Despite the first half of the July First Friday evening being rainy and the date being a week after the first Friday on the calander due to Canada Day, there was a decent turn out for the local band THE GYPSY FLATS Cheeky Monkey debut. Those that braved the elements were treated to a band that certainly knows what they are doing on many levels.
With an extensive playlist ranging from newer hits to classics, they had something to please everyone listening. Most of the lead vocals were done by Cassy Dube, with a few songs being handed over to drummer Ryan Smith and lead guitarist Mike Beauchamp. All three made choices of songs that suited their voices perfectly with the other two added sweet harmonies as backup. Not to be left out, bass player Marc Gauthier enhanced the over all sound aptly. A local seasoned musician made the comment that for a young band they were very controlled. He went on to explain that they did not try to compete with each other for who was the loudest or leader. They were extremely well balanced the way you would expect a band with many more years under their belts than these four have. He also mentioned they have very good stage presence and not only look comfortable on the stage, but you can tell they are really enjoying playing together.
A couple of my personal favourite songs they did were ‘Me and Bobby McGee’ and The Stones “Gimme Shelter’. The phrase “made it their own” is sometimes over used, but truly does apply in the case of The Gypsy Flats. Cassy in lead vocals on both of these songs did not try to copy Janis Joplin’s grizzled voice style or Lisa Fisher (who hits those high opening notes on the Stones song). Cassy’s voice is pure and clear with a very slight twang to it and she can hit the notes that invoke both singers, but without over reaching or sounding forced.
All four of the members are excellent musicians on their instrument of choice. For this performance Ryan used his electronic drums in consideration of our customers. With very little effort during soundcheck, the band found the perfect clean sound level for everyone to enjoy their playing while we could still conduct business.
We know you will be hearing and seeing a lot more of The Gypsy Flats in the future, including at the Bridge Bash next weekend. We have already asked them if they’d like to come back to Cheeky Monkey. So if you missed them this month, not to worry. You will get your chance and trust me, you will be glad you did.
For more photos taken by Roland during the night, CLICK HERE