It’s an exciting thing to see a band develop and grow, edging one step closer to becoming the finished article. It can be debated about whether or not a group can ever truly become the ‘finished article’; really it’s about growth and decline, rises and falls, dizzy peaks and brick walls. But I digress. The point is that in the fifteen months since I first saw Bella Clava in concert, the band have made tangible progress. Too often bands churn out new songs but end up trending water. This is not the case with Bella Clava. From the teasing, crowd-taunting false starts to their opener “War Brides”, Bella Clava displayed an increased level of confidence and belief that grew bolder even in the fifty minutes or so of their set as this four-piece, with some Thunder Bay origins but now based in Toronto, played an album launch show at the Horseshoe that sent the message: “Hey Toronto, we’ve arrived.” They showcased their new record Holy Crow with aplomb, peaking mid-set with some double-neck Gibson electric guitar swagger & grit contrasting with the chiming organ keys. Then in a moment where I felt my mind wandering, a change of pace was injected, a brief refrain, and then things kicked up again, with Bella Clava wailing to a finish, crossing the line with exuberant excess as Caitlin Dacey raked a guitar across her keyboard.
Bella Clava were wider, bolder and better than the band that had first impressed me last year. With Holy Crow, Bella Clava progress and with this show established themselves as a welcome and notable addition to Toronto’s scene. That alone is achievement; and these crows can definitely spread their wings.
© Brian Banks, Editor, Music Vice
Pictures of Bella Clava at The Horseshoe Tavern:
Ding Dong Ditch
Red River Rain
Conflict & Desire
Blue Star Tattoo
The Less Dead
Food for Cannibals
You can stream Bella Clava’s new album on SoundCloud
Internet links: Bella Clava