Mapping out the Pop Montreal selections.
Before heading off to catch some international talent here at Pop Montreal, I decided to check in on a show that hit a little closer to home.
Club Lambi, near the northern fringe of the downtown festival strip on St-Laurent, felt a little like a Friday night at College and Spadina. Outside, I ran into David Waldman, Toronto's favourite kid-with-camera, who was hopping over to Le Divan Orange to snap some shots of Japanther's set . Inside, Toronto bookers Dan Burke (NeXT) and Lauren Schreiber (NO SHAME)--who both have roots in Montreal--combined their promoting powers to present a stellar line-up, featuring, among others, hogtown buzz kids Katie Stelmanis and Action Makes.
Burke was busy practicing some karate kicks at the bar--waiting for shots of Jack Daniel's to arrive--while Montreal garage rockers Soki
Soki took the stage. The four-piece proceeded to howl forth a mean, energetic set that garnered prolonged attention form the Toronto enclave. Sporting some moments of neatly overdriven 50s rock, Soki Soki definitely impressed, and are a band worth watching if creative garage is your thing.
Milling with the crowd I was pleasantly surprised to see a number of familiar Toronto notables in attendance. Owen Pallett (AKA Final
Fantasy) and pop culture critic Carl Wilson mingled with members of The Mark Inside, The Hoa Hoa's, and The D'Urbervilles, while a wasted Cameron Jingles of The Disraelis (with a 1 am gig yet to play) helped Action Makes get the crowd moving with some backup tambourine moves up on stage.
Fresh from a summertime membership crisis, bluesy indie rock threats Action Makes were back in top form. New addition Ryan Rothwell (ex of The Visit and Thee Diet Pills) mercilessly slammed the skins while front-man Clint Rogerson growled out some great new material. The only thing that seems to stand between these guys and breakout success is an LP release to promote.