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Canadians let 'er rip in the Lone Star state ; Toronto band fires Austin's SXSW hoedown
[Ontario Edition]
Toronto Star - Toronto, Ont.
Author: Berman, Stuart
Date: Mar 18, 2002
Start Page: E.02
Section: ENTERTAINMENT
Abstract (Document Summary)

Even with the space and sonic limitations, Toronto country- rockers Royal City shirked the rustic intimacy of their recent Alone At The Microphone disc and just let 'er rip. With veteran drummer Lonnie James driving the backbeat and sideman Jim Guthrie stripping shards of Crazy Horse noise off his fretboard, leader Aaron Riches' songs of bad luck and gross bodily fluids were rendered even more graphically intense. But in the Royal City, there's always a sweet melody to be found in even the darkest corners.

By the time the opening soul-punk shouter "Young Offenders" crashed to a close, singer Bry Webb's guitar strap had snapped, his amplifier was shot (all bands were using rented equipment) and it seemed like the B.D. Rileys was going to get the best of them. Instead, the Cons used the venue's disadvantages to their advantage. Webb dropped the guitar for the rest of the set, grabbed the microphone and unleashed his inner Iggy Pop, convulsing to the band's fierce rhythms as if he were being electrocuted by them, ad libbing lyrics and jumping through the stage window to greet his congregation on the street. After six seismic songs, the Cons were no longer just a part of Canadian lore.

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