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None More Black / the Sainte Catherines

None More Black / the Sainte Catherines: live in Torontolive in Toronto (2006)
Fat Wreck Chords

Reviewer Rating: 4


Contributed by: SloaneDaleySloaneDaley
(others by this writer | submit your own)

My work place is fairly close to the venue, so I camped out nice and early next to the door to the club as the bands loaded in and chatted with another show-goer about the Larry Arms / AK3 show I missed a few weeks prior. The doors opened promptly, but the venue went from Holy Joe's upstairs to Kath.


My work place is fairly close to the venue, so I camped out nice and early next to the door to the club as the bands loaded in and chatted with another show-goer about the Larry Arms / AK3 show I missed a few weeks prior. The doors opened promptly, but the venue went from Holy Joe's upstairs to Kathedral on the main floor. I didn't mind too much, except I have still yet to see a show there and it is supposed to be a rather intimate setting.

Around 9 the first band, the Dogs, set up. I didn't know anything about them, but the singer was wearing a HWM shirt, so I figured they at least had good taste. After an intro by a drunken friend that was a bit too long for me (and judging by the crowd reaction, most other people too), they played a melodic but heavy style of punk with gruff vocals and "rock 'n' roll" style guitar parts, which reminded me a bit of a less enjoyable Grabass Charlestons. The only song they played that really stuck out was entitled something along the line of "I'm Only Happy When I'm Fucking You in the Ass." This actually got the crowd going a bit and had a hilarious if a bit juvenile chorus. They closed their set by explaining the next song was going to be a cover that would appear on a Leatherface tribute album. I expected them to play something off of Mush or a song off of one of the post-reunion albums. To my surprise I was wrong; they played "Hops & Barley" off of the split with Wat Taylor. It was played respectably with a good amount of flair, much respect for that. They had some major flaws, such as banal stage banter, false starts and the lead singer lacking much stage presence. However, they had some strong points such as entertaining solos and a good choice of cover.

After a short period of time, Fifth Hour Hero took the stage. Let's get this out of the way: Genevieve is quite fetching. Regardless, I caught the end of their set at the Fat Tour last year and was looking to experience the full thing. Genevieve's vocals have a great deal of power to them without resorting to a growl, and the vocals of Mathieu and Olivier compliment her very well. I wasn't too familiar with their recorded material before going into the set, but one song that sticks out is "A Map Within." It was played with an earnest fervour and is pretty darn catchy in its own right. No matter how she looks on stage, the real attraction in Genevieve is the same that lays in that of any good main vocalist and that is the ability to rock out and draw the audience's attention.

Wasting no time, the Sainte Catherines got their gear ready and proceeded to melt all of our respective faces that night. Front-man Hugo proclaimed how excited he was to be in Toronto but that to him it didn't look like we were having too much fun. He said that now the fun would begin, and begin it did. They started off with "Confessions of a Revolutionary Bourgeois Part III" and already had a good number of people singing along. During "Burn Guelph Burn," Hugo stuck the mic into the crowd for the rousing gang vocals of "We'll burn this place / We'll burn this place down / We'll burn it to the ground." When they played "The Shape of Drunks to Come" (sans Tom Gabel) one of the guitarists took over vocal duties while Hugo jumped into the crowd, as the energy in the room escalated. Before starting one song, Hugo addressed the crowd on the issue of homophobia and basically said that love is love and people should get to marry whom they please. He knelt down to one of the guys in the audience, and though my view was obstructed there was some form of connection to which Hugo said, "that was beautiful" before ripping into the next song. I found this to be really important because society is rife with homophobia and one day I hope it is as unacceptable as racism. Other songs played were "Ring of Fire = 4 Points," "Hau Weg Die Scheisse," "Emo-Ti-Cons: Punk Rock Experts" and "I'd Rather Be Part of the Dying Bungee Scene." They focused on their latest album Dancing for Decadence, which was fine by me since that was all I knew.

As the other bands on the bill, None More Black was fairly quick to set up. I wouldn't say I'm the hugest NMB fan in the world. I enjoyed File Under Black and the new disc is growing on me, but they don't find their way into heavy rotation. I must concede that the live setting has breathed new life into the material for me. The guitar playing was spirited, the vocals were passionate and the drums (for lack of an even worse description) were bombastic. The highlight of the set for me was "Banned from Teen Arts." The energy made me wish I had seen Jason in action with Kid Dynamite. Before the band went into "We Dance on the Ruins," the guitarist made the observation that if the Sainte Catherines' dancing was indicative of French Canadian dance steps we should just let them separate. This was pretty funny as was the dancing itself I was treated to right in front of me. Picture if you will, for a moment, a fast-paced log drivers dance. Another song that was done a great service live was one of the new ones, "My Wallpaper Looks Like Paint." I don't remember much of the rest of the set due to fatigue and French Canadian dancing. During the last or second to last song most of the members of Fifth Hour Hero and the Sainte Catherines got up on stage for a large dance dance-fest, keeping with a fun atmosphere. Colin thanked all the bands on the bill including the opener, which I thought was really classy since oftentimes the headliner won't even know the name of the opener, let alone thank them.

