What more could you ask for on an early saturday evening than some intimate indie-folk and just a little bit of old school rock and roll in a tiny cafe shared with about 15 other people? Perhaps a country-rock-opera about vigilante cowboys battling an evil corrupt government and it’s giant mechanical spiders in the post apocalyptic wasteland of future canada I hear you say? Well that’s how Baby Eagle’s recent show at The Princess Cafe at the Princess Cinema in Waterloo kicked off with Patty Lantern (of Brutal Youth). It was an entertaining though short set, and despite the absurd concept behind the lyrics the music was still really good.
Following Patty were Grey Kingdom, Marine Dreams, and Baby Eagle. Grey Kingdom, the solo project of Spencer Burton from Attack In Black, was my favourite act of the night. His sad but beautiful acoustic songs were great, and it never became a downer as he was something of a part time comedian in between sets. I also learn by his song dedication of his opening number that Artax, the horse in never ending story, actually died (as in died in Real Life) when they filmed the scene where he sunk into the swamp. Amusing banter aside his music reminded me a little of that other Canadian ex-punker-gone-folk musician City and Colour, though Burton was much more personable and likeable live than Dallas’ down-to-business live set I saw at Osheaga while surrounded by screaming and spontaneously orgasming high school girls.
After Grey Kingdom, it was time for the bands. First up were Marine Dreams (which kept Burton around on bass duties) and added some drums and two guitars. Marine Dreams is the side project of Ian Romano (also from Attack in Black), and had more a Neil Young vibe. One of my favourite songs of their set was actually a song by the drummer Nick Ferrio about a run in with the police in Switzerland. Finally Baby Eagle, the side project of Steve Lambke from the Constantines who was deceptively mascarading as the second guitarist in Marine Dreams, took the stage, and kept around all of Marine Dreams as the backing band. He did add in the singer from the Constantines on third guitar who pulled out some nice jangly guitar solos. Lambke’s warbley voice at times reminded me of a mash up of Isaac Brooks, Craig Finn, and Conner Oberst, the slower songs had little bit of an early Modest Mouse vibe, while the faster ones rolled along like a rocked up Bright Eyes.