Last Friday, April 6th, we had the pleasure of presenting Jon Creeden & The Flying Hellfish LP release party at House of TARG along with The Creeps, Finderskeepers, and Joe Vickers. For us, it was a no brainer to put this one on. Great friends, great bands, and one night to remember.
Jon Creeden is one of the hardest working musicians in this town, and he’s paid his dues for years. It was a dream come true to have The Creeps on board, as they have been making noise in Ottawa since 1999 and have shown no signs of slowing down. Finderskeepers reunited after a three-year hiatus (and two babies later) to play an electrifying set. Joe Vickers, a true purveyor of genuine Canadiana folk, happened to be rolling through town, too, and he opened the night with a gripping set. DJs Captain Concussion and Ted Dancin’ (Eric and I, respectively) also spun vinyl all night to keep the part going. Check out the incredible photos by our photographer Aidan Thatcherbelow!
The video begins with clips of Jon and various members of the Flying Hellfish out on tour making you think this will most likely be a tour montage video. Instead we are treated to the band rocking out on stage wearing their now signature Hawaiian shirts, a tribute to JS Belleau—a member of the Ottawa music scene who left us too soon.
Most of the video was shot during the band’s set at Pouzza Fest 2017 in Montreal by the very talented Jonah Aspler. It is a lot of fun to watch the band playing on stage to so many familiar faces in the crowd even if it isn’t in Ottawa. And it is awesome to watch Richard Barrie (Positive Charge) give Jon a big kiss and later when Jon cheers the crowd with his tall boy of PBR.
Watch the video below and come live a live Jon Creeden & the Flying Hellfish performance for yourself at their Stall album release show this Friday April 6 at House of Targ supported by The Creeps, Finderskeepers and Joe Vickers, more details here.
Jon Creeden and the Flying Hellfish are back at it, this time with a power-packed full length LP for us to chew on. Jon Creeden has put down his acoustic guitar for now, and teamed up with his three buds to put together a new 10-track album called Stall. We’re also excited to premiere the first track,”Anxious,”off the album below, as well as present the album release party at House of TARG on April 6th along with The Creeps (!), Finderskeeps (!!), and Joe Vickers (!!!).
For those of us familiar with Jon’s music, some of these songs will be very familiar. Whether he played them in a damp basement, in a church at OXW, or one of the many venues in town, Creeden has compiled 10 of his best songs written lately for Stall. Not only that, but the sheer intensity and vigour of these songs translate perfectly from the acoustic versions, and if there’s one guy in town that knows how to write a hell of a catchy punk rock song, it’s Jon Creeden. His band mates add to the fullness of the sound, and while Creeden’s relentless guitar is the backbone, the rest of the guys are the icing on top of the cake.
Newer tracks like “Way Home” have layers of intricate instrumentation in them, and flourishes of guitar that ring out along with thunderous percussion. Songs that we’ve heard live a few times before, such as “Nailbiter,”One Coast to Another,” and “Stall” are refined and tuned to the ear’s content, and sound better than ever.
If there is one fault to find in Creeden (and there aren’t many), it’s that he hasn’t released a damn LP since Beards in 2013… the humanity! Although, in fairness, he’s released some incredible splits with The Flying Hellfish over the past few years which helped to tide us over until something longer came out. Thankfully, that wait is over.
The songs are crafted through the filter of emotion that Creeden so naturally taps into. He reaches deeper than ever to write lyrics that hit the listener right in the gut, and phrased to accentuate the powerful guitar riffs and booming bass lines which carry his words. The album finishes with a bang, as the band brings in some crowd vocals during “Coffee Shops” along with an irresistibly catchy hook in “Sensible Underpants.”
Stall will be put out in digital and physical formats (including vinyl) on April 6th, but the pre-order for it starts on February 13th. Just in time for Valentine’s Day… just saying.
Well, the weekend that many of us look forward to all year in town is nearly upon us. It’s the unofficial start of summer in Ottawa – Ottawa Explosion Weekend! It is one of the best punk festivals in the country, bringing bands from all across North America and Europe to Ottawa’s core for five days of non-stop fun.
There is no shortage of reasons for why we wanted to get on board with OXW and co-present with them. Not only have organizers Emmanuel Sayer and Luke Martin built this thing from the ground up – they do so with the intention of bringing bands to Ottawa and highlighting some of our city’s best artists without putting any of the money in their back pocket. Many of us have watched OXW evolve and draw more people, bigger bands, and expand to more venues surrounding the main grounds at SAW Courtyard.
We’re very happy to announce that Showbox will be co-presenting the lineup at Mugshots courtyard on Friday night, June 19th. The bill features two of our favourite local punk bands, and buds, Finderskeepers and Dead Weights, as well as Chicago’s heavy pop-punk rockers Boilerman.
The format is such that each set is spaced out so that no one will miss out on anything happening around the festival, and can head to Club SAW, Avant Garde, and Dominion Tavern to check out other sets between bands. Here is all the info you need:
Friday, June 19
Doors at 7:00 PM ($8 or free w/ OXW bracelet/AA)
Ottawa Showbox & Ottawa Explosion present…
The Raging Nathans, Dead Weights, and Finderskeepers rocked House of Targ Tuesday night October 14.
Dayton, Ohio’s pop-punkers The Raging Nathans headlined what was a great way to spend a Tuesday night. The three-piece’s sound is fast pop-punk – on the fringe of skate-punk – with very heavily distorted bass giving them some extra grittiness. It is a very interesting mix, one I really enjoy. The boys were all business, flying through their set taking very few breaks, and no one was complaining as it left more room for music. Their song selection was mostly split between songs off their wicked new album Losing It, including “Tooth Song,” and “Not Giving Up,” and a few songs off their 2012 self-titled 7″, namely “Complicated Feeling” and “Nothing Nice.” My favourite song by The Raging Nathans is the ultra dark but super catchy song “I’m On Drugs.” The lyrics are so honest and powerful,
I found a picture of my friend who died, used it as an excuse to get high, looked you in the eyes and then I lied, got into the shower and then I cried. Well I’m on drugs, I can’t sleep, it’s been like this for weeks.
I am very glad I stayed out late on a Tuesday night to catch these guys.
Dead Weights rocking out at House of Targ in Ottawa.
Ottawa’s Dead Weights brought their raspy punk rock to the stage at Targ before The Raging Nathans. They opened with their uplifting “Fall Down,” which set the tone for a set full of songs off their latest release Dead Ends & Closed Doors. They followed up with “No Gods, No Bastards,” “Friends First” and “Do You Believe in Class War?” During “Do You Believe in Class War?” guitarist Steve McCrimmon was rocking so hard that his infamous Fest baseball cap fell off his head. Acting quickly, his girlfriend Kendal picked up his cap and put it back on his head. Much to our amusement, by putting the cap on she pushed his long hair in his face making look like Cousin It from the Addams Family.
If you have ever heard McCrimmon sing, you know that even if he looked the part, his voice is the complete opposite. They closed out with two tracks that brought many of their friends to the front of the stage to sing along. First was their banger “Barely Breathe” which is so infectious I don’t know how to not sing along to and second was the rocking “Dead Ends & Closed Doors” about struggling to make ends meet. As always, another great set by the Ottawa boys.
Finderskeepers bringing it at House of Targ in Ottawa.
Getting things rolling was Finderkeepers. This was an important show for them considering bass player Devin Cook is pregnant and the band doesn’t have any other shows scheduled right now, so this might have been the last chance to see them for some time. They certainly did not disappoint. Blasting out of the gate with “It Can All End Tonight,” off their last record Pack Your Bags. They also played “Pack Your Bags” and the instrumental track “Red Riding” off this year’s release. Then lead singer and guitarist Chris Cook introduced the next songs, “Here are three new songs. We don’t really know them so we put them all in the middle so it just sounds like one big mistake.” Chris could not have been more wrong about the new tracks, they were really good. The last two of the three, “Endless Winter” and “Left for Dead,” are excellent steps forward as a band. I am super stoked for them going forward. With the new songs done, they went back to their older songs to finish up with “Public Defender,” “Lowlifes (And The Dearly Departed)” and my favourite, “Society in Decline.” If this was the set that sends them into a hiatus, they certainly did it right.
I missed the openers Stay Classy, so for me Terrible Liars got the festivities started. The band is a sweet four-piece from Ottawa who were very tight for a band who has only played a handful of shows. I really enjoyed their set and can’t wait to see them again. It is always fun to watch Davey Quesnel shred and play like he is having a seizure. What is this Davey, band #10 on the go? Really digging their songs, “Before you call” and “No Big Surprise.” (Disclaimer: no idea if those are the actual song titles, but they are the choruses.)
Next up was Laureate from Montreal. They have male and female vocals that complement each other perfectly and goes great with their melodic punk stylings. They introduced a song mid set saying, “this song is four and a half minutes on the album, we are going to play out in two.” Oh how I love punk rock. The song was an excellent display of how tight the band is and how smoothly they can transition from mellow to rocking out.
Camp Radio closed out the outdoor portion of the evening; yeah that’s right Mother Nature, nice try! The veterans of the scene absolutely killed it as per usual. I have seen them play many times and always enjoy it. Chris Page rocks out like it is his last show every time (see the video above). Camp Radio don’t play live as often as I wish they would, so don’t miss out next time.
Now inside, it was time for Ottawa’s NECK. Decked out in tropical shirts, they blasted us with Ramones-esque punk rock. Drummer Kevin broke his hand at Pouzza Fest in Montréal a few weekends ago but powered through like a pro. The crowd was digging them, especially three girls whose enthusiasm and dancing were great. It’s always nice to see people moving around. I am a big fan of their tune “Skinny Jeans.”
The suds, I mean studs, from Audio were up next. The band is comprised of the co-founder of Beau’s beer and two of the brewers. They are as delicious to your ears as the beer they make is to your taste buds. The band wasted no time going from song to song to song. No chatter or filler, just rock.
It was now time for one of my favourite local acts, Finderskeepers. They played a high-energy set full with all the tracks I wanted to hear, from “Public Offender” to “Pack Your Bag” to the closing with the kick ass “It Can All End Tonight.” One of the most wonderful things about Finderskeepers is they are not afraid to play an instrumental track, “Red Riding.” Also worth noting the drummer wore a head lamp during the set which I had never seen before. I must admit it was pretty dark in Club SAW, good call Jon.
Finishing the amazing first day was School Damage. They tore it up real late on a Wednesday, a school night for some at the all-ages show. They played in your face, no breaks, punk rock. A perfect closer for the first night of the five Explosion!
Finderskeepers are set to release a new album, check them out rocking out.
This Friday, February 28, Ottawa punk rock three-piece Finderskeepers are releasing a six song 7” called Pack Your Bags. This will be the band’s third official release, and having been lucky enough to listen to it I am very excited for them. But not everyone knows these lovely people so I thought best to do a little question and answer with guitarist and lead singer Chris Cook on the band and the upcoming release. Check it out and you can stream Pack Your Bags below.