Kid Congo Spooks the Horseshoe

November 7, 2013 at 11:49 pm (Uncategorized) (, )

So this review is a little overdue, but I’ve been busy with stuff. Better later than never right?

Have I mentioned that I love the Horseshoe Tavern?  Few better places to see a show in Toronto. It’s small, so the sight lines are good (and even if you arrive to a full house, you can usually work your way through); the sound is good; the ticket prices are quite reasonable. Yah!

So a couple of weeks back, me and a mate went down to see ex-Cramp, ex-Gun Clubber, ex-Bad Seed Kid Congo Powers return to the Horseshoe to play songs from his latest record Haunted Head (pre-Halloween thrills indeed)

I arrived shortly before openers Meanwood took the stage.

Meanwood rock out

Meanwood are a Toronto roots band who have been around for a couple of years, and have an entertaining, energetic  sound. Judging by the reaction and the exchanges, the band seemed to have brought their fan club to the show, but they didn’t need to, as they were quite infectious in their performance. The band has an EP for sale on Soundcloud, and are in the process of recording a full length record.

Shortly after came CatL, one of my favourite local bands. Now slimmed down to a two-piece, the band seemed to be even tighter than on previous occasions. The band is now three albums deep into their career, and their punk blues sound gets better with each record.  It’s hard to sum up, but their was an energy about them that night that was missing on previous outings. New album coming soon. (unfortunately my photos didn’t come out too well)

Last up was Kid Congo. What to say? He was a founding member of the Gun club, played on the Cramps Psychedelic Jungle and Smell of Female and recorded with Nick Cave. Then a solo career. I saw him a couple of years back with the Jim Jones Revue at this very venue (fess up time – Congo was working the merch table before the show, so I went to talk to him – I mentioned I had seen him with Urge Overkill – then he corrected me – oops!)

Congo blasted through tracks from his new album along with four songs from the Gun Club’s first album, all to our delight. The sound leapt from surf to garage to rockabilly and even skirted lounge at time. However, if I had to point to a weak area, it’s Congo’s vocals. They don’t really seem to live up to the material (on the album, I’ve noted elsewhere, they seem buried in the mix). Still, nothing’s perfect and if you judge by the reaction of the somewhat small Horseshoe crowd, we were all happy. (Like my CatL pictures, my Congo pix didn’t quite come out).


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