CMW Night 5: Will Currie + Friends at the Gladstone Hotel

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Will Currie & The Country French @ Gladstone Hotel, 03-13-11
[Pictured above: Will Currie & The Country French]

Gay – 8:30PM @ Gladstone Hotel (North Ballroom)

Sometimes when you hear a band’s name, it makes you extra curious. I wasn’t sure what to expect from Gay, whose members are Cameron Michael Murray, Neil Rankin, Paul Erlichman and Tom Avis. I entered the North Ballroom of the Gladstone Hotel to… almost no one. Gay took the stage, dressed in cardigans and vests, with only a few friends/family members in the audience. But people started to filter in as their set went on. With an upbeat and fun stage presence to go along with upbeat and fun tunes, Gay is, well, gay. They’ve got a bit of a musical theatre-esque approach to banter and stage presence. Gay bouncing around on stage to their up-tempo tunes put a smile on my face. With raw vocals, smooth transitions between instruments and lead vocal duty, they put on a great set. Oh, and they just released an EP too. Check it out!

Will Currie & The Country French – 9:30PM @ Gladstone Hotel (North Ballroom)

Playing piano-driven pop-rock at its finest, Will Currie & The Country French took the stage to a much more filled out room. Will Currie (vocals, piano) shares the stage with Amanda Currie (vocals), Dan Beacock (guitar, vocals), Daniel MacPherson (bass, vocals), Aaron Mariash (drums, vocals), and Steve Wood (percussion, Rhodes, vocals). There is a sense of earnest in their approach, with Will unable to sit still, demonstrating such unbridled passion as he sang. There’s also a bit of an old soul tinge to his vocals to go along with their music that pays homage to the great piano rock of 70s, while adding their own modern and youthful exuberance. To top it off, their stage banter was picture-perfect for the end of the festival: “Anyone see Bachman Turner Overdrive? Janet Jackson? Melissa Ethridge? Fred Penner? Sean Kingston? …What year is this festival in, by the way?” Amazing.

Look out for more from this band, as they’re planning to release an album in October.

The Pinecones – 10:30PM @ Gladstone Hotel (North Ballroom)

The Pinecones carry a bit of classic vibe to their guitar-driven tunes, which are generally quite upbeat. Fronted by Brent Randall, the band played as a 3-piece, though recorded The Pinecones is a 4-piece. As one of the last acts of the festival, they played to a very sparse crowd. However, members of Gay and their friends made the most of the space and danced away, which drew smiles from the band. The Pinecones sounded quite tight, with great guitar work, including some fancy and soulful soloing. Despite the small crowd, this set was a great way to end the festival.

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Categories: Canadian Music Week 2011, Live Music


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