Intimate and modest is the venue/art gallery of O Patro Vys on Mont-Royal in Montreal. I had the pleasure of checking out three up and coming bands this past Friday, October the 2nd. Sitting at the bar I had a good view of the stage and the surrounding art on the walls, this month featuring a showing of a photographers work. The show started relatively on time, and the sound was of a good quality and not overly loud. The place wasn’t packed, but there were no empty seats when the show started and a fair amount of people streamed in shortly thereafter, it was a good turnout.
First on the bill for the evening were The Empty Yellers. They are a young, four-piece, bluesy-rock band from Montreal that formed in 2013. What immediately stood out, and continually did throughout the entire set, was the talent and skill of lead vocalist Celina Wolfe. Apparently only 20 years old, she has the commanding stage presence of a veteran diva. She has a voice that projects, and is smooth with a hint of raspy qualities on certain notes that reminded me of Linda Perry of 4 Non Blondes. They opened with their track “Don’t Fuck With Me,” which was hard hitting and also showed off the expertise of lead guitarist Camille Beaudoin. Another great original track was “Still Drunk” which you can listen to on their Bandcamp page. They played two covers, “It`s A Man’s Man’s World” by James Brown and “Video Games” by Lana Del Rey, and they did a great job on both. The crowd really enjoyed the set, and I had overheard a number of people commenting to others how impressed they were with it. They’re currently working on their first EP release Hydro Bill. They also often play venues in and around Montreal, so you’ll have a good chance of catching them again soon.
Up next after a short interlude was the Toronto-based pop band The Nursery. They are a four-piece consisting of guitar, bass, keyboards and drums. I found their set to be a little less engaging, but sometimes you’re just stuck playing after a tough act to follow. They reminded me visually and musically of perhaps Exotic Birds, but with a sharper, more contemporary sound. They played their single “She Speaks The Wave” which is a good example of the band’s overall sound and is available, along with the track “Hexes and Oh’s,” to listen to on their site. Those who like the synth sound will enjoy this band; the crowd at O Patro Vys did, and they are playing another four gigs on the DasNursery Tour.
Headlining the show and coming on a little late, due to a tech issue I believe, was Montreal’s Das Blankout, a three-piece alternative rock band from Montreal that our own Syd Ghan had interviewed earlier in the year before the release of their single “King Of The World.” They have accomplished a lot in that time, with a bunch of shows behind them and selling their new album Player 1 along the way. My first thought when they started playing was, “Despite the delay their set was well worth the wait.” Lead singer and guitarist Matt Burghardt has a real classic rock n’ roll voice, and harmonizes well with Kim, his sister, who sings back-up vocals and plays bass. Pat Bilodeau’s drumming also stands out as proficient and well-suited, and together they make an awesome trio. They didn’t really stop in between tracks, but rather just gave ‘er the whole time. I’m not familiar with all the track names, but I was impressed with the instrumental aspect as well as the vocals and lyrical content. The crowd loved it and got the encore they asked for with the track, “Get Up.” You can check out videos for “Lights that are Well Lit” and “King Of The World” on their website. I’m sure once the current tour is over they will be back in Montreal and we’ll see them again soon.
Written by Joey Beaudin
*edited by Kate Erickson