Birds of Wales at Tattoo Rock Parlour

If you’re looking to meet women, find a Birds of Wales show. “Women love to look at lead singer, Morgan Ross,” as was written in the National Post. And love to look at him they do — they showed up in droves — I’d estimate 9 out of 10 in attendance were female — to see Ross and his band, Birds of Wales, play in Tattoo Rock Parlour on a Wednesday night.

Birds of Wales play a catchy mix of folk-rock that has garnered some significant attention over the last few years, including several European and UK tours, as well as a spot at the coveted Virgin Music Festival in 2007 at Toronto. They show a diverse musical range with their material, including the wittily lyricized The Fine Art of Ballet Dancing, featuring a soulful Ross singing over a swirling steel-stringed guitar. My favourite from their set had to be Philanthropist, a more upbeat and rocking tune that stands out against their more introspective work.

Fresh off a UK tour, joining Ross on stage that night was Michael Caputo (Guitar), but regular band-mates Jesse Smith (drums) and Morgan Smith (bass) were conspicuously absent, and replaced with two new faces. Some Birds of Wales regulars suggest that the band was abnormally tame tonight, and I’d agree — perhaps worth a second shot when they play next month at NXNE?

Taking the stage just before that was These Three Cities, a five-piece band that playing an upbeat pop-rock mix. Their show opened with what I felt was their best song, Side of the Road, featuring animated lead singer Jeff Beadle in front of very energetic and hopping band-members. Beadle keeps his energy level high, with animated motions and antics that are entertaining to watch throughout the entire set; the band behind him, however, seems to lose steam after a few songs and slips into a tamer demeanor.

These Three Cities have an interesting and well put-together sound with Beadle’s voice soaring over jangly guitar riffs and synth chords; interestingly, their MySpace page features a much wider musical interest than what they performed tonight, including the funky sign says, my favourite from their online offering and something that definitely would have added even more character to their show!

Bassist Dennis of The Last True Gentlemen broke a string halfway through their first song, but that didn’t stop him from providing a solid but lively foundation for the band. Andrew, on guitar, vocals, and keys, provides most of the focus for the band, with a sound that’s hard to pin a specific musical genre to. Tattoo was dismally empty, being Wednesday night and early, but Andrew, Dennis, and drummer Tom played an energetic set that built up to an exciting, two-minute, frenzied rock-out in their last song.

28 May 2008 | grc | Music | Comments

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