by WestCoast Weasel WestCoast Weasel
July 12, 2010

July 5, 2010
The Cobalt
Vancouver, B.C

I hadn’t been to The Cobalt since the Subhumans (more/less) closed the joint on its last weekend. Now, in what seems like a posthumous breath, The Cobalt on Main is alive and…well? The entrance was altogether different, providing a bit of a hallway heading left towards the “door guy.” Once inside, I saw that on the flipside of the wall (creating said hallway) was a list of upcoming gigs for the month at hand. A wall sized menu of rock n’ roll heading our way, although a seemingly much trendier and mellow form of tunes than one may have come to expect from 917 Main St.

I guess that’s the point? Renovate the snot out of it (some for better and some for worse) and appeal to a cleaner cut crowd. The art displayed throughout was cool, interesting, and a complete mind-fuck, really. Mind you, it did compliment the purple crushed velvet backdrop behind the stage. Now, even though I probably hadn’t been to 2% of the gigs back in the day (as I didn’t grow up around here), the entire wall of historic gig posters was just that—historic. They purposely left little bits of graffiti from its past life for authenticity or moreover—street cred. But, I digress. This place always allowed music to come first and atmosphere to come second. So, now for tonight’s ska-dule.

I’d seen the first act The Valuables once, prior, and was left with the greatest first impression. Our second date was equally affable. The seven-piece greeted me with “Feel That Rhythm,” an “impossible not to dance to” cut, making for a perfect introduction. Heavy on the horns, organ, and traditional ska guitar stylings, they also provided an amicable contrast between vocalists. Once again, I found it a struggle determining which voice it is that I prefer—Michelle DeGuay’s sass or Corey’s Poluk’s soul. His was particularly treating as he sang the words “I don’t know about you, but I wish I could change” in “Back So Soon” later on. His telecaster driven leads helped in making the tune cry.

Beyond their overtly tight musical abilities, they’re also true showmen. Banter between both band and baron allowed for an intimate, yet exciting performance. They gab, they sing, they play, they dance. And they ensure you do the same. They were headed to Victoria’s SkaFest with 100 limited edition EP’s for the event itself, which includes a couple tunes that were played. Much respect to any band that puts effort into anything “special” or “limited” in their releases these days, more than ever. It’s smart moves like that—combined with the aforementioned qualities—that will attribute to their success. Keep your eyes on these guys.

Hailing from our eastern mecca of Montreal, Danny Rebel and the KGB brought with them a little bongo, a little scratching, and a lotta soul. Speaking of the latter, I hadn’t heard such an island-appropriate modern rock voice for some-time. A quarter glass Bedouin and a quarter glass Sublime, shaken with a half pint of traditional reggae. The turntablism, too, was a nice unique touch to their darker, almost broken feel than the happy-go-lucky opening act. While I enjoy a good horn section, having the guitars and organ do the bulk of the backbone worked exceedingly well in these boys’ favor.

Paying homage to their “514” area of Montreal as well as our old friend Joe Strummer in their set closer with “Police On My Back,” it’s endearing that their influences are a big part of their sound. These merits can be experienced on their newly released Soul Shaker EP. Pick it up (pick it up), if you can.

- Weasel Was Here

Visit these artists online:

Danny Rebel and The KGB – www.myspace.com/dannyrebel
The Valuables – www.thevaluables.com

Danny Rebel and The KGB – “Mary Ann” (live)

The Valuables – “Back So Soon” (live)

Comments

2 Responses to “Renegade Rock Review Vol. 26: Danny Rebel and The KGB & The Valuables”

  1. Great review bud!
    Nice seeing you!

  2. I enjoyed reading this review and thought I’d say so…

    Steve

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