Dilly Dally, Gold Pony, The Sandy Pockets at Handlebar, Toronto — Gig review

May 20, 2014

Gold Pony at Handlebar, Toronto, Wavelength #599 - photo Brian Banks

Who: Dilly Dally, The Sandy Pockets, Meeko Cheech, The Julee Cruise Ships, Gold Pony
Where: Handlebar, Toronto
When: Saturday, 17 May 2014
In One Word: Spiffing

Right from the get-go, this show was destined to be one of the best nights of the year. On arrival, I got my stamp from the friendly Wavelengthers at the table, then selected my complimentary masquerade mask from the options available; all drawn up by our pal GreetingsFromToronto show sketcher Nat Malta, who had planned a theme of “Royal Debauchery” for tonight’s show. I resisted the swamp thing, and went for an owl. Within minutes, I had a pint in one hand and some Victoria Day cake thrust in the other, and was listening to the Julee Cruise Ships wrapping up their set of Twin Peaks tunes. Cake, masks, beer and the music from Twin Peaks? A great start.

Gold Pony were a lot of fun, and the band who’s set I remembered the most the next day. Pretty brash and raw, I somehow found myself parroting their female lead singer Maggie Smith’s lyrics in my best John Lydon voice. Gold Pony don’t sound much like the Sex Pistols, though “my sister’s on the water, my sister’s on the beach” is random enough to be a Sex Pistols lyric. In another song, the Smith seemed to be name-checking Catholic saints – an educational experience for a total heathen like myself. They’re not punk rock, but Gold Pony are an interesting band. Oh, and their bassist Liz Keston is preggers – how rock n’ roll is that?! Way cool.

Dilly Dally were really cool, and my favourite band of the night. They’ve got a dreamy pop sound, with a grunge snarl coming out from under the bangs of Katie Monks. They caught my imagination and made me think about how the music and fashion of this moment seems to be the new 90s. We reinvent ourselves so much, but Dilly Dally are not just a homage or a tribute: they’re fresh. Another exciting new band, in an exciting time for music in Toronto.

With all the craziness going down, I somehow missed Meeko Cheech. Maybe they were playing while we beat-up the Ghost of Queen Victoria piñata on the patio? That was a ton of fun.  The funniest moment of the night was when one guy almost caned a girl who was sitting in close proximity to the piñata as he swung wildly off target – thankfully the girl escaped injury. After some more misadventures with ghosts – this time of the Toronto Police kind – and some spooky FRÏS vodka, we all headed back to the stage side to dance with The Sandy Pockets. Jiving under the balloons and paper doilies to such numbers as “Sunny Side of the Street” gave the evening a classy send-off.

This was one of the most random and fun shows I have been to in a long time. Tipped hats to Wavelength for another great gig. Every May 24 party should have a piñata. That was a stroke of genius.

© Brian Banks, Editor, Music Vice

Internet links:
Dilly Dally
Gold Pony
The Sandy Pockets
Meeko Cheech
The Julee Cruise Ships

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Brian Banks

Editor and Founder, Music Vice Magazine. Writer. Photographer. Poet. From Scotland. Not Ireland. Proudly based in Toronto, Canada. Rock N' Roll Don't Pay The Rent... 

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