CMW Night 5: Tribute to Paul Gourlie & More at the Horseshoe Tavern

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Goodnight, Sunrise – Quad Rock Spin Class @ Quad East

Hardcore spinners and first-timers (myself included) collided at Quad East for Goodnight, Sunrise’s second annual rock and roll spin class. With instructor Michelene at the front of the class, the band provided a high energy workout soundtrack. It got sweaty – fast. The workout was intense, quickly accelerating at breakneck speed. But when I felt like giving up, the band’s unrelenting passion and excited energy was encouragement enough to make it to the end. In full “we’re all in it together” spirit, there were fist-pumps galore, especially throughout the climactic “This is Yours.” Spinning enthusiast Vanessa Vakharia (synths, vocals) even took the pedals to instruct for their last song and still managed to not miss a beat.

Definitely one of the most uniquely fun CMW experiences I’ve had, there were even libations courtesy of Molson ‘67 to help with rehydration afterwards. If you see it on the schedule next year, don’t hesitate. I walked out shaky legged, red-faced, and dripping sweat, but more exuberant than I had felt in ages and ready to take on the final night of the festival.

A death in the tight-knit Canadian music industry rocks us all pretty hard. Especially when it hits one of the best in the business and comes far too early. On May 10, 2013, The Agency Group’s Paul Gourlie passed away from cystic fibrosis at the young age of 37, having actually defied the odds and living a full life that extended far past his anticipated life expectancy. A lover of the Horseshoe and Canadian Music Week, on the one-year anniversary of his passing, family, friends and industry folk as well as music fans eager to see favourite bands in a small venue, packed the place to celebrate Gourlie’s life with the help of two bands he discovered – Bedouin Soundclash and The Trews. It was truly a special night that I was lucky enough to be a part of.

Bedouin Soundclash – 8:30PM @ Horseshoe Tavern

The lineup snaked out the door of the Horseshoe before doors opened and venue was jammed by the time Bedouin Soundclash took the stage for a short set. Having met Gourlie at the Horseshoe once upon a time ago, the currently-on-hiatus band brought back the original lineup for part of the set to honour his memory. Dancing away to the poppy reggae rhythms of “12:59 Lullaby” and “Walls Fall Down” seemed to have a cathartic effect on the audience and there was an inexplicable sense of magic in the early summer air. Looking around at all the smiling faces singing along to “When the Night Feels My Song” was one of those perfect show moments – we were home.

The Trews – 9:30PM @ Horseshoe Tavern

Nova Scotia rockers The Trews started with a slower – yet still upbeat – song, “65 Roses,” which was inspired by Gourlie’s passing. There was something undeniably moving and down-right goosebump-inducing to the lyric “there’s a new star in the sky.” Afterwards they let their much-loved high-powered guitar riffs rip, bringing out an East Coast party and encouraging the crowd to do like East Coasters and “get drunk and dance” to tunes like “Hope and Ruin” and “Tired of Waiting.” Raising a glass to Gourlie, they ended with “Not Ready to Go.” Over far too quickly, The Trews left the stage to fans yelling for more, not realizing there was another showcase scheduled and the band was unable to comply.

Gentlemen Husbands – 11PM @ Horseshoe Tavern

Soon after The Trews exited, so too did a large portion of the Saturday night crowd, with the audience unfortunately diminishing significantly during the changeover. Undeterred, Cobourg natives, Gentlemen Husbands showed the remaining lucky folks just what their hook-heavy country-infused rock was all about. Playing primarily tracks from last year’s House of Cards EP, “Bloodlines” and “Shelter Valley” dripped of pop appeal whilst inspiring toe-taps. “The Come Down” even had a little bit of The Wallflowers’ “The Difference” thrown in for good measure.

It’s been a while since I’ve had the chance to see Gentlemen Husbands live. With barely a glimmer of their past alt-country life left, they wore their new poppier skin well throughout their short half hour set. They have a new full-length record out in the Fall and there should be good things ahead for these gentlemen. You can catch them across Southern Ontario throughout June!

Poor Young Things – 12AM @ Horseshoe Tavern

Constant touring over the past couple of years has effectively turned Poor Young Things into a well-oiled machine on stage. Recently coming out of recording hibernation to start playing shows again, it was the presence and swagger of the group as a whole that really proved they deserved their midnight slot. The band who call Toronto home, had friends and fans flock to the front of the stage for their set. PYT thrilled them with a taste of what’s to come, introducing the crowd to what they’ve been hard at work on. One anthemic rock tune after another, from the sounds of songs like “Hurricane” and “Dance Like An Animal,” they have one heck of a new record in the works. Known for their well chosen cover songs, “Electric Feel” had all the ladies in the audience going, while set closer “Baba O’Riley” brought the house down.

Next up, you can catch them at Burlington Sound of Music Festival on June 14!

Adam Baldwin – 1AM @ Horseshoe Tavern

A Dartmouth, Nova Scotia lad, Adam Baldwin is perhaps best known for his guitar work in Matt Mays’ band but released his own self-titled EP last year. Fully charged with feel-good tinkling keys-powered rock and roll, the multi-instrumentalist’s gruffly-twanged vocals and boisterous late-Saturday night set hopefully caught the attention of more than a couple of people in attendance. Baldwin proved his musicianship beyond rowdy rock with the tenderhearted “I Could Love You With My Eyes Closed” and Springsteen-esque ballad “Burning Man.” Baldwin and Co. had already played a set over at The Rivoli earlier on, and may have been quite visibly already a little bit drunk at this point in the night but their energy only stoked our own intoxicated glows.

Baldwin proved to be a great end to the festival for me and I headed home to bed giddy and happy afterwards. He’s undergoing surgery to remove a vocal cord polyp in June before he and his band have a host of East Coast tour dates throughout July, some even opening for Deer Tick. Full details can be found on his website. | CD

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Categories: Canadian Music Week 2014, Live Music


Subscribe to our RSS feed and social profiles to receive updates.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: