Concerts Concerts A Piece of Brantford Shows Up in Kensington Market

A Piece of Brantford Shows Up in Kensington Market

The Ascot Royals at Bread & Circus
The Ascot Royals
Secret Broadcast, Spirits
Bread & Circus in Toronto, ON
January 26, 2011

Review by: Natalia Buia
Photos by: Pete Nema

Bread & Circus may not be the most prominent venue to showcase hot Canadian talent, but it did just fine for three rising Ontario bands. While temperatures outside were below freezing, inside, Spirits set the night’s mood while The Ascot Royals and Secret Broadcast helped define the phrase "turning up the heat".

The Ascot Royals

There's no denying The Ascot Royals contagious energy on stage, especially when the Bread & Circus is packed almost to capacity (the most crowded I've ever seen it). Every musical peak and animated motion was emphasized by the big hair of Jimmy Chauveau (vocals). The band's indie-rock sound included soulful vocals and lots of excellent musicianship, but one surprising aspect to their music is the almost startling heaving-metal shredding by Joey Vinegar (guitar) — unexpected, and at times it overpowered their sound. 

One of the standout performances was a new song, "Sandy Beaches", which was a boisterous hit with crowd and accompanied by handclapping and engaging melodies. The tone changed when Brantford rapper Profit joined the guys on stage to add flare to "So Tired", another standout performance. Overall the show was surprisingly strong, cohesive, and demonstrated how far this band has come in the past year or so.

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Secret Broadcast

The Georgia Straight once wrote "Secret Broadcast is the best thing to come out of Calgary since, well, ever." Quite a bold statement, but one that Canadian music lovers may be able to understand. The three piece have a ton of festivals under their belt — some are once in a lifetime opportunities, such as when they played alongside Oasis.

Their performance at Bread & Circus wasn’t their strongest, given a few technical difficulties and a lackluster audience, but it didn't take away from the fact that Secret Broadcast have improved their sound since their last record, Exploding Spiders. This leaves fans like myself anticipating their next release which, judging from the new songs they played, is comparable to Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.

On stage, Matt Lightstone (vocals, guitar) channels the same attitude and passion as Paul Westerberg, characteristics that helped make The Replacements one of the best of our generation. I loved hearing "Big Bad Man" the most; that tune is a killer.

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Spirits

Spirits opened the show as a two piece rather than the usual three piece. It was a warm opening to get the night rolling.

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