I had an adventurous Friday night in East York and Scarborough on Friday July 17.
Started out at Danny Green's on Danforth, where Simon Genest and Lee Van Leer were hosting a one-off Friday jam. Wasn't too impressed with the club --it's upstairs from a locked and shuttered place and only has a small "open" sign in an upstairs window to indicate there's anything there at all. After going up a very bleak, unwelcoming set of stairs (naked light bulb, steps haven't been painted or repaired in 20 years) you come into a dowdy room with 9 pool tables (only one being used) a bar lit by V lamps, naked bulbs overhead and a small plywood stage next to a tv mindlessly showing the sports channel and further distracting from the band. It was hard to be impressed with the music in this environment and I couldn't wait to leave. But anyways, here is a pic of the group.
Walked a block or so west to Seanachai, where John Borra and Sam Ferrara were performing. It wasn't as busy as last week when Taxi Chain performed but still a decent crowd and if I ever want to go cougar hunting I know where to roam! I'm putting a pic of John and Sam to the right. My only real complaints here were the very lackadaisical service and the fact that the band stopped at 11:30 p.m.! They'd started at 9 so I figured for sure they'd play til midnite and having arrived at 11:15 and settled in for what should have been a good set's worth of tunes had to settle for just three.
No matter. I caught a ride from my buddy Steve up to Cactus Pete's, where Al Reilly and his Catalyst band were rockin' to a good-sized crowd. The club now has Rock on Fridays and still offers excellent Country bands Saturdays. I knew Al a little and had heard him sing so was happy to check out the group but wasn't prepared for who was in it: three guys I've been writing about for about 15 years since early on in the magazine's run: Steve Madden on guitar, Gary Cormier on second guitar and Chris Hume on bass! Drummer Dean Nichols more than held his own with this skilled and lively crew as the band ripped through AC/DC and Ozzy classics among some more mainstream tunes.