The Trews had the audience in hand before they hit the first note at The Marquee in Calgary. Colin McDonald (vocals, Fender Telecaster) John-Angus McDonald (Gibson Les Paul) Jack Syperek (Gibson Thunderbird bass) Gavin McGuire (Ludwig drums) and keyboardist Sean Dalton, kicked out a super slick and crunchy set that showed their years of togetherness. They played the hits (Not Ready to Go, Tired of Waiting, The Power of Positive Drinking). They played the new material from their latest album; Time Capsule (Beautiful and Tragic, Lotta Work/ Little Love) and all of it was supped up by the enthusiastic crowd. There seemed to be at times, a bit of Marc Bolan in Colin McDonald’s soaring delivery (though without the influence of illicit chemicals). In perhaps an acknowledgment of the current political scene in the U.S. McDonald sang a few verses from Pink Floyd’s Mother. “Mother do you think they’ll drop the bomb?” A subject close to the surface for many these days.
The Trews sound mix was a bit too compressed for my liking. It was difficult to determine the individual instruments and what exactly was being played and by whom, but it was being played accurately, and with great power. The most noticeable element of the show was the connection between The Nova Scotia musicians and their fans. It’s that mutual admiration society that we’ve all heard about. It was in full display this night. At the end of the day, The Trews shook the foundations and gave the fans their money’s worth. A solid and satisfying show.
The Marquee is a great rock room. Perfect for Bleeker who rocked the room Friday night.
Bleeker kicked things off with a highly entertaining set of hook heavy rock n roll. Reminiscent at times of Rod Stewart and The Faces, The Black Crows and perhaps a touch of Joe Cocker, these guys had no problem ripping up the stage and gaining an immediate group of fans in the process.
Hailing from Orillia Ontario, brothers Taylor (lead vocals) and Cole Perkins (guitar and vocals), Mike Van Dyk (bass) and newest member Chris Dingus (drums) wouldn’t have cared if they were playing to five or five thousand. The band had a great camaraderie and showed every sign that they were having the best time. Taylor Perkin’s easy and confident manner engaged the small but building crowd, encouraging them to clap, sing along into the mic and in one case coaxing an unsuspecting fellow to lead the audience in aerobic dance moves. Perkins was very jokey and teasing with the audience like your funny cousin that just dropped by. But when he took to the mic to sing it was with all the swagger of Plant or Jagger. The rest of the band make up a powerful and energetic rock trio. All in all, this is a band that will knock you sideways. They will do big things. They’ve got it all. If they come your way, go see them. They are a blast.
Written By Keith A. McTaggart with photos by Charles Hope