A Bag full of Surprises

A Bag full of Surprises

I was lucky enough to get an invite from the promoter of Save Toronto Music Venues to see a host of bands at Sneaky Dee’s. These are all new punk bands I never heard of or seen at all, so I was excited for some new music. Now this doesn’t happen very often, but I must admit I was blown away by the opening act. He just played an acoustic guitar while some of the other acts were full blown Punk Rockers. On the bill he was Civilian fern, but people were calling him Chase the Entertainer. I found out later he has other side projects as well.

My initial description about his music would have sounded like this, His songwriting style sounded like Bob Dylan if he was living next door to a Meth House. As he got deeper into his set, his wording was very fast and erratic, but with phrases such as, “My heart is my strongest bone”, you know this guy has been somewhere in life. He even had a song about being arrested on mushrooms. His crazy volatile energy was like trying to escape his own psychological nightmares. In fact, his stanima is so high sometimes I believe amphetamines go to him for a boost of energy. Not only can you get a burp out of him now and again, but he will sing about pirates and shit.

Here are some images of Civilian Fern:

Well, the next acoustic artist came up and his name was Jesse Webb. His set was tamer, but it had to be, as he sang about being “Homeward Bound”. Apparently, he let us know that the closest thing to his heart was his lungs- Begin a slow burn laugh now…

I really enjoyed his tune, “Keeping up with the Jones”: A mad look at your own insecurities. It was both fun and quirky. He moved into a fun and cute moment where he invited his girlfriend up on stage to do a couple of songs, and he swears she is the better singer. He was right. Jesse then did something quite different and fun. He jumped into the audience without a mike or being plugged in, and started jamming to a Brittany Spears song and the bar had a sing-a-long. This to him was the highlight of his career. So he went back on stage and finished his set with a song about a hot mother mug of peppermint tea.

Here are some images of Jesse Webb:

Let the Punk Rock begin! This band named Pot is Drugs, hails from London Ontario, where they are producing a very healthy punk scene that is making their way into Toronto’s veins and headspace. They are what I consider a Pop Punk band and they do have some pretty good hooks to their sound. They seem to enjoy singing songs about people you hate. The real entertainer was the lead guitarist whose energy was everywhere on stage. With all his Rock Star posing and jumping around like an escaped kangaroo, he is the guy you will see falling into an Amp in your town soon!

Here are some images of Pot is Drugs:

Next on this eclectic guest list is a band named The Black Void. In simple terms, they are campy, crampy and filled with cream. In fact they even yelled out, “There’s something rotten in my mouth”! With their Rocky Horror Picture Show outfits, this novelty act will be bringing in some serious voyeurs to their future shows. Dave, who is the Frank-N-Furter of the bunch, could never seem to get his guitar tuned just right between songs, so the band had a lot of strange banter, like letting us know it’s OK to smoke pot all day. Even though I never have seen them before they played a new tune that sounded very much like a classic Ramones song. The keyboardist, who mostly just stood and looked cute for the show, finally had a chance to shine and she did by belting out a punk version of Cher’s, “Do you believe in love”. They finished off their set with a true dynamic punk sound.

Here are some images of The Black Void:

Finally, the band Death Waits hit the stage and told the crowd, it’s going to getting fuckin’ loud! And it did get loud, the sound got terrible, the mike didn’t work properly, the vocals were harrowing. They were the essence of true punk, just noise.

Here are some images of Death Waits:

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