NXNE 2009 – Toronto

C’mon @ The Courthouse

The Novaks @ The Courthouse

Street Pharmacy @ The Kathederal

West Memphis Suicide @ Hard Rock Café

The Sonics @ Dundas Square

The Dogs @ Bovine Sex Club

Due to flight changes I missed a fair chunk of the NXNE Music and Film Festival. What I did get to take in was quite impressive. My NXNE experience began on Saturday afternoon at The Courthouse. We walked in too see The Novaks but saw more than we had anticipated. As we walked in I saw Mick from The Novaks sitting so I stopped and said hello (as I met him a couple weeks prior when he played my hometown with a friend’s band).

Moments later a small female (Katie Lynn Campbell) walked up on stage and put on a huge Rickenbacker bass. I thought to myself; ‘Wow, this will be amazing’. I then noticed that the drummer looks very familiar. As I was taking some photos for this article I asked this lovely young woman if it was Dean Bentley on drums and she confirmed that it indeed was Dean and that she was his girlfriend. I couldn’t have asked a better person to confirm what I thought. For those of you that have seen Dean play will know what I am talking about when I say nobody plays like Dean as he is one of the most energetic drummers out there and just beats the living shit out of his kit. I met him a couple years ago at the Monster Voodoo Machine reunion which he was part of. This new band; C’mon, is a 3 piece unit that played spot on and heavy.  Between Dean on drums and Katie on bass and vocals, C’mon are one band you have to check out ASAP. For such a small young girl she really belts out the vocals and has a fantastic stage presence that captures your attention. After their short but rocking set I spoke briefly with Dean and found out they were playing later that night at Lee’s Palace, unfortunately I never made it to that show.

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Between C’mon’s set and The Novaks performance was Inward Eye from Manitoba. These guys were on 11 with the energy and stage presence. They were so into it it wasn’t funny. Check these guys out when they are in your area.

Closing off my Courthouse experience was The Novaks from my home province of Newfoundland. They have just released a killer new album and showcased it during their brief set. Mick laid down some killer guitar riffs that got the small crowd into it. His voice was in great shape and for comparison reason’s sounded a little like Tom Petty in places.  Seeing The Novaks live for the first time was an enjoyable experience and not one to be missed when they are in your area. I know I will be checking out their shows whenever I can. Mick and company leave an impression on you.




I now headed over to The Kathederal on Queen W. to meet up with some friends and to take in some more great music. Hitting the stage was a band called Street Pharmacy whose music blended a bit of Ska with some Rock…interesting and impressive.

Trying to take in as much of the festival in one evening we headed over to the Hard Rock and caught the last bit of West Memphis Suicide’s set. These guys played some deadly Metal. It was loud, fast and heavy, the way it is supposed to be. This is a great band that I will be checking out in the very near future.

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Just outside the Hard Rock is Dundas Square where The Sonics were playing. We checked out some of their set before heading back to Queen St.W. to go to the Bovine Sex Club. The Sonics were good and came off as seasoned veterans. The addition of horns added a nice touch to their music.

At the Bovine Sex Club (which is possibly the best club around) we heard a US band called The Dogs play to a full house. They are a blend of MC5 and Iggy and The Stooges. I watched most of their set before catching the last train to Clarkson.

Unfortunately I missed most of this amazing festival. What I did see left a lasting impression on me as it was very well organized and contained something for everyone. Hopefully next year I will be up that way and take in NXNE in its entirety.




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