CHANGE OF HEART with SIMPLY SAUCER at The Horseshoe, Friday, October 5. Rating: NNNN
I'm a few years too young to have caught Change Of Heart in their heyday, but according to a conversation I overheard in the basement of the ‘Shoe last night, the poster for the show could easily have been for an event happening 15 years ago if not for the date written on it: a reunited Change Of Heart with Hamilton's Simply Saucer opening, General Chaos on lights, Michael Philip Wojewoda on sound, and DJs Chris Harper and Tim Perlich.
That said, it's not just the band members who have matured - I also heard that 15 years ago the sight of Ian Blurton setting up on stage would have been met with loud howls of excitement, instead of subdued anticipation. Blurton picked up on this, spending a good chunk of his minimal banter affectionately berating the crowd for being old, fat and up past their bedtimes. "Forget about your kids for just five minutes, please," he said. (He also said, under his breath, "I love you guys").
If the energy in the crowd wasn't quite what Blurton was looking for, the energy on stage made up for it by being both impressive and sustained. Starting around midnight with the Steelteeth lineup (Blurton with Rob Higgins, Damon Richarson and Bernard Maiezza), the set told the story of Change Of Heart in reverse until the original 50 Ft. Up lineup was on stage (Blurton with Rob Taylor, Ron Duffy and Mike Armstrong) and then the Steeleeth lineup returned for a few more.
In all, three bass players, three drummers, a percussionist, a keyboard player, and Burton (the only guitar player) contributed to a well-orchestrated, and by the sounds of it, well-rehearsed set that illustrated how different the various incarnations of the band were, with the Steelteeth group being especially busy and loud, thanks in part to the flying fingers of bassist Rob Higgins. Seeing the look on original bassist and Change Of Heart co-founder Rob Taylor's face as he found his groove was a highlight.
Veteran Hamilton rockers Simply Saucer opened with set of jerky, danceable, psychedelic blues punk incorporating epic guitar solos, bass and drum breakdowns, and theramin - genuinely weird Canadian shit. They mentioned they are working on a new EP.