Tag Archives: Mark Berube

April 2010, in review

In December, I set goals for myself, how many films to see this year, how many shows to attend, how many records to purchase, and how many books to read. This is the standings, as of the end of February…

Books I read (6/10) – 60%:
Nothing this month.

Films I saw (32/52) – 61%:
The Sweet Hereafter | Originally released 1997   
Nine | Originally released 2009
The Runaways
Sleeper | Originally released 1973

Albums I bought (24/52) – 46%:
“My Father’s House” b/w “The Digger” (Regional 7″ Volume 2) by $100   
What The Boat Gave The River by Mark Berube & The Patriotic Few   
new EP by Fred Squire   

Shows I attended (14/52) – 27%:
Daniel, Fred & Julie (w/ Baby Eagle & Jerry Leger) @ The Horseshoe Tavern; April 16, 2010   
The Cheap Speakers (w/ Mark Berube and The Patriotic Few, Lordy Lordy & Big Crimes) @ El Mocambo; April 17, 2010   
Sloan, The Meligrove Band, Adam Green & Valery Gore @ Sonic Boom; April 18, 2010   
Daniel, Fred & Julie @ Soundscapes; April 26, 2010   

They’re inexpensive

At the El Mocambo in beautiful Toronto, Ontario, Canada, a local band played a show to celebrate the release of their debut EP called The Cheap Speakers.

Opening the night was Big Crimes, who bored me immediately. I ran away to the back of the bar, where I found refuge with Allegra, Al, Alicia, Daniel, James and Nick. Much better.

The second band arrived, and they called themselves Lordy Lordy. Why? I have no idea. Their first song I enjoyed. It inspired me to visit the front and ponder if they might be good. They sounded like Shotgun & Jaybird. Then the second song began, and I found myself at the back of the bar, again.

((Photo not taken at the show.)) The third band, however, I was quite excited to see for two reasons. 1) Every time I had seen him before, was fabulous. 2) I had been wanting to buy his latest record, What The Boat Gave The River since its release, but it seems no Toronto stores carry it. I succeeded, and that might make its way into a review later. Any way, this is Mark Berube and the Patriotic Few.

I was excited, and I think I might have perhaps oversold him to others. It was probably the worst show of his I’ve ever seen, but it was still a great show. The audience was not receptive, the sound was mixed poorly, and Berube just seemed disconnected. The songs were damn good, and a nice mix of tunes from both What The River Gave The Boat and What The Boat Gave The River.

The biggest disappointment with the set was Berube’s performance of “Yebbo Mama” a capella, which left those interested unable to hear such a beautiful song, and a bar full of people more easily able to ignore the musician, and talk amongst themselves.

The final band to arrive to the stage is a local favourite… well a local favourite when they’re your friends. Or a local favourite, if you spend too much time at Rancho Relaxo where they have charmed the regulars.

1 The Cheap Speakers are Brennan Gault, Natalia Manzocco and Tim Dafoe. I’ve known these three people for quite some time now. Manzocco2 and I have been friends for years now, and since then she’s introduced me to her bandmates and they’ve become good friends. So, it’s not a band I can fully disassociate with to write a review.

With that in mind, I will say they tore up the stage at the Elmo. I’ve seen The Speakers a number of times, probably a dozen, and I think this might be their second best show3. They were pretty tight, and you could tell they were having an amazing time. Natalia’s vocals were better than ever.

The only complaint I can make was that at times there was no subtlety to Tim’s lead guitar. When the guitar was over-wanked4, Tim’s grunge influence at times did not mesh well with the Pop Band that are The Cheap Speakers.

  1. Again, not taken at the show. []
  2. Rock-oh with Manzocco. []
  3. I think the show with the Dress Whites at Central might be the best. Sorry to the 66% of the band who had either not yet joined or were busy living in New Brunswick. []
  4. I like this term. []