Where our customers become our friends.

First Friday’ Category

Mike Blackmore @ Zzas Pizza Bistro December First Friday

Posted in: Concerts & Events, First Friday, Local Talent, News | No Comments

Mike Blackmore @ Zzas Pizza...

Mike Blackmore at Zzas Pizza Bistro Impeccable Rhythm Playing Combined With Strong Lead Reveals The Charlie Watts of Guitarists Review written by Brian Hay Mike's basic style stays in place and the interpretation of the songs remains uniquely his but the amount of lead playing changes dramatically. What sets it apart is how he does it. With other musicians around his playing cues patterns for their work the way a good drummer would. The signals are loose enough to give free reign to soloists but timely chording signals changes of patterns, suggests their musical directions, and when to close. Impeccable timing makes it seem as if those beat chords are placed right under key notes from other players and his singing. In an ensemble it makes him seem like the Charlie Watts of guitarists. On his own he does this to himself and it's even more pronounced than when he's in the middle of ...

More

December 2014 First Friday Fun @ Cheeky Monkey

Posted in: Concerts & Events, First Friday, Local Talent, News | 1 Comment

December 2014 First Friday Fun...

Beautiful Harmonies Finished Off With Solo Acoustic Work and Fine Pizza by Brian Hay First Friday's around Sarnia are always interesting because there's no shortage of events going on that are worth looking at. At the Cheeky Monkey, Roland and MaryAnne Peloza, two of the most reliable people to point to solid talent showed their eclectic tastes are by bringing an a cappella group of singers in. Seaway Sounds, an ensemble of ladies from several age groups provided two sets of ravishing harmony singing that mixed mostly Christmas favourites with some fun and a few surprises. Abba's hit 'Dancing Queen' really wasn't what was expected to be heard there. They did a good job on it though. Their rendition differed greatly from the original but maintained respect for it. Some fun happened when they pulled 'The Grinch Who Stole Christmas' out of the hat. With their exquisite harmony work and a solo "Grinch" in ...

More

Brian Hay Review of November First Friday and more

Posted in: First Friday, Local Talent, News, Reviews | No Comments

Brian Hay Review of November...

Downtown Sarnia First Friday and more by Brian Hay The abundance of talented people in Sarnia who work hard and who like to go out and work means there's rarely a shortage of events worth looking at. The First Friday celebration inevitably offers an abundance of choices and this one was no exception. Here's the rundown on how a few of the events came off. Deja Voodoo Live at the Cheeky Monkey The Cheeky Monkey featured 'Deja Voodoo', an ensemble consisting of and singer/ throat harp player Matt Berube, bassist Jeff Murphy, drummer Guy Bastien Jr. and guitarist Pete Michieli. All of them have been playing for ages, know their way around working in ensembles, and understand the importance of setting up the sound. For their first show (which Matt half-jokingly referred to as "three years in the making) their feel for that facet paid off in spades. From the start it was obvious the ...

More

October 2014 First Friday review by Brian Hay

Posted in: Concerts & Events, First Friday, Local Talent, News | No Comments

October 2014 First Friday...

Along with the live in-store music of THE INDECISIVE (reviewed below), October First Friday was the opening night for our newest art exhibit. Local abstract artist LUCIEN PILON is a man who views what some may consider a "disablity", to be more of an abiltly. His positive attitude and insight into Schizophrenia is refreshing. His art is a window into the heart and soul of a man who is coping, growing and learning constantly. Lucien's exhibit will continue until at least the end of October. Sarnia's First Friday, October 2014: Talent Everywhere You Look Saturday October 4, 2014 by Brian Hay Remember an old radio show called "Chicken Man"? No? It was satire and the introduction led with awed cries of "He's everywhere! He's everywhere"! The same could be said of the musical talent that was out and about to help celebrate Sarnia's First Friday this month. Sue Webber's group, The Sisters of Soul, ...

More

September First Friday Review by Brian Hay

Posted in: Concerts & Events, First Friday, Local Talent, News, Reviews | No Comments

September First Friday Review...

The Element of Surprise Project: September's First Friday Event at the Cheeky Monkey Saturday September 6, 2014 by Brian Hay Usually the first thing that grabs attention is the musical dynamic a group has. This time it was the placement of the sound system and the musicians being spread across the entire back end of the store. Mostly players there seem to confine their activity to about half that space. The reasons are obvious. The business couldn't function that way and the band would sound terrible if the volume overpowered the room. That wouldn't be good for anyone but they had it controlled well. That was probably the doing of bassist Graham Dalley who's also a sound man. The next surprise was realizing 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps' was their opener and it was followed by hearing how well guitarist Darren Diamond's voice was suited to the piece. Warming an audience to what's going ...

