Brits invade, again
The guys behind Ukula are ambitious. Not satisfied with throwing Britpop DJ nights, they've now got a glossy zine, which was on display at last Friday's edition of their extremely popular monthly night at Andy Poolhall . They've also developed a Web community that spans several cities, with strong roots here and in Montreal.
The Ukula group - Graeme Maclean , Kevin Renton and Steven Flockhart - also do a weekly Wednesday night next door at Ciao Edie , although the vibe there is much more loungey than at this event.
A large lineup had formed outside the bar, which was at capacity, meaning most of those queued up would be waiting for some time. Inside, the party was hopping with UK rock & roll fans, many of them singing along to the Britpop anthems.
Toronto has long had a fascination with everything UK. Some worry about this preventing us from ever establishing our own identity, while others say it separates us from comparable American cities. Regardless, you can't help but be struck by how successful UK-centric events are in this town.
These guys do up a nice little event. There are projections controlled from a laptop, the music is fun (although not exactly challenging) and the crowd is definitely up for a good time.
The tiny Cloak & Dagger was packed like a can of sardines Saturday for Anousheh 's monthly Move On Up! party, a night that's all about classic reggae and vintage soul.
Anousheh was joined by Shocks Almighty , whom some might recognize from behind the counter at Kops Records.
One of the great things about Move On Up! is the range of people it attracts - you'll often see a few local indie band members, a handful of roots reggae fanatics from the downtown scene and even DJs from the house and techno scenes.
And even though there's barely enough room to squeeze from the front door to the bar, you still find people trying to dance toward the end of the night.
When so many underground scenes are drawing smaller numbers and party options are dwindling, the breaks scene seems to be making a bit of a comeback.
Looking through the listings, you'll see breaks DJs tagged onto drum 'n' bass and some house and techno events, along with a handful of breaks-specific nights.
It's not a genre that gets a lot of critical respect, but its fans are dedicated and enthusiastic, and they're usually open to other music as well.
Stopped by Boa Friday night for a breaks-centric event featuring special guest Lee Coombs . He played a fairly techy set with lots of acid influences on his breakbeat sound. Compared to Boa's successful Saturday nights, it didn't look busy, but it probably brought in better numbers than most of the club's attempts at techno or progressive nights on Fridays.
Boa plans to try out a bunch of different types of events over the next little while. It'll be interesting to see how the Fridays end up defining themselves once the dust settles.