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Music

Photo Essay: The Loodies, Current Swell, Michou at Le Divan Orange

Posted by Jer / November 25, 2011

Current Swell at Divan OrangeRecent winners of a whopping $100,500 prize from The Peak Performance Project, Victoria's Current Swell were in Montreal this week to try and win over the eastern part of the country. After winning that kind of cash, we were hoping they'd be buying poutine for everyone. Or at least letting us hold their giant oversized novelty cheque. Alas, it was not to be. Joined by local outfit the Loodies and Windsor's Michou, the show was more about the music than the money. And as you can see from the quality of the pics taken by special contributor/photographer Shannon Heather, that's probably for the best.

Current Swell at Divan Orange A Wednesday night during essay season does not lend itself to packed audiences, and this fairly fresh group of classical music students felt the brunt of it. Those in attendance, however, looked captivated by the impressive array of beautiful sounds that Montreal-based openers The Loodies produced.

Current Swell at Divan OrangeLighting so seldom favours the drummer, and in this case it effectively brought him forward with the rest of the band to be more visually unified.

Current Swell at Divan OrangeIt's such a treat to be crooned-to by instruments other than the standard rock guitar-bass-drum trio. The Loodies also employ a glockenspiel. The trumpet made a second appearance with Michou later in the evening.

Current Swell at Divan OrangeFor a surf-rock group, Victoria's Current Swell have the kind of bluesy stylings that made me optimistic for the future of music when I met them back in 2007. Any band that breaks out the stool for some good old-fashioned slide guitar gets my approval. Bonus points for those that can do it with a beer bottle, which Scott Stanton has been known to bust out on occasion.

Current Swell at Divan OrangeThen again, it could have been David Lang's fast lips on blues' most portable instrument that gave the band the flavour that drew me in. Thankfully the BC boys have worked it into enough material that it makes an appearance at every show.

Current Swell at Divan OrangeCurrent Swell is one of those bands that put on a lively show with contagious energy. No matter how you feel about them, you're going to be enticed to move.

Current Swell at Divan OrangeLang's handclaps were infectious but at a speed and intricacy that not many audience members would be capable of following.

Current Swell at Divan OrangeTheir energy is contrasted by thoughtful, somber moments that give the show pause. One of their more popular tunes, Brad's Song, is an homage to a friend they recently lost. It's unique in that it doesn't make Brad out to be a superhero, but is rather an honest portrayal. The attention of the bar was held so strongly for this one that I felt immediately guilty hitting the shutter.

Current Swell at Divan OrangeCurrent Swell are promoting their new album, Long Time Ago and as such, played mostly new songs, but that didn't keep audience members from singing along.

Current Swell at Divan OrangeWindsor group Michou's audience draw was a losing battle with the last metro on Montreal's first snow day of the season, but the crowd that remained was decent.

Current Swell at Divan OrangeYou wouldn't know it from the dramatic lighting but the pop melodies were a light ending to a charming Wednesday night.

Current Swell at Divan OrangeAs an old friend of the guys in Current Swell, I joined them for a few post-show drinks with friends and family at a tarpaulin-covered industrial bar off Saint Laurent. Stanton grabbed my camera and while I will keep the less-than-flattering shots of band members from the public forum, I'll leave you with the first portrait of me on Midnight Poutine.

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