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Concerts & Events’ Category

Nic Swales WOW’s Everyone on April 2016 First Friday

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Nic Swales WOW’s...

Nic Swales: Subtle Depth that Instills the Desire to Listen First Friday at the Cheeky Monkey, April 1, 2016 by Brian Hay There was a lot of noise in the area immediately outside the Cheeky Monkey. Whether that contributed to the calm and quiet feeling inside the store or not is impossible to say. The contrast was very striking though because the scene inside was so quiet as to appear almost silent by comparison. There was no lack of people but even the usual hum that surrounds a crowd was largely absent. Slowly though, and with a sensibility that bordered on surreal, an essence of music began threading a subtle path to the front of the shop. That was the first sign of what Nic Swales had to offer. If there was one possible complaint it's that he could have been louder. It's a flimsy one however because his audience was listening. And they ...

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Buck Brothers Reunite for March 2016 First Friday

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Buck Brothers Reunite for...

What a fun night taking us all down memory lane with the Fabulous Buck Brothers Reunion Band leading us down the musical path. Not being originally from Sarnia, we were not familiar with the Buck Brothers, but apparently many locals are.  They were a popular band not just in Sarnia, but throughout Ontario in the late 1960's, 70's and into the 80's.  Two of the remaining 'brothers', Orval Cavin on bass guitar and Jack Dunn on rhythm guitar have added three members of another well known local band, Copperstill, to their line up making them the newest "Buck Brothers".  Gerry Ostrihon on drums, Guy Houle on guitar and mulit-instrumentalist Phil Beauchamp rounded out the group. Each of their 2 sets started off with an original song that fit right in with the cover songs they performed, but were so good it left you wanting to hear more of their own music. They don't have ...

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MISSY BURGESS PERFORMS THE SONGS OF TOM WAITS

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MISSY BURGESS PERFORMS THE...

It was a dark and windy night, thankfully it wasn't stormy too, the perfect setting for a Lawrence House Concert. February 19th Missy Burgess along with guitarist Gianni Cinnelli presented a performance of The Songs Of Tom Waits.  Tom has been around for nearly 50 years and over that time he has delivered a challenging and varied body of work ranging from beatnik jazz to folk, to theatre to all out assault experimental  noise. Missy's performance focused mostly but not entirely on the earlier period of Waits' work, with some standard well known compositions like Ol' 55 and I Hope I Don't Fall in Love With You but also included a few obscure selections such as Mockin' Bird (from The Early Years - a collection of demos from the early 70's) and The Fall of Troy (first released on the Dead Man Walking Soundtrack). Her voice, while not at all similar to Waits' ...

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Ta-WANG! and So Delicious! March 2016 First Friday review

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Scott Manery and the Barn Burners: Live at the Cheeky Monkey for Sarnia's First Friday, February 6, 2016 by Brian Hay This article can't have a serious title because the guy the band is named after doesn't take himself seriously. The musical end of things is a serious business for him though. Nobody holds down their part in a band or plays with the level of finesse and sense of effortlessness Scott Manery projected without having spent a lifetime honing skills past the point where most would start wondering why or whether it even mattered. But the fun was there because, in Scott's words, those sounds were "just about the coolest thing he'd ever heard". When they started coming off his fingertips his smiles would have made the one on cats that got the canaries look like the expressions of depressed felines. He really does have that much fun making music. But the ...

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FIRST FIRST FRIDAY OF 2016 WITH BIG HIGHWAY

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FIRST FIRST FRIDAY OF 2016...

The first First Friday of January was anything but typical.  The fact it was technically held on the second Friday of the month due to the statutory holiday of New Years Day being the first unusual circumstance.  The second was the weather.  Higher than normal temperatures with rain made for a soggy evening.  Despite those factors,  those that did come to Sarnia's downtown and into Cheeky Monkey found it very much worth the effort thanks to local band Big Highway. The four piece band featuring James McNaule on rhythm guitar and lead vocals, Andrew Germain on lead guitar, Dave Johnston on bass and Ric Brown on drums have a knack for picking the perfect playlist for their vast abilities. Big Highway's love for Can Con (Canadian content) is self evident.  James has the perfect timber and edginess to pull off songs by Tragically Hip with ease.  They did several Wide Mouth Mason ...

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Mike Blackmore beside himself for Dec. First Friday

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Mike Blackmore beside himself...

