HENRI FABERGE & THE ADORABLES with GENTLEMAN REG , the BICYCLES , the BARMITZVAH BROTHERS and others at Palais Royale (1601 Lakeshore West), Saturday (September 16). $10. Tickets available at Soundscapes and Rotate This. Rating: NNNNN
Henry Fletcher is tired. he and some of the other Adorables got in at 6 am after performing in Windsor.
"It was pretty quiet," admits Fletcher, "but that's cuz Jeff Martin was playing that night as well. I guess Windsor's a big Tea Party fan town."
That's all right. One slow night isn't the end of the world, and besides, with any luck, Fletcher's future slow nights will be few and far between.
His constantly rotating collective, Henri Faberge & the Adorables, currently at 13 members, is about to unleash some of the giddiest jams this city's seen in years on the debut self-titled full-length as part of next Saturday's daylong concert/party/BBQ.
As fun as a mega-band that size sounds, I wonder how anything actually gets done. Does Fletcher crack a whip or is it a big ol' explosion of collective creativity, or both?
"Yeah, I think so. We have a collective camaraderie, but I'm kind of like a creative dictator. I write the songs. It's a love fest as long as everyone does what I tell them to."
He kids, but Fletcher must have good managerial skills. Originally, though, the project wasn't such an undertaking. The former Calgarian who moved to Toronto to study law explains that two years ago, while playing in other bands (including former wunderkinds Spitfires & Mayflowers) and touring, Fletcher was asked to contribute to a compilation of original children's songs.
"I wrote these fun, high-spirited songs, but I couldn't stop myself from adding questionable lyrics."
That didn't go over as well as he'd hoped, but the seed had been planted. Soon after, Fletcher enlisted the help of some British musicians he knew and began playing his own material.
Enlistment - if not out-and-out band pillaging - for the Adorables musical army is something Fletcher's done well from the get-go. He's worked with local talents Laura Barrett, Gentleman Reg and members of a gazillion other bands.
All of this led to the big first album. Fletcher's put a lot of thought into it, as his poetic and philosophic rant shows.
"It's a cautionary tale for people exploring the avenues of love. It serves well for people who are out of love, in love or searching. It's important for people to step back out of their self-serving mentality and ask, 'How do my actions affect other people?'
"I've discovered over the last few years that it's hard to open up to people because, for the most part, people only think about themselves. We don't take the time to let other people into our hearts and develop real, lasting relationships as opposed to casual ones."
It's a nice change to her someone talk so earnestly without getting all sarcastic or ironic. Fletcher explains that not everyone has been receptive to his and his bandmates' sincerity. But the man is tired of irony and a local scene that occasionally values quirky ideas and concepts more than the music itself.
"It's like the 60s and 70s pop experience of our parents' youth, with its unbridled enthusiasm. I can't abide ironic music, so I try to make it as genuine as possible. If you're talking up music that you don't even like, then you're being dishonest to yourself."