For an indie event, there was something oddly corporate about it. It might have been on account of the long exclusive-type line up at the front or it might have been the large Jack Daniels logos everywhere (though a lot of people did appreciate the complimentary Jack and coke). The Mill St. Brewery support was a nice touch as well as people waded in and tried the different drafts and drams that both companies brought in.
With the coming of this night, it became official: Indie Week 2015 is on in Canada. People are going to either be wandering aimlessly through the streets, vaguely aware that this festival is going on, looking for something different; or they know the full schedule of the event and they know exactly where to go to find their favourite acts.
The event is still young, but the launch party had a full line-up of people looking to be heard. The night kicked off with Lancashire-based soloist Joni Fuller who is known for her skills as a pianist and a violinist. Her performance was very colourful – both musically and visually. Her music had soul to it and was a great start to Indie Week. With a captive front-row audience, her first Canadian performance was pretty successful. Fans of indie music mingled by the bar in the back, completely a harmonious scene of one shared hobby.
Fuller is an effective solo artist as she mixes the sounds live before working with them all in harmony. Her music has a foot-thumping style, which was contagious amongst those who drew closest to the stage. It’s interesting to see her manipulate different instruments while she nods her head to the beat, making sure not to lose it for even a second. She even previewed some of her new stuff for the crowd. With a feral look of determination on her face, she madly played that violin. While great with the violin, she got the biggest whooping cheer when she pulled out the electric guitar.
Next came Victoria & Jean, a duo with a third-wheel drummer as they pulled off something that could be construed as avant-garde or over-the-top. They’ve gone worldwide and now this undefined crew stops off in Canada to take part in the Indie crowd. Their sound comes with a serrated pun edge with the grating of that unrelenting guitar. It drops to silence before picking up a steadier beat.
They’ve got a unique stage presence in that every beat and vocal line is delivered so deliberately. Victoria’s long red hair whips back and forth like a flame when she throws her head from side to side. It’s only one song in and they’ve got a sheen of sweat on their bodies.
Tiny Danza hit the stage at this point, and they had a sort of cartoony balance between rap and vocal prose to a near 30/70 ratio, respectively. With the buoyancy of their execution, they came across as a “silly Linkin Park”. They’re fun and upbeat, and while they weren’t my favourite, I have to give them credit in that they were able to pump up the crowd which was ever-expanding.
Topping off the night was the explosive performance of Mike Joyce, the English drummer and former member of The Smiths. All in all, it was a great night and everyone is pumped for the rest of the week.
Make sure you get involved this week, you won’t regret it!