Brass Camel has Balls!

Brass Camel has Balls!

Brass Camel is a Progressive Rock band from Vancouver and their caravan rolled through Toronto recently and arrived at Baby G. I only heard a snippet of their music but was intrigued enough to want to see one of those oh so few Progressive Rock bands that inhabit Canada. Before I get into their performance they did have an opening act from Hamilton that I would like to speak about first.

Daniel Walton & The Dreamland Band hail from Hamilton, Ontario. Yes you read that right, a band from Hamilton that is not affiliated with the Punk Rock scene. I honestly didn’t see this one coming. They are the first Prog band that I heard of coming from the Hammer.

They strolled on stage and let us know the first song was going to be a long song. I was looking forward to what magical tricks they were going to turn up with. Well they started off with a solid epic opening and then threw you off kilter pretty quickly. There composition became a mess of very different time signatures and speeds that didn’t make a lot of sense.  Then it was back to business. It felt like you had a short circuit in your brain, but rebooted it pretty quickly. That was pretty methodical in a kind of schitzoid moment. They throw you into a dream-like state only to hit you with nightmarish moments to keep your mind in the repair shop again. Then they added a cherry to this serpentine piece by finishing it off with Yes’ Starship Trooper.

As I was photographing them, I lean onto the stage to look at their set list. They only had 4 songs on there. I knew I was going to love these guys at that moment. These guys came to play and impress. They had moments of really rocking out. It was like if Ted Nugent went into a hard rock progressive band and this would be the sound he would produce.

The last song was called “The scientist and the dreamer”. It was a perfect title because of the technical prowess of their playing and the utopian lulling they pulled you in with. Toronto clearly fell in love with this band quickly and we did squeeze an encore out of them. Daniel Walton yelled out at the very end that Progressive Rock is back, and as long as we have a band like Dreamland coming and playing in Toronto, I am sure this will be the seed to help grow more up and coming bands to explore the endless world of Progressive Rock.

Here are some images of Dreamland:

Well, speaking of progressive rock, have you heard of Brass camel? The Dreamland praised the hell out of these guys during their set. I though they raised the bar quite high, and then the headliners walked onto stage with their solid coloured suits. This was the new uniform for music because they looked sharp and piqued, ready to throw you into reverence. The mental circus had begun. Right off from the first note my brain was uttering- Holy Funking Jimi Hendrix! This was a total step back into the 70’s with all the high platform boots that would strut down city streets with an attitude of confidence and swagger.

As they were liquefying our thoughts, they went in to shower us with past progressive classics like Rush’s La Villa Strangiato, and Yes’ Heart of the Sunrise. Even the bass player was channeling Chris Squire with his solid bass lines. His bass guitar even looked like something Chris would be playing. Their endless moods dragged us through swamps, hung us upside down and even threw us into the Orgasmatron. Their approach was like inviting you into a chemical lab and mixing all the right doses to get the emotional response from you immediately. It was a balance of madness and happiness melded together in perfect harmony.

For you progressive rock fans, this is the best way I can describe them so you can get a feeling of what you missed. They were Genesis with all the revelations, they were Kansas that kicked Toto out of the basket, they were Styx with all the stones!

These guys were so good, they are the first progressive rock band that actually had a mosh pit at the front of the stage. Their music is so strong and high flying, people needed to exercise their right to get that excited energy out of their system.

Their sound could be extremely expansive and then gently rock you back for a mellow vacation. The guitarist even played a talk box the way Peter Frampton did back in the mid 70’s. Each and every player was on fire and on the mark and they had one hell of a good time doing it. Toronto really was happy to have a band like this visit our fair city, and the band seemed very excited that they let us know they will be back hopefully in the fall. When I spoke to them after the show, I let them know they will need a larger venue. Baby G’s were bursting at the seams that evening. They want to hit the Legendary Horseshoe, I suggested Lee’s Palace. It doesn’t really matter to me, because I am looking forward to the next time I get to witness the Brass Balls of Brass Camel!

Here are some images of Brass Camel:

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