. : : December 10th, 2011 : : .
The Elwins may have been the hardest working band in Toronto.
For a hot moment, it seemed like I couldn’t shake a stick without it getting tangled in the band’s gear. They were perpetually performing opening slots for a variety of artists I’d trek out to see across the city in all kinds of venues, for artists big and small.
Somehow, although it seemed like I was accidentally catching their act every couple of months, I only ended up with one recording in my archive that has hitherto never seen the light of day.
At the time of this performance, the band had two EPs to their name but have since padded their resume with an additional EP, 10 singles, and four LPs. Coupled with constant touring with the likes of Dashboard Confessional and the Fast Romantics, you can see why I’d bestow them the title “Hardest Working.”
Somehow, a decade has slipped by since this tape was recorded and probably about 8 years since I’ve seen the band live, but their performances remain memorable if only for the zany wild energy (and the remarkable facial hair of of the mononymous guitarist/keyboardist Feurd).
Looking back at the recording, it’s no surprise this tape didn’t make it out of the dust bin before now. There’s quite a bit of pops and clicks — likely from the jack problem that has plagued my equipment for some time — and the recording stops somewhat abruptly and unexpectedly. I don’t remember missing any of the show and it appears to cut off while front man Matthew Sweeney was awarding the most active concert-going participants with “Christmas presents” and thanking them for bringing the energy. As the tape is just shy of 30-minutes and the set list is a full eight songs, it’s almost a certainty there was no other music. Peculiar nevertheless!
That being said, the sound quality (other than the aforementioned pops) is actually remarkably decent, given I remember staying further toward the back than normal as I went with a friend of mine who wasn’t particularly into any of the bands but just wanted a night out and some beer. There were also a couple of volume adjustments that I’ve compensated for in EQ’ing, but this is otherwise a worthwhile artifact capturing the band very early in their career, still some two and a half months before the release of their LP debut, And I Thank You.
Once the world returns to normal and bands can tour again, I’d bet my bottom dollar that you’ll see the Elwins back out on the road, doing what they do as the hardest working band in Canada, on stages all over the country.
- Larry Pastorus
- On Your Doorstep
- Stuck in the Middle
- Forgetful Assistance
- Time to Kill
- Sittin’ Pretty
- Paper in Your Pocket
- Come On Out
- [banter] (cut)