Thursday, October 20, 2016

Recording: Julie Doiron + The Wrong Guys

Artist: Julie Doiron + The Wrong Guys

Song: The Wrong Guy/No More

Recorded at Christie Pits Park (Bloor Ossington Folk Festival – Day 1), September 17, 2016.

Julie Doiron + The Wrong Guys - The Wrong Guy/No More

It was a bad news/good news sort of vibe down at Christie Pits. There was a sense of triumph that the festival — for the previous five years a well-curated, intimate event with an enjoyably-casual vibe — was happening at all, given that it was at the very precipice of the plug being pulled in the face of some expected grant money not coming through. The joy at the fact that the organizers found a way to go ahead with it was tempered by the sadness at the corresponding announcement that this would be the festival's final edition. On Saturday, the fact the event had been downsized — losing its main stage and moving everything under the beer garden tent — turned out to be a blessing in disguise as the day arrived with the (seemingly annual) dose of rain. The park was eerily quiet but it made everything feel extra dry and cozy as the bands played.

A perennially integral element of the festival — she'd played it every year with one or another of her various backing groups — Julie Doiron's final festival appearance was with a unit that was redolent of her time in T.O. and her participation in the scene around Saving Gigi. Eamon McGrath (guitar) plus the Cancer Bats rhythm section (Mike Peters and Jaye Schwarzer) were also all there at the start of BOFF and were still tearing into Doiron's tunes with carnivore gusto. Apologizing for sticking to the same established repertoire, Doiron also revealed that the band were booking a week in a Manitoba cottage for a writing retreat, which augers well for this project's future, and will hopefully serve as part of the festival's lingering legacy.

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