Indie pop carnival delight
THE LAST TIME I saw Toronto’s the Hidden Cameras, it was a glorious spectacle at St. Matthew’s United Church in Halifax with dancers dressed in plastic bags, streamers from the balcony and assorted other surprises that make Joel Gibb’s indie pop carnival such a treat to catch on stage.
The band is still touring behind its 2009 Arts & Crafts release Origin:Orphan, with repeated demands for appearances overseas (especially in Germany where two of their song titles, Music Is My Boyfriend and Ban Marriage have become book titles), yet its current round of Canadian dates marks the first time it’s played Quebec City. Go figure!
Halifax is just lucky, I guess, and one wonders what Gibb & Co. have up their sleeves for their show in the cozier confines of Reflections Cabaret on Tuesday night. Catchy songs of sexual freedom and simmering anger for sure. Party favours? Maybe.
There’s also the added bonus of Gentleman Reg’s alter ego Regina the Gentlelady in his newish band Light Fires (with Ohbijou’s James Bunton), making Tuesday’s show a double delight.
Advance tickets are $13.99 (plus fee) and going fast at sonicconcerts.com. Lollygaggers can shell out $16.99 at the door.
There are a couple of fun folk tours taking place over the next week or so that are worth a mention, starting with the dynamic duo of Coco Love Alcorn and Ian Sherwood. This pair of multi-talents are hitting the asphalt with a new EP, titled Ian & Coco, defying both the laws of ladies first and alphabetical order, but that’s how they roll.
Upcoming dates include Truro’s Marigold Arts Centre on Friday at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday at Dragonfly Cafe in Antigonish at 8 p.m.; Chester Playhouse on June 23, at 8 p.m., and a house concert in the Liverpool/Brooklyn area on June 24 (email email@example.com if interested).
On a more traditional note, the Celtic Umbrella Ensemble brings the acoustic Scottish, Irish and Quebecois roots of Canadian folk music into the 21st century with a tweaked lineup that sees guitarist Seph Peters and fiddlers Anna Ludlow and Gillian Boucher joined by Antigonish native Mary Beth Carty on accordion, vocals and percussion.
With a broader, brighter mix of sounds than before, Celtic Umbrella performs tonight at The Red Shoe Pub in Mabou at 10 p.m., before heading to Sydney’s St. Patrick’s Church on Saturday at 8 p.m. and L’Arche Chapel in Iron Mines (south of Whycocomagh) on Sunday at 7:30 p.m.
The tour picks up on the mainland on Friday, June 22, at Seaside Centre in Beach Meadows (on the South Shore, just outside of Brooklyn) and wraps up at King’s Theatre in Annapolis Royal on June 23.
For more info, and news of the quartet’s upcoming album, check out the Celtic Umbrella Ensemble page on Facebook.
If you’d like it louder, Friday is a good night to give your earplugs a workout, with Newfoundland’s the Novaks returning to rock The Seahorse Tavern with Yarmouth’s finest, Rain Over St. Ambrose. As an added bonus, there’ll be a set by Laura Merrimen, who just released her fiery new CD Midnight Roll this week.
The Novaks should be in fine form, coming off a tour of Ontario and Quebec; you can stream their latest, the digital EP Big World, at thenovaks.ca.
You can also stream, or download for free, the Hate Won’t Save You EP from new Halifax band Batholith at batholith.bandcamp.com.
The self-described “sludgy doomy hardcore” band with a penchant for one-word titles (Demons, End, Maker) makes its live debut Friday night at the Khyber Arts Centre, on a bill that marks the return of the mighty VKNGS, with Kuato and the Wides.
Show starts at 9 p.m. sharp, cover is $8, volume will be high.