Live music galleries: Slowdive [2017]

(I got the idea for this series while sifting through the ‘piles’ of digital photos on my laptop. It occurred to me to share some of these great pics from some of my favourite concert sets from time to time. Like my ‘Vinyl love’ series, these posts will be more photos than words but that doesn’t mean I won’t welcome your thoughts and comments. And of course, until I get around to the next one, I invite you to peruse my ever-growing list of concerts of page.)

Slowdive live at L’Olympia in Montreal, 2017

Artist: Slowdive
When: May 6th, 2017
Where: L’Olympia, Montreal
Context: Many of you will know by now that I had a thing for early ’90s shoegaze but to be honest, Slowdive wasn’t one of those bands that grabbed me back in the day. It took the discovery of Neil Halstead’s and Rachel Goswell’s second band, Mojave 3, to make me want to take a second look. I love Slowdive now, of course, so I was right there with the rest of them when they announced reunion shows in 2014, subsequent tours over the next few years, and then, a brand new album back in 2017. That self-titled record was so incredible (it was my second favourite album that year), I decided to drag Victoria with me to Montreal, right around this time three years ago, for Slowdive’s stop there. Of course, ever since that time we went to saw James there in 2008 and struggled to stay awake on the drive home afterward, we’ve made weekends out of these concert voyages and took time on each trip to explore the city. Even through all the amazing meals, the trip to the museum, and old Montreal, the highlight for me that weekend was still the concert, just oh so beautiful, “alien and angelic”, and I think even Victoria really enjoyed it.
Point of reference song: Star roving

Rachel Goswell of Slowdive
The Slowdive experience
Nick Chaplin and Neil Halstead of Slowdive
Christian Savill of Slowdive
Neil Halstead of Slowdive

Live music galleries: Swervedriver [2015]

(I got the idea for this series while sifting through the ‘piles’ of digital photos on my laptop. It occurred to me to share some of these great pics from some of my favourite concert sets from time to time. Like my ‘Vinyl love’ series, these posts will be more photos than words but that doesn’t mean I won’t welcome your thoughts and comments. And of course, until I get around to the next one, I invite you to peruse my ever-growing list of concerts of page.)

Swervedriver live at Zaphods in 2015

Artist: Swervedriver
When: May 5th, 2015
Where: Zaphod Beeblebrox, Ottawa
Context: Just over five years ago, much like now, I was starting to feel that it was time to see some live music because I hadn’t seen any shows since the folk festival in the previous fall. (Except at that time, I had options. Concert tours weren’t all shut down due to an international pandemic like they are right now.) So when I saw that the recently reunited and highly influential shoegaze band Swervedriver was hitting Zaphod Beeblebrox here in Ottawa on their tour, I decided to check it out. They were one of the few of the genre that I didn’t get into back in the day so it didn’t bother me that the reunited roster only included two original members, fleshed out by touring musicians Mikey Jones and Mick Quinn (bassist from Supergrass!). The album they had just released, “I wasn’t born to lose you”, was getting a lot of play on my iPod leading up to the show and the set included the best of that album, plus lots of their earlier hits. It was loud and I loved it. And incidentally, it was the last show I ever saw at the iconic Zaphod Beeblebrox before it shut down.
Point of reference song: Autodidact

Adam Franklin of Swervedriver
Jimmy Hartridge of Swervedriver
Mick Quinn of Swervedriver
Mikey Jones of Swervedriver
Jimmy Hartridge rocking the guitar
Adam Franklin making some sound adjustments
The effects pedal setup

Live music galleries: Middle Kids [2018]

(I got the idea for this series while sifting through the ‘piles’ of digital photos on my laptop. It occurred to me to share some of these great pics from some of my favourite concert sets from time to time. Like my ‘Vinyl love’ series, these posts will be more photos than words but that doesn’t mean I won’t welcome your thoughts and comments. And of course, until I get around to the next one, I invite you to peruse my ever-growing list of concerts of page.)

Middle Kids live at Field Trip 2018

Artist: Middle Kids
When: June 2nd, 2018
Where: Fort York Stage, Field Trip Festival, Fort York Commons, Toronto
Context: Six weeks ago to the day, I posted another one of these galleries and all the while bemoaning the fact that I haven’t seen any live shows for months. My, how the times have changed. While that post was being written and the photos being placed in some semblance of order, our government was still maintaining that the risk to Canadians from COVID-19 was low and life still seemed normal. A mere handful of days later, I was working from home, we were being asked to leave the house only when necessary, and ‘social distancing’ had become a thing. Seeing any new live shows seems a pipe dream at the moment so you can expect to see a few more of these pining live gallery posts popping up on these pages.

This particular gallery comes from 2018 and the last time Arts & Crafts Records put on one of its two-day Field Trip festivals in Toronto. I went down for the weekend in early June, stayed with my friend Tim, and we met up on each of the days with our friend Mark. Australian indie rock trio, Middle Kids, played a 6pm set on the first day, unofficially, the party day for me and my two friends. I had only given their debut album, “Lost friends”, a cursory listen beforehand but had enjoyed it so I dragged my cohorts to the side stage. Unfortunately, the three of us were more focused on replenishing our drinks at this point in the day. I now regret catching most of Middle Kids set from the beer queues because their album ended up being amongst my top five favourites of the year. I won’t make that ‘mistake’ again the next time I see them… whenever that may be.

Point of reference song: Mistake

Tim Fitz of Middle Kids
Cameron Henderson, touring guitarist extraordinaire
Hannah Joy and Tim Fitz of Middle Kids
Harry Day of Middle Kids on drums
Cameron Henderson feeling it
Hannah Joy of Middle Kids