The Garrison in Toronto, Ontario
May 20, 2010
Photos and Review by: Pete Nema
Birds Of Wales just completed a tour of Ontario in support of their April 13th full-length release, Belgravia Hotel, making a stop in their hometown of Toronto on May 20th at The Garrison.
I've been following Birds Of Wales for a few years now, first seeing them perform in late 2007 after meeting Morgan Ross (vocals, guitar) on the set of a video shoot. For that show they were opening for Marianas Trench along with We Are The Take, a band I hadn't heard of before (at the time). It's now been over a year since I last saw Birds Of Wales perform, but the new album sounded really good and they were once again teamed up with We Are The Take, so a night at The Garrison was in order.
Birds Of Wales
The long drive from Timmins to Toronto the night before clearly stole some sleep from the members of Birds Of Wales, which may have been responsible for subduing their performance somewhat, but the gentle melodies laced with a mild country sound are probably best delivered in the earnest way that they were anyway. The notes emanating from Mike Captuo's guitar are almost always the auditory focus for me, while Morgan provides the more eye-catching visuals and sweet vocals to the imbalanced ratio of female-to-male audience members. The crowd was, as usual, filled with the beautiful people, many of which sang along to a good number of the songs.
Belgravia Hotel is an excellent recording of this band's best songs, with re-recorded versions of "My Lady In July", "Life", and my personal favourite of theirs, "Fall Of The 49" — it is an excellent purchase for those who missed the recent tour.
We Are The Take
It's always good to see We Are The Take, something that I have done many times since seeing them that first time with Birds Of Wales. On April 27th, they quietly released a full-length album called The Naked Now which is one of the best independent rock releases of this year so far (available on iTunes and eMusic.com). It contains concert staples such as "Montreal Love Song", "Dreams", and the sing-along "Wait It Out". It's excellent to be able to listen to all of these songs outside of their concerts.
Although the performance was good, it wasn't quite as powerful as I've seen them achieve in the past, like the time I saw them perform at the Horseshoe with Jets Overhead. They did, however, showcase some of their newer material again, with one new song called "Sexy Beast" that was noticeably excellent — if you want to hear a recorded version, it is available for streaming on their MySpace page.