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Author Archives: Joe Taylor

An Englishman in Toronto

An Englishman in Toronto

John Young from Lifesigns flew over to Toronto to say hi! He brought a couple of friends with him. There was Astrid Young , who joke that they were the fluffers opening for John. Astrid played the 12 string, which she kept on tuning between sets, because she cared. Her partner in crime was Saskie Tomkins on Violin, Viola and a very bizarre looking instrument called a Nyckelharpa. This is the Sweden’s nation instrument. The ladies style had a folk sound to them but brought it forward with a stronger edge to it. Some of their set included original pieces called, “Matinee”, “Lily”, and “$150”. Astrid and John Young meet over 30 years ago and have been fellows musician mates since then. The song that caught my ear was a spacey folk song called, “Uncle Spaceship”. This one really took you on a journey.

Here are some images from the performance:

If you want to check out more of Astrid’s music, simply go to… http://www.astridyoung.net/

The time had come to bring the man out to entertain the intimate crowd at The Burdock. He politely asked if he could tell stories between songs. This was reciprocated with a resounding YES! He started telling us about his life growing up as a choirboy that is until he heard of a new band coming to fruition called, Led Zeppelin. He soon became the black sheep in the choir. He went into some of his older material and pulled out, “Closer”, as well as dipping into his old band, Cathedral.

What I enjoyed about John Young was that he has that classic progressive rock voice. Even when he was playing, you can hear faint remnants of other prog bands floating in the ether. I caught whiffs of Genesis, ELP, Sound of Contact, and even snippets of Ozric Tentacles.

He even told us about a happy childhood with his family and the bravery of his Aunt during the war as she saved many children. This song simply has to be a tribute song to these people is called, “When I was young”. During this song you could feel John projecting his openness and easy going spirit. As he got deeper into his musical stories you can feel that he was lucky enough to work with other excellent talent throughout his career.

I won’t go into them because they are many and can be very drawn out. He did mention names like Fish, Uli Roth, John Wetton, Scorpions and even Carl Palmer and even Bonnie Tyler, just to name a few. Being in such an intimate setting like the Burdock, you can sense the love John has for music, whether it be a festival or a small bar where he get to make new friends and share his music. If anything comes out of this, I urge you to find and buy Lifesigns, especially if you love Progressive Rock, this should be added to your collection.

Here are some images from the Performance:

To find Lifesigns as wells as other great music go to… http://www.lifesigns.me/

To see an intimate performance at Bloor and Dufferin Street , here is the Burdocks website… http://burdockto.com/

Choir, Choir, Choir!

Choir, Choir, Choir!

There is a company who are championing the legalization of Weed in Toronto. We are now only days away from this becoming a reality. Up just made this pre-party to what is about to happen. You could smell the celebration in the air as we were getting ready for Choir , Choir, Choir. What is… Continue Reading

Sugar Rush at the CNE

Sugar Rush at the CNE

It is a great summer night and if you were riding some great rides at the EX, you would want to take a break and see some awesome music provided you by both Crown Lands and Big Sugar. Crown Lands came on stage like two wailing banshees. Kevin Comeau did what he does best, flipping… Continue Reading

The Mono- Wails!

The Mono- Wails!

There is a new space in Toronto to do fun activities. It is called the Bentway. It lies under the Gardiner just east of the CNE. I went skating there in the winter and now in summer, it hosted The Monowhales. They came out with their love letter to Toronto, “Home”. The energy just grew… Continue Reading

Devouring Saturn, Of Dark

Devouring Saturn, Of Dark

Well here it is the next chapter of this enigmatic band. “Of Dark”, is the other side of their first recording, “Of Light”. This four song EP is filled with the energy of a freight train hitting you and they were never going to try and stop. The initial flavor I tasted was, if Dream… Continue Reading

ELOOOOOOH!

ELOOOOOOH!

What can I say, but Toronto showed up to this sold out show, with excitement in tacked. It has been 34 years since ELO has played Toronto. Before the show we were entertained by the house music, which was clearly represented by Jeff Lynne’s former partners in the Travelling Wilburys.  We were listening to George… Continue Reading

Jully is Back in Black

Jully is Back in Black

Jully Black closed out the Saturday night in Woodbine Park for the Beaches Jazz Festival and simply killed it. This woman has an honesty to her that she shares with everyone in the audience. She speaks of truth, openness and venerability the gives her performance a strong sense of humility. She put a lot of… Continue Reading