More

August 1 2014 First Friday HUGE FUN

Posted in: Concerts & Events, First Friday, Local Talent, News | No Comments

August 1 2014 First Friday...

To say the August First Friday at Cheeky Monkey was eventful and memorable is an understatement! To kick the evening off, Chris Gormley of Toronto band Daylight For Deadeyes timed his arrival from Paddy Flaherty's perfectly.  Chris has been drumming as he walks in all the various cities they play, including his home town, to raise awareness and funds for Sick Kids Hospital.  Sarnia was no exception.  Wearing his trademark kilt and harnessed drum, Chris got here just before 7:00 pm when the  band  consisting of Mike Blackmore, Chris Molyneaux and Dan Martin was due to start inside.  Gathering a crowd of spectators who kindly donated in his can, Chris then came inside with his entourage to have some photos taken.  Instead of the normal "posed" pictures, Mike Blackmore invited Chris to play a song with the band.  What resulted was a killer jazzed up version of 'House of the Rising ...

More

July 2014 First Friday @ Cheeky Monkey by Brian Hay

Posted in: First Friday, Local Talent, News, Reviews | 1 Comment

July 2014 First Friday @...

There was definitely a festive summer vibe in the air during the July 4th First Friday at Cheeky Monkey.  The fact that is was perfect weather enhanced the dance-able music provided by THE DRIFT.  Below is a review written by customer and music aficionado, Brian Hay.  The first time Brian heard The Drift was during ArtWalk when we hosted several local bands outside the front of Cheeky Monkey.  The Drift being a relatively 'new' band of 3 seasoned musicians, Brian notes the changes he noticed between June and July's performances. Also adding to the nights high spirits was the smiling, friendly face of Alison Mahon here selling the  "SARNIA 100 YEARS" books.   This is a gorgeous book commemorating Sarnia's 100th anniversary, researched and written by the History Committee, a sub-committee of the Sarnia Centennial Celebration Committee.  The book includes more than 120 striking historical images of the city as well as ...

More

SARNIA 100 Years Commemorative Book on sale during July...

Posted in: First Friday, Local Talent, Magazine and Books, News | 3 Comments

SARNIA 100 Years Commemorative...

The Community Round Table and the Sarnia Centennial Celebration Committee are proud to announce the release of Sarnia: 100 Years. This is a gorgeous book commemorating Sarnia's 100th anniversary, researched and written by the History Committee, a sub-committee of the Sarnia Centennial Celebration Committee.  The book includes more than 120 striking historical images of the city as well as a message from Sarnia’s own Chris Hadfield. “The History Committee enjoyed sharing stories about Sarnia’s history during the preparation of the book,”   said Alison Mahon.  “We hope that Sarnia: 100 Years will encourage more citizens to share their stories and learn about the history of our community.” Sarnia: 100 Years will be available in limited quantities in both soft-cover ($20) and hard-cover ($30) editions.

More

June First Friday was Acoustic Buzz(ing)

Posted in: Concerts & Events, First Friday, News | No Comments

June First Friday was Acoustic...

The 3 piece band  called Acoustic Buzz made their debut on the night of the June 9, 2014 First Friday at Cheeky Monkey. The lead guitarist and singer, Kesenia Parent has performed here many times.  As a matter of fact, playing at Cheeky Monkey was one of her very first public performances.  From the start, we saw the talent she has and have enjoyed watching her develop and grow as a musician.  In fact, she is so good, she was accepted at Laurier University in their music program. Her band mate, Heather Brown is actually her cousin.  It was only recently they discovered each other musically.  Being related it is little wonder that they are able to harmonize so well.  Heather has performed at various venues like the Lawrence House "House Concerts'. Third member of the trio was Troy Draper.  His work on guitar rounded out their sound nicely giving it the fullness ...

More

Erika & Sara – The Real Deal Singing Duo

Posted in: Concerts & Events, First Friday, News | No Comments

Erika & Sara – The...

The lovely and talented singing duo of Erika and Sara made a return performance at the May 2, 2014 First Friday here at Cheeky Monkey. To say it is a joy and pleasure to host them is a big understatement.  Besides doing  a great job entertaining the audience with their renditions of popular songs ranging from Johnny Cash to Coldplay, these two young ladies have added an ever growing list of self penned songs to their playlist.  Besides writing their own music, they have added other dimensions to their performances such as more harmonies, harmonica and switching off on guitar playing. They have been performing here at Cheeky Monkey for the last several years. We have watched them develop in that time from being shy and unsure to now being comfortable and talkative with their legion of appreciative fans.   This is not to say they have no room to grow.  They ...

More