Review of December 4, 2015 First Friday at Cheeky Monkey written by Brian Hay.  Thank you Brian for attending our events over the year and being kind enough to share you insights into the local live music scene.  For other reviews by Brian CLICK HERE There's still only one Mike Blackmore. The extra "Blackmore" is for the musical persona brought to life by way of the technology used in crafting  backing tracks to free up other facets of his playing. The balance needed to use those devices effectively is a fine one. Overuse can turn a set mechanical, (or as one good friend quipped, "into the special olympics of music"), really fast. Tempering its use with restraint however (and playing off what it conjures astutely) allows good players to open new doors. For Mike (whose idea of variety might actually be climbing back into the box) it opens ways to rethink ...

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November 2015 First Friday review – Quiet Mind &...

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November 2015 First Friday...

Quiet Mind: Contemporary Acoustic with Style Live at the Cheeky Monkey for Sarnia's November First Friday Celebration by Brian Hay They also had something to say, which is the most important thing. That the members of Quiet Mind, singer and guitarist James Hill and lead guitarist Pat Rice, were concerned with performing more than just filler was clear even from the covers they chose. One group whose material they obviously liked exploring was the work done by Eddie Vedder and Pearl Jam. "An Elderly Lady Behind the Counter in a Small Town" was an absolute nugget for Pearl Jam with its richly unfolding portrayal of the two people who meet in the scenario conjured within the music. The interpretation Hill and Rice gave it wasn't Pearl Jam's and it wasn't anyone else's. Hill's singing captured the yearning that inevitably surfaces when one hearkens toward distant but fond memories. Rice threaded wonderfully melodic ...

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IN-STORE VISIT FROM THE DEANER

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IN-STORE VISIT FROM THE DEANER

Thursday October 15, 2015 was a wigged out day.  THE DEANER, star of the mockumentary FUBAR was due to stop into Cheeky Monkey before his show later the same day at Rustic.  He was due at 4 pm along with the metal band he is touring with NIGHTSEEKER.  At 4:10 the fans waiting for him were getting a little nervous he was not showing up.  Turns out he was at Blackburn Radio doing a live interview on K106 & was running a little late. Once he and the band arrived the fun began.  Posing for pictures, handing out boxes of Kraftt Deaner, signing autographs and generally just being THE DEANER for the hours plus he was here at Cheeky Monkey.  He and his guitarist did a song giving an acoustic preview of the fun to come at The Rustic a few hours later.  Have to say, The Deaner is an equal ...

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October 2015 Nugget of a First Friday

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October 2015 Nugget of a First...

Sarnia's First Friday Celebration October 2015: El Camino at The Cheeky Monkey Review and  Photos By Brian Hay One of life's lessons: Things don't always go as planned. That was the situation for the owners of the Cheeky Monkey and the members of El Camino on Friday night. Singer and rhythm guitarist Scott Whyte had been fighting laryngitis all week and was just beginning to get his voice back. Cancelling would have been understandable but it wasn't what anyone wanted to do. Playing could be done, but sparingly. The trio opted to go for it. Another lesson: If the band isn't giving up the audience shouldn't either. [Scott] Whyte may have felt like he was having to bribe his vocal chords to keep him company but his musical skills and understanding of the songs wasn't diminished in the least. He has good control over his pitch so his singing was still even and wanting to ...

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Dressed to Kill 2015 Duc d’Orleans River Cruise

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Dressed to Kill 2015 Duc d&...

Dressed to Kill: Labour Day Weekend 2015 Cruise Aboard the Duc d'Orleans as reported & photographed by BRIAN HAY The calibre of musicianship in the band, Dressed to Kill, is high. Bass guitarist Bruce Sleeuwenhoek lays down straightforward threads that combine the best elements of melody, simplicity and timekeeping. Drummer Dallas LaBarre uses strong backbeats that establish time signatures and marks changes with creative fills that emphasize the dramatic qualities of the music. The solid platform they establish opens the path for a considerable amount of freewheeling by the lead players. Singer/guitarist Keil Simmons and lead axe man Jeff Turnbull make great use of that space. Jeff Turnbull is the established lead guitarist and it's a role justified easily by his combination of technique and versatility. Solos roll off him with the ease of one who appears born to play them. His work rides what the other players give beautifully, often seeming to ...

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