Concerts Concerts NXNE 2010: The D'Urbervilles, Ruby Coast

NXNE 2010: The D'Urbervilles, Ruby Coast

Ruby Coast, The D'Urbervilles
Toronto, Ontario
June 19th, 2010

Review by: Jen Polk

Saturday was a light night for me: only three bands. Here are reviews of the first two I saw. There's a separate piece being prepared on the third, Amos the Transparent. Read on for details about how The D'Urbervilles (final show?) and Ruby Coast (mosh pit!) fared.

Ruby Coast @ Sneaky Dee's, 1am

After a somewhat harrowing bike ride north and east, I arrived at Sneaky Dee's to refrains of "did you see that?" Uh, no. Apparently the previous set, by Man Or Astroman?, was something to behold. Think fire and purple lightning. And so Ruby Coast was still setting up, and wouldn't get started until 20 minutes or so after their set time. In the meantime, audience members there to see them, and quite a few who had no idea what this young band was all about, grew more and more excited / agitated. It was weird, but true: people were so revved up after the last performance that they were clamouring for more.

Now, I've been stuck in and have otherwise witnessed mosh pit-type situations at Ruby Coast shows in the past. The young'uns, man, they like to get physical. Yet I was not prepared for the sizable, instantly-forming one that happened this night. The moment the band started playing, the kids started bashing into each other. And they just kept it up, and most of the crowd was involved. I quickly got myself on a stool, where I stood and thus saw everything. So trust me, I know.

How about the performance? Well, it was good. I liked the one new song the band played. (Their set got cut short, so they weren't able to play a couple more new tunes they'd planned on doing.) The familiar songs made me happy, too. I danced (a little precariously, on the stool). Mostly, though, I remember the floor moving up and down, several inches up and down — no, really. It was bit terrifying, actually, but I've been in Dee's before when it has happened, so I knew not to worry... too much.Wow. Crazy.

The band's album is recorded and will be out soon.

The D'Urbervilles @ The Drake Hotel (Underground), midnight

Other non-music plans kept me away from NXNE until midnight, when a friend and I went to see The D'Urbervilles at the Drake Underground. I'd heard a rumour earlier in the day that the show was perhaps the band's last. I wasn't sure what to make of this news, but a guy who should know told me the band was going to change its name. So, maybe I was at the last D'Urbs show. But not exactly. (The guys were selling their t-shirts for $2 apiece, lending further credence to this theory.)

The band performed songs off their 2008 album, We Are The Hunters, and some newer tunes. The new "Junkpile" song was a highlight for me. I only expect quality performances and impressive musicianship from these guys, and they did not let me down. Frontman John O'Regan was in fine form, and drummer Greg Santilly was a wonder to watch. So why weren't more people dancing like I was? Festivals can be weird.

Look for a second album from these guys in the fall.