Who: HMS Morris, No Sinner
Where: The Garrison, Toronto
When: 6 May 2016
In one word: Hooked
How hard is it to make a functional website and app for a music festival? Okay, Glastonbury have a slick one, but CMW don’t, and for that reason I wasn’t even sure if there was any were any bands playing at the Garrison tonight as I stopped in on Dundas West on my way up to Bloor Street. As luck would have it, the Garrison had a CMW show going on – although, with less then than 20 people in the back hall when I walked in, it was weird to see the place so empty on a Friday night.
I walked in to the sound of a really cool chord progression by a bearded keyboardist. A blonde girl was on guitar, and a fella in a red t-shirt was on the drums. Sadly, I walked in on the last song of their set so it’s hard to pass much judgement. Yet still, this would turn out to be the most interesting 90 seconds of summer music I heard all Friday evening at CMW showcases. Their name is HMS Morris – look them up – I’m listening as I write this, and enjoying their dreamy electro-pop immensely. A short but very sweet introduction to a most interesting band.
No Sinner came on after – a five-piece rock band from Vancouver who play the blues. The guitarist has a few SRV/Hendrix-inspired hooks in his pocket, on “Work Song”. Though there was way too much treble everywhere. The singer Colleen Rennison was a bit of a surprise; with “September Moon”, a slower ballad with a obligatory guitar solo breakdown, the band were at their best and Rennison was wailing wild and singing with intense passion.
Towards the end of their set, No Sinner inspired some old-school swing dancing from the girls down front, and overall got an enthusiastic response from what had become a much bigger crowd than an hour previous.
The singer and guitarist exude confidence, with a chin-sliding swagger, but it’s a bit of a mismatch to the rest of the group. As they are right now, there is a dynamic missing in the, um, dynamic.
© Brian Banks, Editor, Music Vice
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