Summerworks Concert Review: Jennifer Castle, Bruce Peninsula, Lower Ossington Theatre, August 11

Toronto – Thursday night at the Summerworks was home to two artist who had impressed many at NXNE – Toronto’s own Jennifer Castle and Toronto’s own Bruce Peninsula. For me it was night two of Can con music and I was very much looking forward to exploring the sounds and songs of artists from all over the GTA west area.

One of the oddest things I found about this year’s Lower Ossington Theatre setup was the lack of chairs. They seem to have been removed after the theatre people were finished with the plays and placed on the sides. Was this a subtle declaration of war between theatre and music? Are indie music fans not deserving of plush comfortable seating? Is it considered more indie/real to sit on the ground than on a chair? These questions were lingering about in my mind during Jennifer Castle’s set because the songstress’s fragile voice and gentle guitar picking had the entire packed audience at the theater sitting down on the cold hard floor. Perhaps it was to reflect the cold hard truth in some of the lyrics for her songs. I am not sure. Dressed in a shiny silver jacket, I had expected some more upbeat perhaps disco tracks from Jennifer during her set, but I quickly learned that apparel on stage cannot be a good judge of an artists discography. Instead, Jennifer performed some songs off her album Castlemusic to the silent delight of the crowd.

Jennifer Castle – Powers by GreaterGoodsCo.

Employing a much different setup was Bruce Peninsula, the rip roaring folk revival gang bang band that had everyone’s private parts in a tussle after what I read was an exhilarating show at the Rivoli in June. Employing a choir of singers (dressed like they were from a 70s variety show), the nine piece band effectively took up almost one entire side of the theater. Standing front and center was Neil Haverty, the cancer beating front man of the group. Standing right by his side was the other lead vocalist Misha Bowers. From what my friends say, this was a new arrangement that perhaps stemmed from Haverty having to take a step back with his health issues. Either way, from the second the band took the stage, the groups toe tapping gang vocal folk rock was a definitely hit with the packed crowd. For me, half the tracks almost sounded like a gospel rock song with Haverty’s ragged vocals delivering a kind of sermon whilst the choir girls on the side backed him up with tender choral passages. It was an entirely pleasant experiment save for Misha Bower’s music is like cooking a cake analogies, which seemed amusing at first until she repeatedly attempted to add to this metaphor throughout the night. It seemed a bit much, but perhaps it was amusing to all the bakers in the crowd.

Salesman by BrucePeninsula

Bruce Peninsula are apparently playing every little city in Eastern Canada this fall, chances are you can check them out, unless you live out west.

September 09 – Sarnia, ON – The Story
September 10 – Hamilton, ON – Christ’s Church Cathedral
September 15 – Guelph, ON – Ebar
September 17 – London, ON – OH Fest
September 18 – Waterloo, ON – Waterloo Park / Grist Mill
September 21 – Kingston, ON – Chalmers Church
September 23 – Burnstown, ON – Neat Coffee
September 29 – St. Catharines, ON – Mansion House
October 01 – Peterborough, ON – The Attic
October 05 – Montreal, PQ – Casa Del Popolo
October 07 – St. John, NB – Pepper’s Pub
October 08 – Sackville, NS – George’s
October 09 – Halifax, NS – Khyber
October 12 – Cornerbrook, NL – Backlot
October 14 – St. John’s, NL – The Ship
October 15 – St. John’s, NL – The Ship
October 16 – Port Rexton, NL – Two Whales Cafe
October 19 – Sydney, NS – St. Pat’s on Esplanade
October 20 – Riverport, NS – Confidence Lodge
October 21 – Fredericton, NB – The Capital Bar
October 22 – Halifax, NS – Bus Stop Theatre
October 23 – Charlottetown, PEI – Baba’s
October 24 – Moncton, NB – Plan B
October 25 – Fredericton, NB – Charlotte Street Arts Centre
October 26 – Sherbrooke, QC – La Petite Boite Noir
October 27 – Toronto, ON – Lee’s Palace

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Posted on by Ricky in Summerworks

About Ricky

Britpop lovin Chinaman, consumer of all things irrelevant. Toronto Raptors fan.

One Response to Summerworks Concert Review: Jennifer Castle, Bruce Peninsula, Lower Ossington Theatre, August 11

  1. Brian

    If you’d actually gotten to sit on the chairs at Lower Ossington Theatre, you’d realize that “plush, comfortable seating” it is not.

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