THE PAULS with the MIDWAYS and the GLADS at the Rivoli, January 7. Tickets: $6. Attendance: 150. Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
Sometimes I wonder who's booking the talent in this town. Do promoters even bother to listen to the CD-Rs they get in the mail any more?
Call it eclectic programming, but why were the Pauls - a quirky art folk duo - sharing a bill with a pair of raucous, howlin' garage bands? Not that it matters. The Pauls ( Paul-Julien Tanti and Paul James Mortimer ) are the kind of oddball outfit that wouldn't really fit on any bill.
Nonetheless, with their stripped-down, electric/acoustic guitar instrumentation, a campy stage presence and fraternal rapport, they're almost impossible not to like.
Their set was more like a basement jam session than a club show: unpretentious, candid and intimate. Sure, some of their sloppy moments felt a little unrehearsed, but the strength of the tunes made up for it.
Dressed in matching grey sweaters, rolled-up pants and Napoleon Dynamite-esque boots, these local boys were fun to watch, too. Their down-home image was bolstered by a colourful handmade quilt embroidered with a giant P., courtesy of Mortimer's nana, which hung centre stage.
Judging by all the flash photography, others were digging the spectacle, too.
Noting the surge of flashes, Tanti paused and thanked the audience for the very photographic opportunity before diving into a peculiar version of Cole Porter's Night And Day.
"Night and day" also describes the shift in musical styles.
By the time Ottawa's dukes of garage, the Glads , plugged in, the groovy girlies were up front and ready to shake it. And, fronted by the growly-voiced Patrick Shanks , the Glads delivered. Some of the band's rockier moments felt a little contrived, but there's no denying garage rock is a dish best served live and loud.
Likewise, the Midways are a hell of a good time in the flesh, and their Kinksesque garage rock had the heads a-bobbin' from the get-go. Pretty boy singer Dave Pauwels - in his skinny pants, pointy boots and floppy mop top - set at least a few hearts fluttering, and expert organ player Peter Chapman banged on his Farfisa with kung-fu precision.
Check out the Glads/Midways 7-inch split, available now on Music for Cats Records.