Dark and Stormy: New Swears, Boyhood and Average Times @ Babylon

Sammy Scorpion going for a ride at Babylon. Photo: Steve Wildesmith
Sammy Scorpion going for a ride at Babylon. Photo: Steve Wildesmith

Another New Swears show, another absolute riot of a time on January 4.

I ended 2013 by going to release show of one of my most anticipated releases of the year by Silkken Lauman,and I started 2014 by going to a sweet local triple bill which included one of my favourite local bands, New Swears.  Now that is how you kick off a year.

As the boys took to the stage, dressed in tank tops with rainbow hearts, boxer briefs and stockings on, the crowd was buzzing with excitement.  And as the Canadian national anthem concluded so began the launching of balloons, some stuffed with New Swears stress balls. The set was full of tunes of their album Funny Isn’t Real, which made our local releases of the year list.

Scru Bar drifting off into the stormy night.
Scru Bar drifting off into the stormy night.

I decided to jump into the pit and mosh the night away while singing to some of my favourites, “Rather Be Dead” and “Two Darts,” just to name a few. There was a seemingly non-stop flow of crowd surfers and stage divers, so much so that the bouncers could not keep up. As they warned or kicked one party animal, two more jumped up. Once the band finished they said screw it, and surfed as well, bringing the show to a close. I often say to people “never say never” but I strongly believe that I will never go to a New Swears show and not have a blast. Check out their latest video, it is for their track “Jon’s Coke.”


Before all the madness, Boyhood played.  The entire set I tried to figure out how to describe this band.  My best effort is they are a grungy-shoegaze  band.  The band is just one person, Caylie Runciman, who writes, performs and produces the tracks, but live they are a three-piece. They certainly have quite the original sound. “Fresh Meat,” was probably my favourite song from their set.  Check them out and maybe you can come up with a better description?

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Getting the show rolling was another band who made of our top local releases of the year, Average Times. (Talk about stacked line-up, eh?) The boys play some wicked garage style punk rock, with vocals that just get me so pumped.  A great example of this is their rocking jams “Wasted On Wine” and “Do The Dance,” which sounds even better live. When the opening band plays that good of a set, you know the night will rock.

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