The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer @ Black Sheep Inn

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Photos and words by Elizabeth Durnford

Whenever someone tells me about a show in Wakefield, I already know it’s worth the trip. Black Sheep Inn, tucked just outside of Ottawa, has played host to names that bring to stage some of the highest quality music that this country has to offer. Buy tickets, sort out logistics later has become the name of the game for many city dwellers like myself. Half the adventure of a show at the Blacksheep Inn is the anticipation of getting there by any means necessary for what is guaranteed to be a good show.

Friday night was no different.

With a name like The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer, this band already has a lot going for them. Drawing a crowd from as far as New York, Winnipeg, and beyond, the Vancouver based band took to the stage bringing with them their raw blues sound. A stage presence that was quickly noticed due to their lack of an opening act, as well as their ability to play multiple instruments, including harmonicas, percussion and a Telecaster. Shawn ‘The Harpoonist’ Hall, and Matthew ‘The Axe Murderer’ Rogers, as well as a featured vocalist took control of the room and it wasn’t long before the crowd was up and moving to their heavy old-school sound.

Their most recent album, A Real Fine Mess (2014), highlights Hall’s gritty vocals and harmonic lungpower (I’m convinced he didn’t breath for the entire show). Not to mention Roger’s picking speed and coordination as he pounded the bass drum sent their sound deep into the lively crowd. They held the stage for over two hours, creating an atmosphere of sweat and noise, topping it all off with an appearance from Monkey Junk’s Steve Marriner.

Giving literal meaning to their song ‘A Real Fine Noise,’ The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer fuse together sound in a way that puts power behind each one of their tracks both live and on album. I can honestly say that I am hooked, and will without a doubt, continue to buy tickets and sort out logistics later for many more of their shows to come.

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