Monday, October 03, 2005

Pharmacist, Heal Thyself.


I went to see Ted Leo and The Pharmacists last night. Melanie met me there to start what I’m sure will be a list of goings-on in the coming months. The second opening act, North of America, although from Halifax, were not my favourite. They made me feel old. All I could think was, "The difference between music and noise is the volume." I couldn’t hear what was going on because it just all became cacophonous.

Ted Leo came out with his very rag-tag backing band. The drummer looked like he was from The Family, and the bassist looked like he should be in short pants. But damn. Drums I don’t know from, but the bass player was on – clean, crisp and articulate. Nice.

Ted sounded great live. This band has an interesting sound. There’s a little bit of punky-cadence in the singing, yankee-celtic Dropkick Murphies-esque beat in the instrumentals, some folk torch song/anti-war flavours, and an underlying base of rock. The vocals were incredible. I was very impressed by how something that easily could have been looped, cleaned up, and synthesized in a sound-editing suite was exactly the same live.

Ted and his Pharmacists will be playing in Halifax twice before heading back to the ‘States, and I recommend anyone see them if possible. I found Ted Leo years ago from watching the Brendan Leonard Show, who featured a lot of Lookout Records artists as his bands of the day. Scroll to the bottom on Brendan Leonard’s very stripped-down website for an interview/feature with Ted.

1 comment:

mel said...

It wasn't your age that kept you from liking North America. I just wrote up my thoughts on the show and surfed over here to read you saying almost exactly the same thing. And as we all know, I am young, so they must have just sucked.