Artist: The Holy Gasp
Songs: Bedbugs + How I Get Down
Recorded at St. James Park, June 2, 2016.
Kudos to any BIA that wants to animate their neighbourhood with some local music. St. James Park is always a most interesting place to hang out — with its mix of condofied dog walkers and the resilient allsorts resisting gentrification it's a microcosm of this bustling city layering new and old communities in close proximity. It's a well-used space, so throwing a band in the mix feels like one more ingredient in the stew giving everyone an opportunity to dance.
On that score, the Holy Gasp were a good pick to animate the space, even if some of their material wasn't "family-friendly" in the traditional sense. And while singer/percussionist Benjamin Hackman left his swear jar at home, it didn't seem the least bit out of place in this particular environment. Playing a couple sets also gave the six-piece band a chance to stretch out a bit, not only delivering the high points from last year's The Last Generation of Love, but also some tunes from their forthcoming second album — plus some other excursions like a John Coltrane-ish jazzy excursion that served as a showcase for saxophonist Karen Ng. There's more music in St. James Park on Thursdays throughout the summer, so add that to your list of free, outdoor summer hangs.