The Gig: Buddy Black with Shaky Knees
Where: Sneaky Dees, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
When: Friday 25 January 2013
In One Word: Earnest
It’s a midwinter Friday night, and the snow and slush is ankle deep. Flurries are punching their way down and out of the clouds. Other animals are hibernating. Friends and show schedules are running late. Are there people in other venues? The upstairs room at Sneaky’s is mostly bare of bodies.
A few bands are trying new lineups. First act Shaky Knees has filled out his acoustic sound with a backing band. They’ve only been playing together for 2 weeks and this is their first performance together. “That’s nothing”, the new bassist for Buddy Black’s Midnight Society whispers to me, “we’ve only been a band for four days.”. Shaky Knees has great vocals and his repertoire includes a song about starting to steal, but we like him better on electric in the second half of his set.
Tonight has a lingering taste of a warm up gig- especially with CMW being just over a month away. And yet, Buddy Black has a raw vigour that excites me, and brings me back to my roots as a church basement punk rocker in small town Ontario. Two pieces of his new act tonight, I’ve know as long time veterans in the scene. I’ve been watching Buddy’s drummer Moves Johnson play shows since we were 15. Tonight he plays some smoking jazz drumming on Black’s psychobilly number “The Side”. PK Smooth, though he’s only picked up a bass in the past four years, was our student body’s pet rock star. Freakier and better costumed than the boys in the bands, we’ve rocked the dance floor together for many shitty bands before he was enlisted.
But it’s their new ring leader that’s on my radar tonight. Buddy is an instigator in a black leather jacket, and calls himself Reverend. He sings hoarse throated songs riddled in mythology in a way which is both terrorizing and earnest. Also noteworthy is the checkered ska garden gnome that Buddy keeps as a familiar. That little guy can rock out. We’ll be excited to what his new line up can do in 2013.
© Natascha Malta, Music Vice
Photographs by Rebecca Jaine:
Internet link: Buddy Black
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