. : : March 9th, 2012 : : .
After being introduced as “gay with a u”, it took a little bit longer than normal to take Ryan Guay‘s set seriously.
With a voice less rich and more nasal than the previous performer at An Evening With Andrew Cole, Brad Filtre, I was a bit distracted in reconciliation of the odd choice of order of performers for the night. That is, until Ryan started using a bit more vocal dynamics, especially in volume. Instantly, it was clear where his strengths lay, and just how it is this soft-spoken, mild-mannered man is able to front the burgeoning rock-regaee hybrid band Street Pharmacy from a little-known one horse town in the Niagara-region of Ontario.
(OK, before any Welland’ers get up-in-arms, that was a playful dig, and I’m sure you have a lovely city)
Ryan treated us to what, after Brad’s here-and-gone performance, seemed like an extended set, even if it only clocked in five songs and a couple dozen minutes. The setlist ranged from songs dating back to their first of four LP’s (in five years!) to a song only some two-weeks old.
The clear highlights, however, were the couple of tracks culled from the band’s 2009 effort, Legacy of Rudy — a concept album that “tells the story of the original rude boy.” Arguably the most reggae-influenced of the albums, the songs may not have been the forefront contenders to work in a stripped down acoustic setting, but they did. Especially the second song of the night, The Honeymoon’s Over.
Ryan’s set ended up being as quick, concise and fun of an overview of Street Pharmacy’s oeuvre as a room full of new fans could have possibly hoped for. As with the other tapes of the night, the recording sounds phenomenal. If you’re into pop songs with a reggae flair, check this one out.
04. The Honeymoon’s Over
06. Shameless and Nameless
08. In This Town
10. Recipe for Delinquency
Thanks to Ryan Guay for sharing a bit of his Street Pharmacy supplies with us.