Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Being my first summer here in London I'm incredibly impressed on how vibrant the downtown is. Besides the usual bar scene, every weekend there is some kind of event going on down at Victoria or Harris park.
From Sunfest and its interesting assortment of world music to even Rock The Park. While it might not necessarily always be your scene it is at least different. Typically free too if the event takes place at Victoria Park. You can rarely argue with free.
Anyways, this weekend is the London Ballon Festival. Taking place at Harris Park, the event is putting on a few decent concerts. Saturday night will get you Sloan, with Sunday offering up Matt Mays & his El Torpedoes.
When my roomate first heard Sloan was playing the festival he groaned, as if "this is what they've been relegated to." When I found out Matt Mays was playing this somehow gave credibility and redeemed the Sloan team. You've got to admit that playing the hot air balloon circuit seems like something of a fall from grace. Not to long ago ( ten plus years actually) Sloan was the epicentre of the Halifax pop explosion. Probably the first scene to be dubbed the "new Seattle," Sloan looked destined for big things. Although they are still well-regarded and popular, world stardom never really materialized. At this point in their career, Sloan are far to large to play the Canadian club circuit. Even if they did I'm not sure how successful it would be. They are one of those bands you take for granted, promising to catch them next time they are in town. Tix are $20 bucks. Support is Mobile and Trole. Not a solid bill by any means, but Sloan playing the sun down ain't the roughest way to start your Saturday evening.
Sloan has a new album coming out September 18th in Canada and later internationally. All band members have contributed songs for Never Hear The End Of It. With over 30 songs mixed the band just has to whittle it down to something a bit more manageable. First single Who Taught You To Live Like That? is currently streaming on their myspace. Check It out. The roomate likened it to Navy Blues era Sloan. This is a good thing.
Matt Mays plays Sunday night with ex-Big Sugar frontman Gordie Johnson's newer project, Grady and London's Bobnoxious. Tix are $15. Bobnoxious closes out the show with Mays in the middle at 9pm. I'm not sure how Mr. Mays will do on an outdoor stage. I'm sure he'll be fine, but he seems much better suited to the sweaty confines of a club. Go see for yourself.
Still working on my hosting issues. Basically I just have to wait till a paycheck to get my credit cards unmaxed. Then I can set up an ezarchive account and start providing some mp3 accompaniment. Shouldn't be long. A week at the latest.
Matt Mays' website and Myspace
London Balloon Fest for ticket info and such.
As an update: Apparently the shows are free unless you choose to enter the beer gardens. Probably get a better vantage point also. We'll see. I've always been a fan of sneaking beers in my backpack.