A three-day festival can be rough. Staying hydrated (beer doesn’t count) is important.
Once on site, the reserve tank of energy opens and we are back in business.
Sadly I missed The Peelers, with their blend of Celtic Punk.
K-Man & The 45s
I did however catch K-Man & The 45s and they had the crowd skanking with their horn-heavy catchy ska songs.
Kristin Daniel (a.k.a. K-Man) has been a longtime Montreal musician who once fronted Trip the Off, way back in the day, even playing a gig with Ari Up (The Slits) back in 2007.
If you don’t remember the 45 record, it was the precursor to the $1.29 iTunes hit song. The 7″ would normally have 1 band release on the A side, which would be the hit, and usually the B side would have a lesser song, or a special track if you were lucky.
The 45s however don’t seem to have B side songs…they were all A side worthy.
A beautiful summer day and SKA go together like cheese, gravy and fries. Pouska? Yeah…not a thing yet.
The Gutter Demons
The Gutter Demons were next with some Psychobilly mayhem. Think Stray Cats on jet fuel.
Flipper rides his Upright bass like a tricycle without wheels. That bass gets slapped more times than a creepy guy at the bar.
Johnny Toxik sports a Flying-V and the Metal influence is infused into their sound.
Of course, Custom Pat is furiously keeping the beat while a mosh pit erupts.
Loud, hard and Rockalicious.
The Mahones once called Montreal home, when Finny McConnell & Katie “Kaboom” McConnell lived steps away from Hurley’s on Crescent street.
Founded in 1990 for a St. Patrick’s Day party that has lasted 29 years so far! They don’t appear to be finished as they played some crowd favorites such as “Hunger and the Fight”, “Shakespeare Road” and “Give It All Ya Got”.
Katie “Kaboom” made a special appearance. I won’t share too much of her personal life, so let’s just say it took courage and effort for her to be on stage.
She didn’t miss a beat and is always entertaining to watch. She is the contortionist accordion player!
Sean Riot Ryan was playing to his hometown. It’s not his birth hometown, but the one of his heart.
He shared some Beau’s King Cans with the audience by throwing a few in the crowd.
Another Montreal guest was Dave Gossage on the flute which just made it more authentic Irish.
The crowd danced and sang along with Canada’s longest running Irish Punk Band.
The set ended with the classic “Drunken Lazy Bastard.”
The band would say it’s the luck of the Irish, but whenever they play festivals here and mostly in Europe, it will rain right after their set. Today was no exception and the downpour was fierce for a little while, but eventually stopped.
Hailing from the town I grew up in, St-Jean-sur-Richelieu was Subb.
Warning: Subb may cause blindness. Well…if you are in the mosh pit and your glasses get crushed, like what happened to my buddy…you might not see well.
At least my friend could hear the band.
The band called it quits in 2010, but did a reunion for Music 4 Cancer in 2015.
This second reunion was met by a large see of fans that instigated a circle pit.
“L.A. Beach Bum” showed their SKAbilities, whereas a song like “Mister Gun” would whip up the moshing. The set ended with “I’ve Got It All Wrong”.
You could feel the love in the air as the band was in top shape…like riding a bike.
Great memories and grateful for their brief return.
The first thing I noticed as Andrew W.K. walked past me, all dressed in white, what how small I seemed in comparison.
He seemed larger than life, and his stage presence, along with the rest of the band, would prove equally impressive.
If the Energizer Bunny had a Red Bull bender, you would understand the energy from the band on stage.
Two of the top songs were “She is Beautiful” and of course the song that has the longest countdown of any performance: “Party Hard”
First, there is the countdown from some high number (I don’t remember) to 1, Andrew puts the microphone in his pocket and the 5 musicians stand in a straight line and head-bang as the crowd goes nuts.
Hit The Switch
Self described as a melodic/thrash/pop-punk band, this California band hit the right chords with the crowd.
If you like fast skate punk, then this is for you.
Hit the Switch is Urban slang for flicking the switch on the hydraulic pistons on Lowrider cars.
I could see from the second floor of Foufs, that the crowd were jumping up and down like a Lowrider trying to imitate a rodeo bull.
The Penske File
The Penske file, according to Seinfeld lore, is to be given a task, not knowing what you need to do with it, but go along with it.
When it comes to the band, they know exactly what they need to do: Rock the Foufs!
Travis Miles (Guitar/vocals), James Hall (Bass/Vocals) and Alex Standen (Drums/Vocals) all have one thing in common. They all share in the singing. I also think that many in the crowd shared that duty with them.
They played songs off their latest album Salvation.
What most of us would learn, close to the end of their set, is that hours before, their van was stolen just outside Katacombes. It included their gear and personal items and passports.
What do you do when you just lost approximately $20,000 worth of equipment?
You play and hope for the best.
When you are facing trials, the best way to overcome is to focus outward and help others.
The Penske file members didn’t wallow in their misfortune, they gave their gift to those in the audience.
Maybe this is lesson from Pouzza Fest. Modern punk is not all about rebellion, anarchy and destruction. Modern Punk is about community and support.
We started Pouzza with a session about Women In The Scene that spoke about respect and making all feel safe. We ended with friends lending a hand to a band to get back home, after having lost it all.
They may have lost their gear, cash and their touring vehicle, but they gained the support of fellow bands and fans alike, including one of their newest ones: Me.
You can help with a small donation to their Go Fund Me Page: Penske File van and gear stolen.
Review – Randal Walk
Photos – Kieron Yates
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