All in all, the set was a healthy mix of old and new material. Rarely do you get a show where all the bands have at least one thing enjoyable to offer; this show was one of those rare occasions. I was made a fan of Fifth Hour Hero, everything I had heard about the Sainte Catherines' live show was reaffirmed and None More Black receive my nomination to have a Live in a Dive installment. There was no barriers, no being manhandled by security or cops, virtually no jerks in the small crowd, no age restriction and no rock star attitudes, just the way a show should be. Fantastic show even for someone dead tired like I was.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
The Weakerthans - Reconstruction SiteThe Sainte Catherines - Dancing for DecadenceIgnite - Our Darkest DaysThe Lawrence Arms - Apathy and ExhaustionThe Loved Ones - Keep Your HeartAgainst Me! - As The Eternal CowboyThe Gaslight Anthem - Sink or SwimAttack in Black - MarriageThe Offspring - IgnitionWorld/Inferno Friendship Society - Red-Eyed Soul

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
hugochavez (January 28, 2012)

awesome

Anonymous (August 31, 2006)

that show was awesome. was honoured to play with those guys.
I thinks DOGS sound more like Motorhead than Grabass though! but thanks for that anyway, great description of the show/dance party

"of the split with Wat Taylor"
it's Wat Tyler :^)
cheers!
-coco morris (DOGS)

JDM (August 31, 2006)

that show was awesome. was honoured to play with those guys.
I thinks DOGS sound more like Motorhead than Grabass though! but thanks for that anyway, great description of the show/dance party

"of the split with Wat Taylor"
it's Wat Tyler :^)
cheers!
-coco morris (DOGS)

hvmyselfabear (June 19, 2006)

Good review, good bands. I get a real kick out of the the anonymous jackasses who post "this review sucks" for every review. I don't see any of you writing reviews or doing anything constructive. You're all the reason punk rock rarely gets things done. Worthless fucks.

Anonymous (June 18, 2006)

When NMB played Edmonton it was amazing. Knowing the bands set list would of helped this review.

Anonymous (June 17, 2006)

i saw the toronto show and the montreal show, both shows were amazing the sainte catherines and none more black are by far two of the best live bands around today...they both play with so much heart and passion.

Anonymous (June 17, 2006)

The Saint Catherines absolutely kill live, although I was a little disappointed by the lack of old material they play now.

...evildeadalive

SloaneDaley (June 17, 2006)

what exactly are "rock n roll guitar parts?"

there isn't any exact way to describe it, approaching rockabilly but not really getting there.

rkl (June 17, 2006)

what exactly are "rock n roll guitar parts?"

boba_fett (June 17, 2006)

i saw this show last night in montreal. only difference was that the sainte catherines headlined. very awesome show.

Anonymous (June 17, 2006)

LEATHERFACE has a TRibute album? What's next, a Tribute to Cadilac Blindside?

shredsavage (June 16, 2006)

None More Black is great. Fifth Hour Hero is great. Sainte Catherines are pretty good, but I like their old shit better for some reason.

danielsan (June 16, 2006)

the energy and atmosphere of this show (as well as the previous night in richmond hill) were incredible.. like someone else said, the most fun I think I've had at a show. The Dogs sucked so bad though

jockmcbored (June 16, 2006)

outstanding review

i like some of the sainte catherines stuff but NMB are outstanding - banned from teen arts is a genius song

Anonymous (June 16, 2006)

I can't think of a time that i've had more fun at a show.

leifkills (June 16, 2006)

I saw this in Regina with about 20 other people and it fucking kicked ass. One of the best shows I've seen in a long time, despite how many showed up.

All these bands are amazing.

Scruffy (June 16, 2006)

Score is for the review. Screw the naysayers.

Anonymous (June 16, 2006)

Considering the average anonymous post lacks the slightest bit of literacy I took that comment as a complaint. In that my review wasn't scribbled in crayon on a napkin pasted to my forehead after a particularly sweaty post-lunch recess.

- APK

clamum (June 16, 2006)

Why do you think the review sounds like it was written for a high school english class?

Anonymous (June 16, 2006)

I enjoyed reading the review. What do guys expect? He created a mental picture of the atmosphere of the club. Do you really need a minute by minute breakdown of every song played? We know what these bands sound like.

Maks (June 16, 2006)

why you say that it sucks? i think it's a good review, and it this was an amazing show, i guess. i hope to see all these three bands in europe soon.

Anonymous (June 16, 2006)

but that is what the show was about homophobia-soap boxing and thanks for the sucking comment that occured right after the boxing. well I'm off to high school english class, cheers!

- APK

Anonymous (June 16, 2006)

are you fucking kidding me? save the homophobia-soap boxing and tell me about the motherfucking show. lame.
-TOBB

sickboi (June 16, 2006)

Good review. I don't know why, but Fifth Hour Hero bores the shit out of me.

The Sainte Catherines new album is so fucking good, I wish they'd venture south so I could finally see them. And None More Black is soooo amazing live. The albums don't really do the songs justice.

SalsaShark (June 16, 2006)

None More Black are a ton of fun live. Too bad they only played 30 or 40 minutes worth of material when I last saw them.

I'm sure they'll be back around, though.

colin (June 16, 2006)

i saw this show. the sainte catherines stole it. absolutely amazing.

_911 (June 16, 2006)

i went to this show and the richmond hill show. both were amazing. none more black have improved so much live. the st catherines were a huge suprise.

Anonymous (June 16, 2006)

"They had some major flaws, such as banal stage banter, false starts and the lead singer lacking much stage presence. However, they had some strong points such as entertaining solos and a good choice of cover."

Nearly all of this review sounds like it was written for a high school english class.

Anonymous (June 16, 2006)

This review sucks.

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