ACTION MAKES with the VISIT and the GOOD IDEAS at the Bagel, January 19. Tickets: pwyc. Attendance: 50. Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
Sometimes I wonder if it's easier to smuggle a kilo of coke up your ass than to manoeuvre an unknown indie band with a box of merch across the border. I'd like to think Chicago synth-attack trio Coltrane Motion , who missed their headlining slot at the Bagel Thursday night because of "customs issues," got turned back based on at least a criminal record, but you know it was probably just cuz their van smells like stale pot smoke. Luckily, local Stooges aficionados Action Makes ably filled the top-spot vacancy, and the show, as they say, went on.
The gangly Good Ideas kicked things off by clambering onto the Bagel's kiddy-pool-sized stage. Sadly, the five-piece overlooked the possibility of expanding onto the nearby vacant floor space. Their fruitless attempts to avoid knocking guitar necks were kinda comical, but when the Good Ideas' confused jam-band meandering and sporadic moaning kicked in, I stopped laughing. Making matters worse, their three over-trebled guitars noodled away without inhibition, rarely meeting in the same key.
Seeing the unused space, the Visit 's Ryan Rothwell planted his mic stand in front of the stage, letting his rhythm section dominate the undersized platform. The new set-up lightened the mood in the room, and pretty soon folks started moving to the Visit's interpretation of late-70s power pop. Due to P.A. problems, Rothwell's vocals were muffled, but you could at least see him yelling, and the crowd clearly appreciated his effort.
The first thing you notice about Action Makes is singer Clint Rogerson 's near perfect Brian Jones haircut. That detail proved prophetic: A.M. brought down the house with huge double-guitar garage riffs and sonic blasts of 60s psych-rock.
Keyboardist Andrew Stoeten , the band's cosmic jester, beelined through the diner brandishing his tambourine and getting the crowd "freaked out," while bodies began flailing awkwardly to Rogerson's and Noel Fenn 's choppy guitar hooks and vocal lashing.
When the Bagel's proprietor finally pulled the plug, a jubilant crowd shouted for more, proving that despite the Coltrane cancellation the show still delivered. Fuck tha border patrol.