Sappyfest 2010 - Saturday Re-cap // PART 1

Thats right...
Sappy Saturday was such an epic experience we had to break it into 2 separate parts!
We bring you now - Part 1.
Part 2 will be posted tomorrow night.

And so we continue with the Sappy Saga...

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Thanks to the shady spot we’d chosen for our camp site (the ants and spiders liked it too, but we bravely brushed them off), we managed to get a fairly sufficient amount of sleep before waking up and preparing for long day of rock and roll.

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Our good friend Derrick Dixon came along with us and we helped him set up his table at the Sappyfest Market (situated just outside the main stage tent) where he was selling his handmade ‘Hoighty Toighty’ jewellery and clothing line. Derrick is one of Halifax’s up and coming designers. He wowed the city earlier this year with his flammable ‘Phoenix Dress’ and likewise wowed Sappyfesters with his ‘Hoighty Toighty’ line. Derrick uses recycled materials such as reclaimed leather and beads. He makes Jewellery out of vintage advertisements, scarfs out of Jersy and purses out of recycled curtains. His line is artistic, original and most importantly: stylish as hell. We highly recommend checking out Derrick’s artwork for yourself.

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By mid afternoon, the blistering summer sun began flexing its muscles. It was hot, but it wasn’t too hot for coffee, so we stopped by the Bridge Street Cafe before hustling over to the main stage to catch most of Port Greville, Nova Scotia’s Construction & Deconstruction. Living up to their name, their tunes were minimalist and easy to absorb in the light of early afternoon.

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Lovesinger (featuring Halifax’s Jon McKiel on drums) was up next. Another two piece, of the less common organ and drum variety; we only managed to catch a few tunes of their set, but what we heard sounded great. They were followed by the strange psychedelic styling of The Skeletones Four, a garage band from Guelph, Ontario. The Skeletones were a bit of an odd man out on the Main Stage. Their soundscape was more ambitious and unique than the other more poppy acts.

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Continuing with the divide and conquer coverage technique, we split up for a bit; Isaac hung around the main stage and watched P.S. I Love You’s set while Dan headed over to Uncle Larry’s (which would prove to be home to most of our favorite shows throughout the weekend) to catch Duzheknew with Etaoin Shrdlu and Halifax’s Long Long Long.

P.S. I Love You were yet another two-piece band, something that seemed practically unheard of a few years ago but is now just as common as the four or five piece bands. P.S. I Love You exhibited a style that was very much a throwback to 90s shoe-gazer bands like Sonic Youth or Pavement. They sported some great hooks and while It didn’t necessarily pave much new ground (not every band can be groundbreaking), it was an enjoyable set of skillful indie pop.

Meanwhile at Uncle Larry’s, Halifax’s Duzheknew treated the healthy sized crowd to their unique new-wave, skitzo-pop. They combined frantic, jangly guitars, solid dance beats and very interesting vibrato heavy vocals. Duzheknew have an original sound that might render them a round peg in a square hole in just about any line-up imaginable, but somehow they felt right at home in the ‘anything goes’ feel of Sappyfest. The band had an affable stage presence and some pretty amusing between song banter. For some reason there was a club sandwich onstage in front of the singer’s guitar pedals. At one point, some of the audience began to chant “Club Sandwich, Club Sandwich, Club Sandwich!”. Duzheknew’s lead singer smiled, looking down at the tasty looking sandwich. “Someone get a mic on that thing,” he quipped.

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The band managed to encapsulate all of the festival’s genres in one cohesive act; they effortlessly bounced between candy coated pop hooks (with outstanding lyrics abound) and experimental noise rock… and boy, their lead singer rocked the hell out of those short shorts. Duzheknew = Noisography approved.

A performance like that seemed hard to top, but the pedigree of the next band should have been a sign that such a thing was possible: with ex members of Rockets Red Glare and Weights & Measures (probably two of the greatest Canadian math rock bands of all time), Etaoin Shrdlu took the stage for a slow burning, epic, instrumental monster of a set. Without relying on vocals or crushing volume, these guys wove intricate guitar lines and the most complex snare drum playing you’re likely to hear outside of a marching band showdown. Unaware at the time of their shared membership, Dan remarked that these guys ought to be opening for Rockets Red Glare (here at Larry’s, much later that night) – there were clear parallels in the sounds, though with two guitars Etaoin Shrdlu had a slightly wider sound, which filled in nicely for the absent vocals (which works for Dan – He’d take guitars over vocals any day of the week).

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After two bands as far out as those, Long Long Long had some big shoes to fill – their usually out there, weirdo pop style sounded almost normal in contrast to the previous acts. While they setup, we popped back out to check on the Main Stage, were Cold Warps had just been brought in to fill in for an illness stricken Moonsocket. The sound was pretty rushed, and we scooted back to Larry’s, knowing that Cold Warps would be playing a second set shortly after.

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Long Long Long’s set was once again a little thin sounding - a lot of sound guys used to heavy, cranked up rock bands seem to have a hard time making the ultra-thin, single note guitar lines and bare-bones drum kit lineup sound big enough. Typically muddy rock show vocals also hurt the sound of the vocal intensive lineup. None the less, the band put out plenty of energy for the crowd packed into the decent sized room.

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and to see all our Sappy pics - click here -

Until tomorrow!

TNaugler

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