On Thursday night at The Horseshoe Tavern Catl released their brand new album “This Shakin House” to a jam packed audience. Supporting Catl with their new release was The Mad Ones and Bloodshot Bill.
It’s funny the only band that I haven’t watched live before was Catl, while getting a chance to interview Jamie and Sarah a day before the album release party they assured me that I was in for one hell of a good time, and Did they ever deliver on that promise. Even with a early start time the night still lasted close to one in the morning, and I won’t even get into the drive back to Kingston after this show afterwards.
Starting off the Night was The Mad Ones, the last time I saw these guys play within the first two songs they were knocking the paint off the ceiling due to how loud and intense their set was. Tonight I don’t think it was quite as loud before but just as intense as I remember their set being. Having only two members to their band they will for sure blow you away if you have never watched them play before. With Andrew at the helm of lead guitar and vocals and Phil on Drums they quickly drew a packed crowd at the front of the stage at the Horseshoe tonight. Since I got their album Burning Window it has always been a traveling companion on my phone. So there were a few songs that I couldn’t wait to hear, and they made me wait a little bit before I got to hear my favourite songs off the album. Andrew definitely made full use of the space that he was given at the front of the stage tonight. They had quite a few fans in attendance tonight as well pretty much singing along to every lyric that Andrew was singing. Still out of every song that they played tonight “Face Of Love” was still my favourite song. Also all set long it was pretty cool to watch Phil play his drum kit, the way he is able to break a stick and quickly and almost systematically grab a new one without really missing a beat is still the sight to be seen. How Andrew didn’t destroy or break every string on his SG tonight is still anybody’s guess. Unfortunately their set was a little too short for my taste and we only got to hear a couple of tracks off of Burning Window, but we did get to hear a couple of older tracks as well.
Up next was the one man band extraordinaire Bloodshot Bill. This was the second time that I have watched Bloodshot Bill play live. Tonight he wasn’t fully dressed in a pair of Pajamas as he is normally dressed in. There is not enough good things you could say about this set and any other night that you may catch him play. How in the hell he can pull off the vocals attributes that he does each night and still talk afterwards still blows me away. There is the shrieking, singing, yelling, yodeling, snorting, laughing, and some of the harshest whiskey induced vocals you will ever hear, and all of this can be heard in one song as well. Then there is the fact that he is playing kick drum, guitar and Hi hat all at once. Tonight he had a few super fans standing front row center who kept yelling out song titles some of which he played and others he had to shrug to the side due to the time limit that he was facing. His overall sound is almost too disperse to actually nail down what genre’s he plays yet it is such an infusion of sound and extraordinary energy that you really just have to see it or at least hear it for yourself. There was one song in particular that has always stuck in my mind and tonight definitely blew quite a few people away tonight is a song called “Five and Ten”, When Bloodshot Bill hit the second round of everybody scream “Hey Ho” The Horseshoe Tavern exploded in response and remained that way until the end of the song. If you can’t check him out live then you for sure have to check out a few of his videos on youtube.
Somehow I managed to sneak my way into the front row center spot just before Catl began their. Just before they started their set they were graced with a pair of Tequila shots just for the extra punch before they began to play. As I listened to their songs from “This Shakin House” before this show I was quite intrigued by their sound, with the first reason being they are only a duo yet they have the massive sound of having four members in the band, Then there is the vocals how they managed to pull off that vintage sound. As it turns out they are just amazing at what they do. Instead of sitting down behind a kit Sarah has opted to stay standing which presents a full stage presence in itself as she is constantly dancing/moving around all set long. Then to beef up the sound that little bit more she switches between maracas and drumsticks, for the imitation cymbal sound she has tied a tambourine to the top of the floor tom. Now for their vocals they brought along a special amp that provides all of the reverb and vintage sound that you could ever ask for. Their set list was based on the new album but they still made room for a few of their older songs as well, the set even included a song which Jamie wrote specifically for Sarah. By the time they finished off their second song the entire Horseshoe Tavern was a dancing sweaty mess, even Sarah later on in the set had to mention that her gesture of wearing leather pants tonight was not the best idea. Jamie collection of vintage guitars was quite the eye sight as well and I couldn’t believe my eyes when his final move of the night came by pulling off his strap and letting his guitar hit The Horseshoe stage. After the first couple of songs and to fully engage in the Blues sound they invited Pete up to the stage to play harmonica for the remainder of their set, and wow did that harmonica ever add a punch to their sound for the remainder of their, but not to be outmatched by the ferocious hitting of the drums from Sarah. Jamie took full advantage throughout their set to walk/jump around the stage and even to play behind Sarah a couple of times during the night, although cord issues became a bit of the problem as he had to go around a pair of amps which were placed about mid stage. “Gateway Blues” which was the main single from the album so far brought quite a few cheers from the crowd and Catl invited the dancers which are featured in the video as well to come up on stage and reprise their roll with a pair of maracas each. They were even invited or rather told to stay on the stage for the next song as well which brought a little bit of pain towards Jamie as he broke a string playing slide and had to switch mid song over to his other guitar, which in the end was the one that took the final beating onto the stage. After seeing this set tonight I can’t wait to be able to check out Catl Once again.