SCENEfest 2010: The Library Voices || The Rumble Devils || Arkells

The last SCENEfest I went to was in 2004, I had recently graduated high-school, had my first "real" photography job working for a promoter and was madly in love with Dallas Green (version 1.0 -- Alexisonfire)...  and if you asked me I would have told you there was no way in hell that in 2010, having recently not-graduated university, I'd be living in St. Catharines, with no professional photo gigs lined up and still in love with Dallas Green (version 2.0 -- City and Colour).  But my priorities have changed, I'm (relatively) happy with how things turned out and I had a great time at SCENEfest!  I spent part of the day with my family for my Grandfather's birthday so I didn't get to check out too many bands but a few really stood out:

The Library Voices:
I looooove large ensembles and I've wanted to check these guys out for a while but somehow every time they came to a town I was living in I've missed them.  Well, making up for lost time, I saw them play not once, but twice today!  And I'm glad I finally did :)  Dancing by the steps of the courthouse on my way to the bus terminal I only caught one song from their busking set - a cover of The Beatles' Help which seemed appropriate since they were fundraising for WarChild.  It put a bounce in my step on the way to dinner and was a nice breath of fresh air between the melodrama and irony surrounding me (maybe I've just grown up alot since the last SCENEfest I went to but there was an inordinate number of emo kids and hipsters).  On my way back from dinner, I again saw them from the sidewalk, this time in the window of Whitehaut .. their sound filled up the room, the walk, the street and everyone around.  Even the emo kids couldn't help but tap their toes!  They also sound alot better with all their instruments (their busking set was mostly handclapping and tambourines with some acoustic guitar)  that sax man can really jam and I love the rainbow guitar strap - I want one haha. 

The Rumble Devils:
Sometimes I have to sit through some pretty gawd-awful stuff while waiting for Camden's bands to go onstage but this time I was really glad to be early.  I didn't get to see too many bands tonight but of the few I did see the Rumble Devils were probably my highlight!  From right here in St. Catharines they are a great throwback to true classic greaser style rock n' roll and although they're a little rougher live than they sound on their myspace, they've got a great style that makes you want to jump around (or put on red lipstick and jump in the back of a fast car)  I really love that rockabilly/ska sound when its not too "genrefied" or cliched if you know what I mean.  These guys are the real womanizing, smoking, drinking deal and their music rings true as a result.  I hope they play around St. Cats some more cause I'd love to see them live again or maybe pick up a CD.   

The Arkells:
Ever since I saw these guys open up for Matt Mays & El Torpedo at the Outpost in Thunder Bay I've just loved them.  It takes alot of sound to fill the Outpost which they blasted out then, and although I think their style has changed quite a bit, they rock just as hard.  They were on way late which was good cause Cam's band was at the same time they were scheduled for.  I'm also glad I had a band wristband cause the lineup was loooong, but the crowed packed out the place which made for a great atmosphere despite the heat and sweaty-ness.  Pumping out one hit after another with a wall of sound they turned  a medium sized club venue into what could have been mistaken for a stadium show.  Tim Oxford doesn't get enough credit as one of the best Canadian drummers around these days and I had a great view of his kit from where I was standing.  I'm really excited to see where these guys go as they graduate from being a local favourite to mainstream darlings - which I'm sure they will, now that they've opened for Them Crooked Vultures!!

The Strange @ SCENEfest 2010

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