This weekend’s cold snap was no match for Montreal’s music scene. Wax Mannequin and Flow Child warmed fans with their colourful music performances at Le Cagibi on Jan. 22. With two cancelled sets, a room with no heating, a few technical difficulties and an audience of about 30, the Ghost Town Manitoba Solo Series still delivered fans a night of great music and new experiences.
Flow Child is an experience in itself. The duo, comprised of Kyle Jukka and his roommate, known simply as Tim, play what is best described as electronic noise. Jukka is best known for his work with electronic group Pop Winds but says he will play any time he is given the chance. For him, it is just about making music.
“Pop Winds is about something personal, it’s like identity construction,” Jukka said, explaining the difference between the work he does with Pop Winds and the performance he gave Saturday evening.
“What we play is like a spiritual experience. It is kind of like finding consciousness through sound,” said Tim, who is better known by his stage name, Cop Car Bonfire.
Flow Child begins with tables covered in cords, wires, pedals and knobs that gain the curiosity of the crowd. It is a curiosity of uncertainty that is not lost when the two men start to play. The music is composed of heavy beats with sounds spontaneously overlapped which proved to both engage listeners and scare the hell out of them.
“The music is a new vehicle of realization,” said the duo about their musical genre. “It has become a new language to us and has created a dialect.”
The communication is obvious as the men jam away on stage. One will play a beat, the other will smile, they then exchange a subtle nod and the headbanging ensues. Flow Child mentioned after the show that when they get up to perform they have no plan and no idea what is going to happen.
Ghost Town Manitoba is a Montreal-based company aimed at promoting local talent and shows. However, neither member of Flow Child is a Montreal native. Tim, from Vancouver Island, and Jukka, from Toronto, both moved to Montreal and found an exciting musical and cultural scene.
“People find each other like magnets,” said Jukka. The two men love Montreal because it is easy to find and communicate with people who are doing music the same way. Also, it is the cheapest place in Canada to be a musician.
Flow Child were not the only ones on Saturday night to give the audience something to talk about. Chris Adeney, also know as Wax Mannequin, had his fans singing, hollering and dancing the waltz.
From Hamilton, Ont., Wax Mannequin has been playing for over 10 years both alone and with a band behind him. He switched to playing rock songs and jumping on tables after beginning the evening with soft folk songs on his acoustic guitar. The audience really warmed up when he invited a woman on stage to unleash the “power of crystals,” which really involved throwing dozens of balloons into the crowd, producing a large game of keep-it-up. To end his performance, he jumped on top of an old cigarette vending machine and stomped loudly as it wobbled from side to side.
Other acts that were set to play at Le Cagibi on Saturday were Devon Welsh, also a member of Pop Winds, and Jamie Thompson, who has most recently played in the band Hidden Words. Both acts cancelled at the last minute.
But no matter the setbacks, by the end of the night, everyone had forgotten about the cold.