For this week’s rendition of Throwback Thursday, reader Elsa tells us about a bloody good show at Raw Sugar by July Talk back in December 2012.

That familiar café where so many of us had cuddled with friends while sitting on the floor to listen to folk singers was transformed into a rock n roll dance party.

It was during Christmas break that year that my friend told me that she had heard of this band called July Talk that were in town that night. The word was that they were the next big thing out of Toronto. I remember parking my dad’s car in a corner of Chinatown that night and trudging through the snow to get to the tiny lit café.

Once we got in and found some space to settle down, the band was starting their set. The lead guitarist started into a riff, and when he sang his first line into the mic, my friends and I all looked at each other with wide eyes. It wasn’t singing so much as it was growling, and definitely not what we expected from a band that also had a female singer who was spinning in circles in a black dress and a faux-fur shawl.

After we all had our WTF moment, we were sold. Everyone stood up and crowded close. That familiar café where so many of us had cuddled with friends while sitting on the floor to listen to folk singers was transformed into a rock n roll dance party. Peter and Leah were opposing forces, fighting, pulling, biting and spinning in the small stage space between the mic stands and the back wall of the café.

There were lots of pauses between songs where there was chatting with the audience. “I bought this dress off of the wall of the café just before the show. I asked Peter what he thought and he said it was too long,” Leah jokingly complained.

The band then broke into their song “Someone”. The stage was chaotic – Leah was head-banging and Peter was jumping with his guitar, and half way into the song, we all noticed Leah touching at a spot at her eyebrow where there was blood trickling down. She had head-banged right into the neck of Peter’s guitar.

When Peter and Leah met the first time, she told us he was wearing a football helmet, singing at an open mic. She said “it was an omen” that she ended up injured that night.

Conveniently enough, bassist Josh’s wife is a nurse, and she was at the show that night. They ordered up some vodka from the bar and his wife was dancing in the front row and spotting Leah’s eyebrow for the rest of the night.

We chatted with Leah after the show. She graduated from Concordia for Contemporary Dance, so it’s no wonder that she really knows the meaning of “The Show Must Go On.” She has since become the girlcrush that singlehandedly stole the hearts of my friends and I in that one fun, chaotic and intimate show.

Here is the footage of that song – note Leah using Peter’s shirt as a napkin at the end of the song (credits to Youtube User Crystal M Hanley):

– Elsa