Last Saturday's Therapy session at the Palais Royale was one of the best deep house jams in recent memory. Coming in, I initially thought jojoflores was already playing, but was surprised to look up and see local band King Sunshine , sounding deeper and closer to house than usual.
The main room was packed and hot, so I took a trip to the patio, which turned out to be as hopping as the main room, with Montreal's Miles Moore rocking house and R&B under the stars.
It was the live performers who made the event stand out. King Sunshine were the only band, but four different vocalists also performed, some on their own ( Ivana Santilli and Carolyn Punter ) and some integrated into Osunlade 's DJ set ( Erro and Nadirah Shakoor ). While all the singers were top-notch, the audience seemed to respond better when they were part of the DJ set.
Osunlade rocked hard. I hope we get another DJ set from him before he retires in the fall. Closing out the night, Montreal's jojoflores kept the party going strong till dawn, something all too rare at deep house club events in the city lately.
There's no denying that the soulful house scene has been going through a period of reflection for a couple of years. After a brief surge in popularity, the scene slowed down, and many were split about whether it was time to take it back underground or try to chase the mainstream crowd.
Things are looking up, though. Some newer faces have been bringing in fresh crowds, and some older names have reappeared. If parties like this are any indication, this will be a great summer for house in Toronto.
Soulutions are back again after a hiatus and threw a nice little jam Friday at Ice , featuring local house music legend Nick Holder . The club's location in the middle of the entertainment district definitely distinguished the crowd from the one that hit their parties before, but the beautiful rooftop patio helped make up for the missing intensity of previous Soulutions events at the now defunct Celebrities .
Solid Social scene
Did some pre-party socializing Saturday night at Social Living , an intimate little patio party in the back of Jamaican restaurant Irie on Queen West. Spinning soul and reggae were Jeremiah and Anousheh , and there are plans for the patio to feature DJs on a regular basis soon.
The space is tiny but gorgeous, with a covered area and a little bar. Let's just hope the neighbours don't start complaining.