After spending nearly 2 hours at the wrong show (read about Day 2 Deja Vu here), I arrived at the ‘Shoe to catch the last fifteen minutes or so of by what all accounts was a thoroughly enjoyable gig by The Most Serene Republic. Rather delightful band name, innit? Front man Adrian Jewitt was leading his six piece ensemble to a close with a falling-to-his-knees level of unbridled enthusiasm. The energy and smiles being emitted by The Most Serene Republic were bounced back at them by equal joy, and with plenty of playful quips from long-term supporters among the crowd. The newcomers to TMSR were left grinning too, and good times were being had.
This show was in promotion for the launch of TMSR’s new six-track EP Fantasick Impossibliss. The band come from Milton, a town in the Greater Toronto Area which has one of the fastest growing populations around – from 30,000 ten years ago, to nearer the 100,000 in 2010. We’re all a product of our environment, and influenced by that around us, but thankfully TMSR do not share the same qualities as soul-sapped, rapidly-growing suburb, with all its identikit housing estates – they’ve got a lot more originality than that. They’ve got character and personality too.
My brief Saturday night encounter with TMSR was an enjoyable experience. In the aftermath of this show, I found myself turning to their 2009 full-length …And The Ever Expanding Universe – TMSR have a much fuller sound on record, and in some places to the point of it being bloated and overblown, but after seeing them live I have a growing appreciation. It was the first time I’d seen them play and it really wasn’t what I expected – maybe it’s the long-winded band name, but for whatever reason I was expecting something kind of pretentious. In concert, TMSR are far from pretentious; they’re fun, enthusiastic and enjoy having a laugh with their audience. The banter might not have always been first rate, but the songs that sandwiched the chit-chat more than made up for it. We can forgive Jewitt for doing the introduce-the-next-song-as-a-wrestling-announcer gag – every band is allowed one pass on that offense. Just once though, mind.
If you like your indie rock multi-textured and ambiguous then The Most Serene Republic are worth investigating.
© Brian Banks, Editor, Music Vice
Pictures of The Most Serene Republic at Horseshoe Tavern: