No Cause for Concern? Issue #9 | June 1984 | Page 5 | Toxic Reasons show review
- from San Fransisco
Show review: Banana Obskouri, April 25 and 26, 1984
Alright, this is going to be another one of those reviews where I do nothing but heap tons of praise on the band from start to finish. Gonna stop reading now? What? You want to read it anyway 'cause you missed the show? That's understandable due to the incredible lack of proper advertising but it's a damn shame. As a matter of fact, there was a pretty poor turnout both nights (although it was a bit better on the second night) and it really is too bad that a band of this caliber had to pass through Ottawa relatively unnoticed. They deserved much better.
Now for the show: the posters said "doors open at 9:00pm". I wonder who's idea that was 'cause that certainly wasn't the way it worked out. And the first night "Where's the p.a.?" could be heard from within the club by those still shivering outside. Oops. So after lots of delays the band went on stage to sound check with took quite a while but -- bless their senses of humour -- it was entertaining at least.
Then finally, they played. "They" being J.J. Pearson (from Vancouver) on drums, Rob on guitar, Tufty (ex-ZERO BOYS) on bass, and Bruce Stuckey on lead guitar. And boy did they play. From British sounding punk to high-speed H.C. to some A-1 reggae with intense choruses, to a great funk song (on the second night only), to some real ballsy RnR tunes that ripped. (Tsk tsk, all these labels, but how else could I explain it?)
They used to have a lead singer but he left the band a while back and instead of finding a replacement, the guys are sharing vocals now and it works out just fine. So it went something like this: Bruce belts out a song or two in a vaguely YYY-ish manner then some by Rob who has a completely different style (more melodic), then there's Tufty with his awe-inspiring bass playing spitting out his lyrics with a more serious air and then J.J. singing some of the older tunes without missing a beat.
The result of all this vocal musical chairs is that your attention isn't centered on one front man and they come across as a very strong unit where they are all equal. And even though their lyrics are very political, there was no guy up there lecturing at the audience between songs saying "And this song is about -- blah blah blah". If anything was said by way of an explanation it was short short and nothing too heavy. Mostly they just kicked ass and put out some incredible sounding music, demonstrated their amazing versatility and just generally blew me away.
Once again, if you missed this show, you missed a great one but now you've been warned. Next time they come to town, treat yourself to one of the better touring bands around today. Til then, buy their records or something. (They're real good.)