Mysterines + Hipshot @ L’Escogriffe

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The Mysterines in Montreal

Just because your album breaks the UK charts top 10 albums doesn’t mean that your first Montreal gig will be the Bell Centre.

Reelings by the Mysterines shows the maturity and skills of a band that’s been around for much longer.

Lia Metcalfe sounds like a modern Johnette Napolitano of Concrete Blonde but infused with a helping of grunge.

Exhausted from so many shows in April/May, it took one listen to know that I would not pass up a chance to see the Mysterines in a small venue, for what I’m sure will be the last time.

I entered L’Esco after circling the layers of parking hell, tired from the long walk.

Hipshot were at the birth of their set, and a jolt of adrenaline shot through my body.


Marie Desbiens has a stage presence that is intense and strong, reminiscent of Brody Dalle of the Distillers.

Alexandre Charron (Guitar), Sonny Letourneau (Bass) and L-P La Roche (Drums) all seem like they are having the time of their life on stage.

Together, they hit it hard, and we can easily understand why they will be back in Montreal a week from now.

The band will next play Pouzzafest and I’m sure they will have the crowd in the palm of their hands.

Songs like The Last Trip kept the energy up.

Full of Yourself a song with a deeper meaning about respecting another person’s body, repeated the sentence:  “Si tu savais comment j’haïs tout le monde”…but not those in the audience. 

The band played an unreleased song White Lies which was well received by the crowd.

Saving the best for last, they ended the set with She Never Woke Up, leaving us wanted more. 


The Mysterines

All the way from Liverpool, it was their first time visiting Montreal.  

Lia Metcalfe (Vocals/guitar) took the stage with an electrifying intensity.  There is a personality that is screaming to escape her body, which she controls and navigates out through her words and chords.

Callum Thompson (guitar) adds to the wall of sound, as George Favager effortlessly controls the bass guitar as if he was born with it.

Drummer Paul Crilly lays the foundation for the powerful set we heard.

They start slow and hard with The Bad Thing, which has a sludgy sound that eventually lets the guitar solo loose. 

Listening to the song again, I picture our main characters outmaneuvering their pursuing police escort, narrowly avoiding disaster.

Not leaving us any time to breathe, In My Head continued the assault.

Old Friends/Die Hard is a tongue-in-cheek song about a friendship that ends in murder.  Who else can make “Here comes Franky nice and sleezy/He’s got something up his sleevy” sound cool?

You could easily visualize PJ Harvey performing Under Your Skin which was raw and powerful.

By the time Means to Bleed, I don’t know if I was more impressed by the band or Lia’s makeup that help up perfectly under the intense heat of L’Escogriffe.  Let’s just say that the heat matched the intensity coming from the stage.

The Confession Song could be a Nick Cave song, but again, Lia pulls it off with her own dramatic flair.

The set finished with Hung Up, a song that Brody Dalle would give 2 thumbs up.

As the song says: “I’m hung up on you/Holding on to something.”

For those that experienced the heat from the thermometer and the stage, we will hold on to the memory of experiencing the gift of seeing a band whose rocket ship to fame is on the last of its countdown, at least here in Canada.

In the UK…they are well on their way, and we thank them for tearing up the stage with a sound that might remind us of legends, but clearly has its own DNA of greatness.



The wonderful thing about this small venue is that you will inevitably get to hang out with the band, and chill before or after the show.

Of course, our resident UK editor Steve Gerrard, who shares a name with a famous football player who played for the Liverpool club, asked the band the question: “How is your tea supply, depleted yet?”

When they say they ran out, he magically pulls out a package of tea that would cure their homesickness. 

What a hero.

Unfortunately, they sold out of vinyl before Montreal but will have some for the next gig, as they play Boston next.

Photos: Steve Gerrard

Writer: Randal Wark is a Professional Speaker and MasterMind Facilitator with a passion for live music.  You can follow him on InstagramTwitter and YouTube. His Podcast RockStar Today helps musicians quit their day jobs with out-of-the-box advice from Ted Talk Speakers, Best Selling Authors and other interesting Entrepreneurs and Creatives. He created the Rock Star Today Music Business Jam Session for musicians. Randal is a collector of signed vinyl, cassettes and CDs.

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