Show Review: Vanderpark & Caution Press @ Dekcuf


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I was left with a dilemma on Saturday: with Bootyjuice having cancelled their tour :(, should I go see The Spades a second time, or head to Cafe Dekcuf to see what was going on in its place? Seeing as I had told Vanderpark I'd be there to tape Bootyjuice and the other bands, and since the other band, "Caution Press", apparently had some connection to "Freephonic", that I'd heart about but never heard, I decided to drop by and see what was up before making my final decision.

With the change in line-up, it turned out that there was a later start (10:00pm instead of 9:30pm), with Caution Press doing about an hour, followed by two sets of Vanderpark. It had been a while since I'd seen Vanderpark, and their membership has changed, so I decided to stay at Dekcuf.

Caution Press was pretty impressive. The sound quality gave me some problems (one guitar was up too much and a little "brash" in the mix, I couldn't hear the keys, and I thought the vocals were a little muddy), but the playing was top-notch: these guys (esp. the bassist and the lead guitarist) were obivously seasoned musicians. The songs (I'd call the band song-based, rather than jam-based, though there were some jams that makes me think they could have slayed us if they chose to) were good, written well, with enough musicality to support the lyrics. Overall, I was impressed, and think that, if they start doing more gigs, they'll be a welcome addition to (at least) Ottawa's music scene.

Vanderpark then started playing, and wow! Their playing on Saturday was loads funkier than I'd heard them do before, with the highlight, for me, being a cover of "On Broadway". There was a lot of jamming and quite a bit funk. There were a few times, though, where one player would have a mis-step in the groove, which was a bit jarring to my ears. I'll also give them serious points for trying a vocal jam; it may not have sounded the best, but it was something you don't often hear bands stretching out to try.

So, you have a first set of heavy-duty funk, then set break, and then what? Well, the second set was a bit disappointing to me. It started with some free-form bebop poetry with musical backing, which I kind of liked, for the same reason I was happy to see the vocal jam: it's a stretch, and you don't see bands tryhing this kind of thing. It also wasn't too bad to hear.

The rest of the second set, though, didn't work for me at all. It was stiff, based more around songs, which can work, but didn't that night, and wasn't very funky at all. It sounded like a very different band, and I wanted the one from the first set back.

Don't read too much into this, though: Vanderpark can play, and their new keyboard player (formerly of Cavern, I think) is a joy to watch and hear. The first set was loads of funky fun, but the second set just didn't hook up for me.



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their new keyboard player (formerly of Cavern, I think)

Dave Cohen from Edmonton? If he's formerly of Cavern then that's who it is. The guy is a wicked keyboard player but I had no idea he had left Cavern. They're a solid band, as well. Thanks for the review, BradM.

actually, Dave's from Calgary...a true cowboy (he's even got a hat).

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drummer extraordinaire is a cavern expatriate as well.

i second the bad sound for caution press. Steve (bass player) was not feeling well, and I've heard much better shows from freephonic and heard better performances from 'grand national' which is not caution press. You're right, brad - with more shows and playing these guys will be making some breathtaking music. I'm a fan and glad to see them out when i can. It's a very different vibe than seeing them play in the basement near kemptville.

their songs are put together nicely.

as for vanderpark - i was thoroughly impressed.

if you go out looking for ultimite magic and breathtaking musicianship, you'll be angry and pissy. the true jamband geeks theat pride themselves on having the best taste - the ones that are ultimitely picky and complain about this and that and this and that - will probably not enjoy their time as much as they would if they just went for a fun night of music.

vanderpark is tiiight. definitely pop fusion jamband.

caution press is not a jamband. they could stand to open it up a bit more, but they're not jammers.

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