No Cause for Concern? Issue #7 | March 1983 | Page 10 | My Trip to Quebec City
My trip to Quebec City
by Janine Frenken
This was a rare event for me (actually leaving the city to see a show) and something I was really looking forward to. LAST PRAYER and CIVIL TERROR were booked in Quebec City's punk club called the "Lock-All" which is a space run by "Les Productions sans nom" in old Quebec.
I had the dubious honour of driving up Civil Terror in a cramped rented car without the aid of any useful maps which led to some pretty frustrating situations but that's another story and not one I'd care to go into.
Just arriving was a thrill but the club was a bit of a shocker. It's set in a very run-down building with a slanted cement floor, black painted walls, no seating except a bench and a cushionless couch against the back wall, a solitary toilet standing openly in the corner (a conversation piece? It didn't work), a 1-1/2 foot high stage slanted to match the floor and -- this is the good one -- no heat! But any space is better than no space so we just kept ducking 'round the corner to a little diner for some coffee and warmth. [This took place in February -- cold!]
Now on to the show. By 9:30 there were maybe 50 people there but unfortunately none of them were the drummer for OUTBREAK (the opening band) so LAST PRAYER went on first and just blew everyone away. Talk about impressive. They sounded really together and their new lineup (David McCaig on guitar and Greg McPherson on drums) added a lot to their sound. They went through their set with Mel showing some life this show -- even looking downright intense at times! A big improvement. What amazed me the most was the reaction they got from the audience. They got right into it, having a great time dancing and all. None of that ho-hum "I'm so bored" bullshit you see so often in Ottawa which is such a pain for everyone involved. Thank god that wasn't the case here, it makes such a difference. Last Prayer also got a well deserved encore and repeated two songs (the problems of having only so many songs) including my favorite "Listen to the Clock", a new one with a simple but extremely catchy beat. Good lyrics too.
After them came OUTBREAK, the drummer having shown up. They'd played in Ottawa at Santa's Hardcore Christmas Party back in December and they haven't changed much, their drummer hadn't improved any and the endings to their songs were still as weak as ever but despite that, they're a very energetic band with good stage presence and Louis, the singer, knew how to talk to his audience (or seemed to anyway, I couldn't tell since it was in French).
Next was CIVIL TERROR and within seconds a wide circle had formed to make room for the slammers going nuts at the foot of the stage. One thing that can't be said enough about Civil Terror is that they are FAST. There was not point in even trying to dance to most of their material, just look out for flying bodies. The next night was even worse but I'm getting ahead of myself. They did a good show and played "Stepping Stone" for an encore during which Vig took over on bass then moved to the drums while drummer Russell Taylor sang "Fix Me". After that it turned into a jam and concluded with the members of Hergst Korps plus Civil Terror's Tim Mech on guitar doing some of Hergst Korps original material with Tim figuring it out as they went along. Tim was great too, doing leads and really jumping around by about the fifth song. Impressive footwork and lightning fast fingers, too bad he'd turned his amp off two songs previous. All lots of fun and very late when it ended.
The next night, five bands were on the bill but it still started pretty late with HERGST KORPS finally going on and doing a proper set. One thing about this band is that they have no guitarist -- just drums, a bass and vocals -- so they really rely on a heavy melodic sound buy they pulled it off okay since their music is good and fronted by also good vocals.
After that came a band called Turbine Depress which left me rather unimpressed. They had a very basic style of average speed but it was the vocals that annoyed the hell out of me. We kept singing in a piercing falsetto voice for no reason that I could detect and of the lyrics that were in English, they weren't impressive either. Not to cut them down too harshly, I have to give them some credit because they did get some positive response from he audience when the singer sang or spoke in French. Unfortunately I'm not up on my French and can't tell you why.
OUTBREAK played after them and since I've already described them, I won't do it again since it was exactly the same.
Actually, I could say that about LAST PRAYER and CIVIL TERROR too but I'll go on anyway. Mainly because there was a much bigger audience this time and it was lots of fun. Civil Terror played faster than I've ever seen them and the slamming got so carried away that some of the people on the back benches were pushing the slammers away with their feet.
The only problem with their set was when Russ T. broke a piece of his bass pedal and then to kill time while it as being repaired, Tim started playing and broke a guitar string. All was fixed soon enough though and they finished off okay.
By the time LAST PRAYER came on it was about 2:00 am but a lot of the audience had stuck around. Their show went well too except maybe a little sloppier (as was also the case with Civil Terror) and Colleen broke a bass string. After they went off there was another jam and among the many combinations of musicians up there this night, the most noteworthy was that of Russ T. on drums, Tim Mech on guitar, David McCaig on bass and Mike Hillis (of Porcelain Forehead) on vocals doing an old Angry Raisins song.
All in all it was a great two nights of lots of good music and friendly people. Only one lament: why can't we have such enthusiasm at shows in Ottawa?