Blonde Redhead played their amazing (but short) set, we set off to wander the festival. Leaving the Beer Garden, my two friends stop short in their tracks and started singing Poison by Bel Biv Devoe. It was not as random as I thought because seconds later I heard the unforgettable metallic snare opening of the song coming from a nearby stage.
What we found were two guys, one on bass and the other on drums and vocals going insane on stage. Instantly we were mesmerized and started dancing up front. Two lovely ladies gave us the details of the band (they were friends of theirs). The Carps, a local band from the Toronto fake (sic) 'burb of Scarborough.
The best way to describe their sound is punk rock battling with R&B. One thing I always notice with talented musicians is that many of them lack a stage presence. Being up on stage you have to entertain the crowd. Give something more than just playing you music. And no, I am not saying you have to choreograph a huge routine with fireworks and back up dancers even that can backfire (poor Brit...) but interact the audience, make the performance special.
One of their songs tells a tale of a convenience store robbery gone wrong. Back and forth dialogue with the bass player (acting as the clerk) pleading for his life. It concluded with snare drum snaps mimicking the gunshots and the bass player falling to the ground. He kept on playing!!
That is how this band got our attention. And then there was the music. Frenetic beats. Soulful singing. It was enough to make us rush their stage for their final number! I lost control jumping and pumping one arm in the air behind the band because the drummer told us to. He had us under this control.
They have an EP out called The Young And Passionate Days Of Carpedia and is available through iTunes. Go check out some more of their tracks on their MySpace profile.
MP3: Let's Fall In Love (YSI)
MP3: All The Thugs I Know (YSI)