. : : June 24th, 2011 : : .
I have a well-documented habit of getting to venues well before the first band is scheduled to play, but a severe case of the lazies kept me from heading down to the Horseshoe Tavern as early as I might have otherwise. So, when I got there with only two or three minutes before the first band was scheduled to start and the room was all but empty, I scratched my head a bit.
A couple in front of me in line was confused when they were prompted to pay $7 to enter the backroom. “But we just want to drink,” he half-whined. Dude, that’s what the front bar is for. And $7 for FOUR local bands? We’re talking less than a toonie per act! Quite literally, barely a quarter per person standing on stage throughout the night. And it ended up being sooooo worth it.
I was hoping the Horseshoe would be running as tight a shift as the last time I was there to see Dark Mean (remember when they loudly and rudely came over the speakers telling the bands to hurry up and start playing?!), but alas! A predictable 20-minutes late meant I was early again, but allowed for the room to become increasingly populated.
(This 20-minute delay, although seeming a non sequitur, will figure in later to my Dark Mean posting).
The first band on the bill was Guelph-area band, Tacoma Hellfarm Tragedy. I have such a hard time describing such bands to friends family and, apparently, blog readers. Is this classified as country? Alt-country (whatever that means)? Roots? The increasingly large of scope covered under folk or indie? Argh. Really, it’s probably straddling all of these, as the breadth of music made available with the dawn of the internet age has gone a long way to erasing once firm-set genre lines.
Enough with the philosophical musings; isn’t it enough just to say that they were quite good, and probably quite up the alley of most fans of this particular blog site?
Between songs, the band was fairly quiet – limiting banter to the occasional, short “thank you”, mostly — seeming to prefer the music to speak for itself, which it did quite nicely. They were sort of an awkward fit on the bill, with heavier, more pronounced-southern influence than any of the other bands, but their strong, varied musicianship, command of vocal harmony, and primarily up-tempo set selections kept the early arrivees well-entertained.
02. Handful of Diamonds
03. Bones For Eyes
04. Great War
05. Wicked Weather
06. More To Dying
07. Your Wild
08. Run This Horse Ragged
09. Your Ghost
10. Town Hall
Thanks to Tacoma Hellfarm Tragedy, The Rest, Paper Lions, Dark Mean, and The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern.