Welcome to Winter: The Haig’s EP Release Party @ Avant-Garde


Avant-Garde is not far, but it’s through the crunch & cold from Eric’s so we had to get toasty first. Actually we got toasted.¬†We missed Hello, Hello¬†which is The Haig’s Chris Davidson’s other band. I can’t rightly blame winter, nor James Ready 5.5 for this discrepancy. We apologize for missing you guys, but we heard only good things about the set. Was there an EP released recently?

The first thing the lead singer of Ottawa’s The Apollohs said was, “We’ve played every gig like it is our last for the past two years. Tonight this is actually our last.” It is always a little strange to discover a band during their last show (second time in two nights for Eric, see his review of Stuck In A Hole’s last show).¬† The band usually gives it its all and plays a stellar set.¬† Then when it is all done and you finish clapping, you realize you can never see this again and it is kind of a let down.¬† Nevertheless, The Apollohs rocked Avant-Garde with a sound that I would compare to Jack White playing 90’s grunge. Their tune “Catch 22” really had me bobbing my head and stomping my feet.¬† Fear not, if you missed out, Elementals is the band which certain members of The Apollohs will continue.

A funny thing happened mid-set, when all of a sudden a woman standing in front of us yelled, “Lorna! I have to find Lorna this is our bachelorette song!” One of her guy friends quickly began searching for Lorna. He found her hitting on a cute guy in the back. He pulled her away to reunite her with her screaming friend to celebrate. Much dancing and screaming followed.


Bearshark¬†is Amish on drums & some other guy on who works words & riffs. I didn’t catch his name but he oozed blues, and they obviously reminded my of Black Keys because of the dynamic. Their influence are much more into the “delta blues” and folks like¬†Son House & Robert Johnson. I don’t know if the dangerous hybrid is of a bear body & shark head or shark attached to the back of a bear, but the set was a terrific roar. At this point Eric & I were racing through Baltikas like they were discontinuing soon. There was whooping to dancy bass and toe-tapping percussion.

It was now time for The Haig to shine.¬† It was, after all, their night — their EP Release.¬† They played Template for Disaster in its entirety, and it sounded fantastic.¬† I truly enjoyed “Starfruit (Galore).”¬† But what really had me mesmerized was the bass player singing into a rotary phone.¬† They were in a great mood on stage.¬† Bass player,¬†Richard Michels, said “We’ve got a lot to say, but we will play more because that is more important to you and us.” The tequila shots delivered with love certainly didn’t hurt either.

Michels, who was sporting quite the healthy beard later announced that anyone who has bought the EP can come snip off a piece of his beard.  Never one to miss an opportunity, Joe went in for the kill and got himself a handful. He returned to the crowd and wrapped his trophy to bring it home (see photo below).

Joe's trophy.
Joe’s trophy.

As the set concluded, the police showed up with he sound of sirens blaring. Luckily for everyone inside,¬†Andrew Lacelle from Couch Assassin rerouted¬† the police. The Haig then played an amazing instrumental piece, “World Ate” off their new EP, that took the crowd’s collective psyche through a maze full of hope and despair. A few songs later their set concluded and we took off into the winter wonderland. I strongly suggest you take a listen to their EP below.

The Haig… Good times with musical weapons.

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