The fun part of festivals like Canadian Music Week is when you go to a club show, you never really know what you are going to get. You have so many hungry artists wanting to prove themselves and with so many applicants you can’t really match every show up to be the same genres. Going to Nightowl on College for a showcase was exactly what multi-genre lovers like myself dream of.
Starting the night out from London, Ontario was Basic White and these guys are the equivalent of doing shots of Jack Daniels. Song after song, were pure unadulterated rock and roll tunes. Lead singer Riley White routinely jumped off the tiny stage to thrash his guitar in the middle of the crowd. Speaking of the crowd, the band managed to bring a small army of fans all wearing band merch that danced along to every song and faithfully stayed for the rest of the night instead of leaving like most fans do at smaller showcases like this. A great highlight of the night was at the end of the set, the band performed a blues-ed up version of the Fresh Prince theme song.
Coming all the way over from Sweden, synth rockers Royal Prospect kept the dance party going but traded in punk rock riffs for spacey keys and chunky bass lines. This being the band’s first trip to Canada, they were eager to please the crowd. At one point lead singer Oscar Reingsdahl brought out a Canadian flag and drapped it over his mic stand. The very fashionable foursome put out a new single this year called Whisper a Sound and more music is expected soon from them.
The last act of the night I caught was Brooklyn Doran. As readers of Live in Limbo may know she does indeed contribute to us on occasion when she isn’t busy touring playing 100 shows in 2017. While she is a contributor, first and foremost I am a fan of her music and truly enjoy seeing her perform every time. The tone shifted from very dancey rock music to more intimate sounds as she did her best Crash and the Boys impression letting the crowd she only sings sad songs. Running through a bunch of her tracks from debut album These Paper Wings including Not The Time and The Villain. To contrast the mood Doran would routinely make jokes like how she wanted to go to Ikea with the Royal Prospect boys just so they can explain what all the names mean. She even played a personal favourite song of mine called Lansdowne. Despite the back half of the venue being a little chatty, those near the front of the stage were utterly captivated by her powerful voice and fantastic song writing.