The Manvils, Secret Broadcast
Maxwell's Music House in Waterloo, ON
September 21, 2012
Photos and Review by: Verity Dokter
Let me start with a confession: I arrived at Maxwell's not entirely sure what to expect since I wasn't familiar with any of the featured bands (don't worry, I have since escaped the rock I've been living under).
So when Vancouver's The Manvils took the stage with their Brit-rock-esque sound, to say that I was blown away is an understatement. You know it's going to be an awesome concert when the opening band's lead singer/guitarist (who is, I believe, the only person this side of the equator capable of breaking the same pair of glasses three times in one night) head bangs his glasses right off while playing a superb guitar solo. Delivering a flawless and energetic set, The Manvils' set the bar high for the rest of the evening, despite the fact that the number of people in attendance that night was small.
Next up was Secret Broadcast out of Alberta. Somehow managing the near-impossible feat of continuing the amazing energy despite a series of hiccups beyond their control, including a broken guitar string early in their set, a rogue guitar strap, and a malfunctioning microphone. They delivered a high-octane performance that found me wishing that I knew the lyrics to their songs (and wishing that the rest of the audience were actually showing signs of having a pulse).
The Ascot Royals
Then The Ascot Royals took the stage, hammering out song after song with such charisma and vigor that their sound brought with it a compulsion to dance. No matter how hard I tried to stay still enough to take photos, I just couldn't resist their music. I heard somebody remark during their set: “they're having far too much fun!” and that sums it up perfectly. Their energy took on a life of it's own and it was clear that not only are they extremely good at what they do, they absolutely love it, too. And the place that they're at — where talent and crazy passion meet — is what drives greatness. You will definitely see me at their next local show.
The Ascot Royals celebrate the release of their debut full length album, Don't Let It Stop You, on November 17th at the El Mocambo.