Weekend Fun

With the exception of Saturday night’s Sonik Records 5th Anniversary bash at Barfly, It was a relatively quiet weekend for a change. Stayed in and watched a double dose of Law and Order on Friday night and then dozed while watching “Being John Malkovich’, a film I’ve seen at least twice and have enjoyed each time. I just couldn’t keep my eyes open. Just as well. I knew Saturday night was going to be a big night, a punk rock extravaganza with the Confusers, Aversions, Jerk Appeal, and Born Dead Icons.

The thing is, I could have attended two other shows that evening. Just a few blocks up the street at Sala Rosa I could have seen Cursed, Bionic, and Brutal Knights. If I was in a mellower mood, I could have walked a block north from Barfly to Le Divan Orange and seen Luther Wright, Carolyn Mark, and Jenny Whiteley on their “Hootenany Tour”. Rather than see pieces of all these shows, I decided to settle in to some punk rock at the Barfly. BTW, this is not the Montreal scene I knew way back when. Well before the hype concerning the Montreal scene, I’d been saying that anyone who complains about the music scene in this city is just the type to complain about anything. It’s never been better. We don’t even need to compare it to other scenes – one only has to look at what it was like here 15-20 years ago. Compared to then, today’s Montreal scene might as well be the L.A. scene circa 1980. There’s never been more bands, more fans, or more venues. It’s also a diverse scene, something for everyone.

But what a night it turned out to be! While and I had different opinions on Jerk Appeal and the Aversions, he has a pretty good review of the evening. With the exception of the Aversions, I loved every band. When The Confusers opened the night, it might as well have been 1981. Great punk rock that put a smile on my face more than once. Like the Stooges? Ramones? SLF? DOA? This Confusers will be right up your alley. Certainly they were right up mine…..The Aversions didn’t do it for me, though. They were alright, just didn’t enjoy them the way I did the other bands. Jerk Appeal came on with a slightly different lineup than usual. Luc from Chino on drums filled in until they can find a permanent replacement for their previous drummer, and Nick from Chino replaced Curt on rhythm guitar while Curt tours with the U.S. Bombs. They ripped into their set, Ted singing with his usual gusto. The last three songs in their set were something special for any Nils fans in the crowd. Making up for their non-appearance at Alex’s Memorial, they finished with “Daylight”, “Fountains”, and “Scratches and Needles”, sung and played with passion and fury. The rest is well convered by xquerenciax, so I won’t bother. I can’t remember the last time I’d seen that many punk bands and enjoyed it. I guess the Exploited were right. At least on this night.

By the end of the night, friends who had been at the evening’s other shows were starting to file in. Allan, who had been to the Cursed/Bionic/Brutal Knights show up the street got a chance to see Brutal Knights play some more – they were the evening’s “bonus” band, before heading up to the Mountain with myself and others to check out the purple cross. Here’s a picture taken by xquerenciax at dusk on Saturday night. Beautiful, no?


4 thoughts on “Weekend Fun

  1. John, I’m convinced I can make you appreciate the Aversions one of these days. If I’m not way too lazy, I’ll make you a tape of their record and you can check out how good they sound with a bassist not wearing a hat over his eyes. But what I really enjoy about their live sets is the energy that the lead fellow has, really reminiscent of hyper, cheery hostility of Keith Morris at his best. They sound good on record, but the best way to see them is at the front of the room during their set (after all, like you told me, who’s going to steal your jacket at Barfly?).

    1. My opinion of them is definitely not set in stone. I know that sometimes I can be wrong about a band the first time I see them. When Born Dead Icons played a couple of months ago at the ‘Fly, it was the first time I’d seen them and I said I didn’t like them. Everyone was telling me then what a great band they were, but for some reason I wasn’t getting them that night. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Born Dead Icons are great, I could see that on Saturday night.

      So we’ll see about the Aversions. I look forward to hearing them on record. I will see them again. A band has to be pretty terrible if I won’t give them a second chance, and they weren’t terrible. Plus, I value your opinion.

      1. Born Dead Icons

        Johnny, this is Hyungju.

        the Born Dead Icons are so huge in US and Europe that they headline punkfests. Along with Inepsy, CCSS, Ballast, they represent the burgeoning Montreal Crust scene and epitomize what people outside call “Montreal style (Motorhead-meets-Discharge-meets-Amebix)”. Amazing live band to boot. it’s funny how you graviate towards P U N K these days after more than 20 years you dicovered it as a wee bairn.


      2. Re: Born Dead Icons

        Hey Hyungju!

        Good to hear from you!

        I had no idea Born Dead Icons were that big. Just did a quoted google search on their name and sure enough, they some up in several lanuguages and seem to be very popular with the punks. As they should be. They’re a GREAT punk band.

        I’ve definitely been gravitating to punk a lot over the last few months….perhaps it’s an early “mid-life” crisis. 😉

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