Violet Sounds Sessions With The Strumbellas at 3030

The Strumbellas @ 3030 Dundas, 17-12-12

Date of show: December 17, 2012
Written by: Chiara DiAngelo

Put on by Snow Day Studios, the Violet Sound Sessions are cited as “a mergence of live performance, recorded music, music video, and interactive visualization.” Four bands played individual invite-only shows at 3030 in The Junction, from which a video of one of the songs would be created from each. Raucous alt-country/folk ensemble The Strumbellas were the final band of the series. Using the green screening technique to infuse post-production effects, the band sported various green articles of clothing, plus there were green cut-outs of leaves hanging from the ceiling. Attendees were warned that they weren’t just an audience – they were also now extras in the video, and everyone was therefore encouraged to dance and clap and join in as much as possible.

From the start, frontman Simon Ward’s drunkenly flirtatious and hilarious banter had the crowd howling with laughter. Their rambunctious set was filmed in its entirety, though the crew would only pick one song to create a video for. You could tell that the band was trying so hard to achieve that magic moment where everyone knew it was “the song.” A tambourine was broken in the process as the band played favourites like “I Just Had A Baby” and “The Sheriff” (on this night it was pronounced with a classy French accent) from My Father And The Hunter as well as experimenting with some new material.

After insisting that the small group could leave at any time – it was a Monday night after all – Ward finally chose to end their set with “Pistol.” Afterwards, Ward exclaimed that everyone else was thinking – “that was the one!” With no one in much of a hurry to leave, they continued on with a final tune, getting everyone to participate in their cover of “Float On” by Modest Mouse.

We were excited to be a part of such a different experience and can’t wait to see the final product!

Brothers Kirkpatrick

Bluegrass four-piece Brothers Kirkpatrick opened the night – announcing that they had actually changed their band name to The Barrel Boys (at least that’s what we think they changed their name to) just before taking the stage. Led by Kyle Kirkpatrick on the dobro, and featuring both banjo and upright bass, the band treated the audience to some pretty fine authentic bluegrass. Beyond the instrumental mastery of Kirkpatrick, the band’s greatest strength was the possession of four strong voices, which translated into really lovely four-part harmonies. Playing their versions of classic standards and waltzes, the banjoist took the lead on a couple of original tracks – “Would You Still Love Me If Someone Better Came Along” and “Don’t Fall In Love With A Banjo Man.” The infectiously humorous lyrics quickly won over the crowd.

Having had limited recent live exposure to the bluegrass genre beyond hungover Bluegrass Brunch at The Dakota, this young band left us more than a little impressed.

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Categories: Live Music


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