CMW- Day Four: Royal Canoe

Is it weird that I think it is funny the lead singer’s claps sound like slaps?

Okay, that is slightly off topic but I couldn’t help smirking to myself every time I heard it.

I would never have known to check out their show last night at the Hard Luck if it wasn’t for the 20 minute acoustic set on Friday at the Institute for the Enjoyment of Music. Of course it didn’t hurt that they were hilarious in describing the difference between what they did at TIFEM compared to what they could do with all their toys and “pretentious” instruments.

Translation: Please come see us again.

Before someone yells at me (but if you must, if you are at least a little coherent and not completely offensive, I will print your comments), that was their word, not mine!

What makes Royal Canoe successful? Good singers and their songs are distinguishable from one another.


I’ve seen so many bands that have been undone by the vocals- rarely enough to dismiss their musicianship or the quality of the songs but this is something I find hard to get past. And don’t discount the ability to show range. This may be a personal quirk where sometimes a more thoughtful set list is all it takes. But sometimes, it is just because a band shows a lack of range- not always bad- but it can get tedious.

Royal Canoe does not have these problems.

For a band largely stuck behind stationary instruments they are surprisingly energetic- especially the lead singer (Matt) who is like the energizer bunny- he never stops grooving. And I don’t mean this is a creepy way, it was much appreciated.

Their stripped down performance at TIFEM was no less energetic but I was glad I was there to hear them with all the bells and whistles- though I must admit I did miss the double bass. Some of their sounds remind me of the walls of inescapable noise in David Lynch movies- which is not a bad thing- and there are definitely jazz influences but when asked to categorize them, I’m a bit confounded. Experimental yes but I would have to listen to their music a bit more to come up with something more coherent and after having had a little more sleep.

As I write (8:52 am) the band is driving back to Winnipeg since this is the last stop of a five week tour but anyone interested in having some fun should check them out the next time they are in town. If I (over)heard correctly, they’ll be back in town May 2nd at The Garrison.


~ by angryegg on March 25, 2012.

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