NXNE Review: Two Wings, Mike O’Neill, June 12, The Piston


My NXNE journey started Wednesday night at the Piston, which was home to the Tin Angel Record showcase. I was unfamiliar with any of the bands, but chose the Piston because I live right across the street from it. Laziness reigns supreme most of the time.

Two Wings

A band from Scotland, Two Wings was the first act I witnessed. A five piece band with two female leads, Two Wings sounded like a 70’s-80’s era prom music primed for make outs. You could also call it soulful folk rock as well. The band had a crazy drummer who made the most outrageous drummer faces, but also, seemed to be having a better time then anyone in the venue. Check this out:


Despite a slow start, Two Wings slowly won me over as the set progressed. There was a rare flute solo, and a set ending jam session that had me nodding my head. One thing I did find funny was that the NXNE guy gave the band six more minutes, then the band proceeded to play at least 12 more minutes. I would too, if I had traveled all the way from Scotland. No one in the crowd minded though.

Former Inbreds member Mike O’Neill was on next. In what could have been a disastrous situation, Devon Sproule, his collaborator, could not make the set on Wednesday. Given that the bill was Devon Sproule + Mike O’Neill, you could see what a pickle that could of been. Ever so calm, O’Neill recruited Robin Dann (of Bernice) in the support vocal role.

The whole show had the makings of a disaster – Robin was reading lyrics off a note pad, the band seemed to have just met each other, and there were a few false starts to songs. Much to the credit of the musicians on stage – it was not. It just goes to show, talent can always pull through. Mike O’Neill’s songs are simple singer-songwriter tracks at heart, but effective and catchy. Robin’s vocals were great and had me thinking how much I was missing with Devon Sproule not being there if this girl sounded so good. I’ve always liked guy-girl vocals on songs so whenever Robin and Mike had a duet in the set, it worked out well. Their collaboration is out this September and is called Colours

Big thanks to Joe from Mechanical Forest Sounds for being patient and telling me who everyone was.

Posted on by Ricky in North By Northeast

About Ricky

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