Formed in 1997, Cookie Duster is comprised of members that are as legendary as the venue in which they played during Canadian Music Week. Brendan Canning, Bernard Maiezza, Jeen O’Brien (formerly of Lilith), Matt Murphy, and Damon Richardson form this experimental rock group who brought poise and fun to the Horseshoe Tavern stage.
You could hardly tell that it was their second show, even if there were a few glitches, which, according to Canning, were still being worked out. Canning easily jokes about the lack of time they have had on stage, saying that “maybe one day we’ll play a real gig – not that this isn’t real.” Their set was, indeed, real.
In honour of Earth Hour, the lights were shut off for one song, and kept low throughout the rest of the set. The darkness added an element that is usually felt at synth/electronic shows – a kind of intimacy that can only be achieved when you can barely see the faces of the band playing. Standout songs included ‘Daddy’s Got the Medicine’ and ‘Two Feet Stand Up’, on which you can garner the range of O’Brien’s melodic vocals.
Cookie Duster, like their name, are easy-going and fun, but the music is the product of a group of professionals who know what they’re doing.