Indie Week 2019

by Wayne Baggs

Day 1 of setting out to find out what’s original and interesting at the five day showcase for new hungry bands called Indie Week, one of Canada’s top emerging artist festivals hosting independent artists from around the world for five amazing nights of music in venues throughout downtown Toronto November 13-17.

Indie Week puts industry and artists together! It kicked off Nov 15th at the Revival and The Bovine Sex Club. Had to get all the passes at the Revival so I stayed there and caught these bands:

8:30 Kelly Fraser
9:10 Bobby Pins
10:00 Piqued Jacks
10:40 Goodnight, Sunrise
11:30 Bangerz Brass

Diverse it what it was, but not the Rock punch I was looking for. You get better at these events  experience. The schedule lists the bands and venues with no hint of what music to expect.  The music and bands are what you would expect at any of the venues all year round, rock clubs have rock bands, pop clubs have pop bands, mostly. The scope, depth, and sheer diversity of musicianship from around the world is astonishing, so it’s easy to stumble onto something incredible.

Armed with this info come Day 2 I’ll be heading to the rock clubs, essentially. If you aren’t aware of the many clubs’ usual genre, then it really is a hit and miss. Started off at The Horseshoe and got what I expected.  Rock but great bands:

9:30 Mountain Head
10:30 The Redhill Valleys
11:30 Secret Broadcast

Left there for the Hideout at 11:50 to see Black Collar Union out of Stratford… nothing like the Beeb. Great night of rock, but I needed a more “in your face style.”

Day 3 and I’m heading to the Bovine Sex club to get my Fix.  A night presented by 94.7 Rock. Hey you  figure this is it.

9:00 One in the Chamber
9:50 Fortunate Losers
10:45 The Wild!
12:20 The Crooked.

The Wild killed it, wow what a show. The band triple crowd surfed to the bar and back to the amazement of everyone including the band. Tight as hell and loaded with great riffs. Just what the Doctor ordered. Impossible to follow these guys although The Crooked  with it.

With that in mind guess where I will start Day 4. That’s right, The Bovine Sex Club, and it is rocking as expected. The line up on tonight gets started:

10:40 Excuses Excuses
11:30 Hangtime
12:20 Punchline 13.

The organizers picked Excuses Excuses to play at the Launch Party for good reason, and they delivered again. One of my fellow media types texted me to come to Cherrie Colas just around the corner. Hey, I’m game so I went.

12:30 WAXY
1:20 Overhung
2:10 Marshall Potts Band.

They were all good, but the best thing was a lengthy conversation I had with an amazing lady from Brazil trained as an Opera singer. If the music isn’t enough, the people you meet are just as fascinating. No-Borito is all I can think of.  This getting old shit, I was too tired to stick around for the last band.

Day 5 is the INDIE WEEK AWARDS SHOW! at The Mod Club Theatre with performances by headliner Nikki’s Wives, Triss (South Korea) last years Best of The Fest winners, Piqued Jacks (Italy), Free But Sharp Pain (Japan), Luxe and Bo Welland. After the judges finished voting, it was announced that Bo Welland (Can) were named “The Best of Fest!” With over 13,000 votes cast Luxe (Can) were named winners of the “People’s Choice” Award. Congrats to both.

The rest of the list of awards winners included:

Best Emerging Artist – International Camila Andrew (Colombia)
Best Emerging Artist National – The Wilderness (Can)
Best Music Video – Piqued Jacks (Italy) – “Eternal Ride of a Heartful Mind”
Best Urban Artist – Luxe (Can)
Best Newcomer – Max Parker (Can)

My hats off to the amazing volunteers, and supportive sponsors including Slaight Music, Alechemist Brewing Company, 94.9 The Rock and the organizers who support great Indie music!