SAILBOATS ARE WHITE with the ANCESTORS , NICK FLANAGAN , MILLIONS OF CATS , BLOOD CEREMONY and the MONITORS at the Silver Dollar, August 19. Tickets: $5. Attendance: 40. Rating: NNN NNN
The word "confirmed" doesn't always mean much in the world of punk rock. Silver Dollar booker Dan Burke's grey hair can attest to that.
When his original headliner, New Jersey stoner punks Atomic Bitchwax, scrapped their tour and shelved their new CD, Burke rejigged the bill to make it a punk comeback coup for Toronto vets the Viletones. According to Burke, their spot was "confirmed."
The Viletones flaked, and Burke had a gaping headliner hole to fill. Cue Steeltown scream kids Sailboats Are White, who managed to provide an aptly shambolic punk spectacle.
After a set of flute-tinged medieval Sabbath rips by No Dynamics drummer Jeremy Finkelstein's new band, Blood Ceremony, and some goofy "Jewkes" courtesy of part-time comedian Nick Flanagan , Sailboats cruised onstage at about 1 am.
Singer Kevin Douglas wobbled, tripped and stammered as he screamed torrents into the microphone, which on more than one occasion, unbeknownst to him, was unplugged (by his own drunken hand, of course). Dropping to all fours, Douglas writhed over the beer-soaked stage, lapping up errant suds and channelling the demons of Lux Interior.
Band members Kevyn Wright (guitar) and Matt Bourassa (bass) remained stoically straight-faced all the while, playing overdrive-laden chords over the metronome-perfect beat of their "drummer" - a Roland 909.
Keyboardist Joel Elliott couldn't get his keys and amp on the same page, which sent him into a full-blown tantrum. After packing his gear mid-song, he shoved Douglas out of his way, sending the soused singer flying into a crevice between stage and monitors, then banged his head on an overhead speaker as he stormed offstage.
By the time Douglas, barely vertical at this point, stripped down to his ratty briefs, screaming incomprehensible lyrics from Turbo! (their debut on Sonic Unyon), only opening bands and girlfriends remained. The show was definitely on the disaster side, but we'll give Burke some credit for delivering some true punk spirit.