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Summerside, The Last True Gentlemen

22-Nov-2007 11:10 PM Contributed by: pete Concert Reviews
Summerside
The Horseshoe in Toronto, Ontario
Photos and Review by: Pete Nema
Summerside
The Last True Gentlemen
November 20, 2007
Full Photo Set (13 photos)

I've seen the The Last True Gentlemen a few times, and have done some press shots for them as well, so you'd think that maybe I would've run out of things to say about them. And if it wasn't for a few surprises on Tuesday night, I just might have. The Last True Gentlemen had the midnight slot for Bookie's Nu Music Night, but it's always good to hear a new band, so I got there early enough to see a band I've never heard of before called Summerside.

Summerside

I'd never heard of Summerside before even though they are reasonably local, calling Burlington home. They are currently working on their second album, played something like 150 shows in the past year, and even had a spot in the 2006 Vans Warped Tour. Which I guess explains why there were a fair number of people loaded into The Horseshoe to watch their 30 minute set on Tuesday.

Summerside
Summerside
Summerside

Grant Edwards (vocals, piano) situates his keyboard centre-stage, but perpendicular, making it easy for him to hop up and sing at the edge of the stage and get back to the keyboard in time to play his parts. He's an animated performer who likes to stand high on the monitor speakers. The music was energetic and melodic, with a bit of an underlying boy-band sound, but with more instrumentation and without that contrived feeling. They've announced shows in Cambridge, Ottawa, and Burlington coming up, but given their track record there will be more dates added soon. Interesting side-note: They are signed to an independent Japanese record label called Bullion Records.

Info and Connect: Summerside on MySpace

The Last True Gentlemen

I'm no stranger to The Last True Gentlemen, having seen them play two other times as well as spending time with them on press photos. I like their early-70's inspired rock music and they always put on a good show. Although the crowd thinned a bit before midnight (always the case on a Tuesday), there was still a good crowd that hung around to close the place... and it paid off. Having recently completed a cross-Canada tour that apparently drew large crowds and a great vibe in at least Banff and Nanimo, their playing was tighter than ever. And although they've had a bit of turn-over in the bass department, the latest bass player has great stage presence and really added to the show.

The Last True Gentlemen
The Last True Gentlemen
The Last True Gentlemen

There were a few happenings at this show worth mentioning. First off, about mid-set, a guy showed up at the stage with three shots in hand and fed them to the band while they played. And before the big finish (wait for it), the 2nd last song they played had some impressive progressive rock influences. About a minute or so into this song, I put down my camera and just rocked out with the music - it was excellent and got a few other people in the crowd going as well. Before the band started into their last song, Haven't You Heard, someone in the crowd started yelling out to the band to "smash your guitar!" Andrew Clark (vocals, guitar, keyboard) made it sound like they weren't going to be able to live up to that expectation.

The Last True Gentlemen
The Last True Gentlemen
The Last True Gentlemen

Haven't You Heard has a big finish with a serious guitar solo and monster drumming, and as the song came to completion Mark Ansara (drums) took it upon himself to finish the show huge way. He stood up on his drum kit and threw himself down onto it, causing the setup to basically blow apart. And if that wasn't enough, he got back up and jumped in to the mess, eventually ending up lying on the ground in the middle of the clutter with one of the pieces landing over his head. There didn't appear to be any permanent damage, other than maybe a few nasty bruises, but the band received a chewing-out from one of The Horseshoe staff members. Rock 'n' Roll, baby.

The Last True Gentlemen

Info and Connect: The Last True Gentlemen on MySpace

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