by WestCoast Weasel WestCoast Weasel
December 9, 2009

rockreview10

December 4, 2009
The Media Club
Vancouver, B.C

Evidently, my current form of Friday night priming involves a large bowl or two of Life cereal, a 2.5-hour nap, and shaving with a handful of Lubriderm lotion in place of shaving cream.  I was preparing to see a handful of musicians later that evening that varied in genre but were mostly cut from a punk rock cloth.  Despite a recent mental lapse, I had in fact visited The Media Club once before.  It’s a great, intimate venue that offered twenty or so candles and numerous ceiling lights as a suitable late night atmosphere.

Billy The Kid, a raspy, soulful singer/songwriter reminiscent of Amanda Marshall started the evening’s program.  billyBilly, her acoustic guitar, its capo, and a harmonica were this young lady’s tackle.  Her voice and the percussive strumming rang out exceedingly well; the appealing sound qualities The Media Club are known for were reinforced.  While at times my view of her was obstructed,  I noticed her reflection in the mirror across the dance floor, which offered a unique form of observation for the final moments of the evening’s mellow introduction.

Surprise set in (as it often does) when the headliner plays mid-slot.  Matt Goud (Means, The Emerson Letters) was here to release his Borrowed Chords, Tired Eyes EP—a first as Northcote.  I was immediately glad that I’d opted for a front row stance, as this was sure to be an intimate experience; it was confirmed when Matt sang “Broken strings and the hum of the night / Your dreams are bleeding all over my skin” in “Wheels.”  What followed has now become a personal favorite: “Goodnight,” a song he introduced jokingly as a “dis track to Foo Fighters, who ripped him off.”

goud When he introduced the first cover of the evening as a newer punk song, I felt slightly disappointed it wouldn’t be “Trusty Chords” by Hot Water Music (a song he recorded as The Emerson Letters).  Disappointment quickly turned to a true surprise when I heard the opening lines of “The ’59 Sound” by The Gaslight Anthem.  I felt that if there were anyone who could possibly do the track justice, it would be our new friend Matt.  It was a phenomenal acoustic rendition, similar to the preferred version from my favorite rock n’ roll band.  If this wasn’t a treat enough, the HWM cover soon followed, garnering a sing along throughout the star-struck crowd.

“My name is Matt Goud, so I had to think of a new fucking name,” he explained as Northcote delivered “Energy,” a song written at Peggy’s Cove, NS.  He picked, he strummed, he sang, and he hit his old harmonica with soul throughout.  During Gillian Welch’s “Little Miss Ohio,” he struck a chord and it struck a nerve with me.  As I heard “Oh me oh my oh” repeated in each chorus, it reminded me both of another song (“Jambalaya” by Fats Domino) and a lover of yesteryear.

Figuratively, we couldn’t have asked for more but we insisted on an encore, which clearly was not part of Matt’s plan.  Just when I couldn’t have possibly imagined a deeper connection with the rusty bearded gent before me, he concluded with the evening’s final, yet possibly most riveting cover song from my youth, “Blind,” by Face to Face.  While hearing those lyrics growing up always conjured a sense of melancholic introspection, the feeling was amplified now that I have.

It seemed like just as many, if not more of the crowd was there to see Textbook Tragedy—a set I partially missed while visiting with Matt outside, asking him a few questions (Informant Inquisition #6).  While we both stood, chilly and conversing, I could tell that the guys inside were the hardcore contrast to both prior performers.  As I entered, the energy shifted 180’ and these metal-core rockers were kicking things up notch (if not two).  Thunderous drums, the odd tapping math-like solo and cryptic growls made up this familiar craft.  I was told to put my notebook away from the two friends I befriended earlier in the night.  Slam dancing with these ladies soon became not only the priority, but also a rare and now nostalgic endeavor.  These tattooed, plugged and hoodie-laden boys delivered a tight, heavy handful of tunes—including a brief vocal cameo from Mr. Goud.

The final act came highly recommended from a young lady whom I recently met on the train, on my way home from work.  She later suggested I check out Slingshot’s upcoming show and by chance I had already planned on it.  While some chose their exit after Textbook, I was glad I stuck around to hear a version of hardcore more to my liking.  Their aggressive, yet slightly melodic voices were in the vein of Sick of it All and Agnostic Front came with true punk rocking bass lines and drums alike.  Dylan’s Thrasher shirt was quite fitting—it complimented the visions they’d already conjured of skate videos from our youth.  Despite one brutally abrupt ending, these boys executed a tight batch of tunes, with ingredients borrowed from the best of old and new styles of punk and hardcore.


…Weasel Was Here

Visit these artists online:
Northcote – http://www.myspace.com/northcotemusic
Billy The Kid – www.myspace.com/billythekid
A Textbook Tragedy – www.myspace.com/atextbooktragedy
Slingshot – www.myspace.com/slingshotpunk

Comments

One Response to “Renegade Rock Review 10: Northcote w/ Billy The Kid, Textbook Tragedy & Slingshot”

  1. To my bros sistah that played that night….

    MAD PROPS…. you've all become so much more then i could've possibly imagine when life first brought us together.
    shoulda been there.. beers in hands

    much love
    scotty dont/jeeves!

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