Tricky Woo / Saturday, October 8, 2005

On the bill at the recently renovated Petit Campus was The Leather Uppers, Top Brass, and headliners Tricky Woo for the low low price of 8 dollars. This was definitely a show done for love and not money by the three acts involved. First up was the 3-piece band Top Brass who hail from Montreal. It was nice to see a band that can count on their parents, wives and friends to be in attendance at their shows. Their crunchy sound is accentuated by the lead vocalist's raspy Henry Rollinsesque vocal style. The lead guitarist had some very eye-opening solos. Playing a fast paced no frills 30-minute set full of 3-minute songs, including: "Can You Feel The Love In The Air Tonight", "We're Gonna Burn in Hell" and "There's A Riot Going On." The crowd seemed barely warmed up by the time they were packing up their instruments.

Next onstage was the duo called The Leather Uppers. Right from the beginning you could see that they were not your run-of-the-mill hard rock band. The two members took the stage wearing matching black t-shirts (normal) and white chiffon scarves (not normal) around their necks. This guitar, drums and vocals tandem hail from Toronto and were formed in the early 1990s. The band broke up in 1994, but a successful 2003 concert convinced them to get back together and they have been recording and touring ever since. During their career they have recorded 2 cassettes, 3 7" singles, and 3 full-length albums. They are presently working on a new album. Their sound is quite bare bones, but do not think that the sound level suffers as a result; they are as loud as two instruments can be. They have classified their style as 'panic rock', which by the sound of it means frenetic high-energy garage rock. The show began with Craig Daniels on guitar and vocals and Greg Tymoshenko on drums, but halfway through the set they swapped instruments and Craig played drums and Greg sang and played guitar. Both Craig and Greg (try calling out their names and getting a response from the right guy!) are very energetic performers and while they're getting their turns as lead vocalist they are all over the stage. Even though their set was only 30 minutes they had a few members of the crowd up near the stage dancing and bouncing their heads. They performed such numbers as "Don't Sell Hotdogs Tonight," "Daniel's Drop," "Under The Bright Lights," "I Don't Like You Very Much," "Seniorita," and "Sexy Time."

Headliners Tricky Woo (named after a dog in the classic book, "All Creatures Great and Small") took the stage just before midnight for this concert that was being billed as a CD launch for their new album, "First Blush". The four-piece band from Montreal was formed in 1996, recorded four albums, toured relentlessly and decided to take a break in 2002. This break allowed lead singer Andrew Dickson time to get married and work on another project named Soft Canyon. They are in the middle of what has been classified as a comeback tour through Canada and are fresh off some opening dates for legendary rockers Deep Purple. Looking and sounding a lot like several 70s hard rock bands, Tricky Woo makes loud but melodic music. Their music sounds like the music of that era, but the band's stage presence and energy is definitely of the moment. Unlike some present day hard rock outfits, Tricky Woo's music and lyrics are primitive, upbeat and raw. The band's philosophy on stage is to shed a few pounds of sweat and a few ounces of blood. Well, if that means that they want their shows to be high energy then they have definitely accomplished that. The crowd at Petit Campus definitely fed off their energy and they were dancing, punching their fists into the air and head banging from the very first notes. Their set included the songs, "Big Thunder," "Sad Eyed Woman," "First Blush," "All I Need Is A Woman Like You," "Rat Feathers," and "She Comes Around". This is a band that will definitely benefit from the resurgence of rock music and is another band that is putting Montreal's indie music scene back on the international map.

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