Sunday, May 11, 2014

Gates Of Winter & Roosevelt Hotel Updates, Plus New Videos!!

Before we get to our review of last night's Sewer Swampstravaganza, we have a new news post today, so what's on tap? A new video from a local metal band's out of town performance last year, new studio tracks from an upcoming album, and the latest word on a recently purchased and renamed concert venue, but first, here's some long awaited updates on a prominent local metal band's next studio work!

After an almost 6 month wait for a new public update from their camp, local progressive/death metal standouts Gates of Winter finally updated their Facebook page last week to update us on their current studio work, so what should you know? According to frontman Lee Maines, the final recording process for their upcoming EP "Perihelion" is "well underway", with guitarist Bryan Belleau recently visiting back home from British Columbia to record guitar parts for the disc, while Lee also confirmed that Bryan's fiancee Melinda Cobbett will be providing some level of backing vocals. Lee noted that despite the short length of "Perihelion" and what has been revealed of the songs, he thinks the album will be a pleasant surprise for fans following the slow progress, noting that many parts and the songs' overall feel have drastically changed and been improved, before closing with "Fair winds and following seas" (perhaps a lyric sample?)

We're now over 4 years into the recording and songwriting that began shortly after their 2009 hiatus ended, and though things have been incredibly slow (especially with Lee, Steve, and Bryan living in separate provinces at the moment), the work never stopped. Indications last year suggested that 2014 will be a big year for Gates of Winter, so hopefully there's no more dry spells or delays, as their talent and presence has been missed in both studio form and on stage! Stay tuned for updates when they happen!

Next up, here's the latest on the former Roosevelt Hotel! As you may now know, it's new name is Reggie's West (as it was bought by popular downtown country bar Reggie's Tavern), and appropriate signage is now up, but what else is new and different from this Korah Road venue? According to this SooToday article by Donna Hopper from Wednesday, Reggie's West quietly (re-)opened last week, and according to new bar manager Tyler Wilson, the bar has seen extensive kitchen renovations, a facelift in the main area, and new carpeting in the past month. The article indicates that Reggie's West will have "a similar entertainment format" to the original Reggie's, including live music on weekends like usual, as well as wing nights Mondays-Wednesdays, and Sunday evening karaoke, but they haven't closed the door on hosting out of town touring acts there. Tyler is quoted in the article that promoters can contact him or the venue regarding out of town show ideas for off days, and they can be contacted for booking inquiries at their phone number ([705] 253-1411, which is the same as before.)

I hope that Reggie's West does continue to host some out of town bands, and at least try to diversify their sound and band roster from the downtown Reggie's, so it's not just a carbon copy and can have it's own unique vibe & clientele. I know many metalheads may still be skeptical or worse about the purchase, but we'll have to wait and see what happens, and it should be noted that Reggie Daigle did a great job turning around the downtown bar and ridding it of it's "divey" elements, so hopefully the old Rosie can see similar results. Stay tuned in case we hear more!

We'll close this post with some new video finds, including a tip on an early This Is Your Band On Drugs video that we hadn't seen before! Uploaded by YouTube user David Saari in June of last year, this is among a number of videos that David has shot featuring buskers and outdoor music performers in Sudbury, Ontario, though I'm not sure why the guys (credited just as "Your Band On Drugs") were there for this clip. Presumably very early in Chase Wigmore & Nick Burns' run under this name, this is of the guys playing an original song (name unclear) with Chase on vocals & guitar and Nick on percussion, and while the acoustic outdoor setting is different from what we saw last week, Chase (complete with Shit Liver shirt) fully adding his own personality and intensity to the video! No word on the identity of the man behind Nick tapping his foot along with the music though. Check this clip out below, and thanks to Mike Boychuk for the heads up!

Finally for today, Haggith drummer Mike Haggith posted the remaining two finished tracks from his upcoming studio album "A Place of Our Own" onto his YouTube channel on Friday! Though the formal paid release has not came out yet, all 6 tracks can now be streamed on YouTube for free, with the new songs being the amusingly titled "This Potato May Be Used As A Flotation Device" and (as embedded below) the 12 minute long "To Kansas: The Ballad Of K4/K5", which I assume is a sequel to his song "The Ballad of K2/K3". I'm surprised that the track listing hasn't changed since his initial word for "A Place of Our Own", as he usually radically changes it to add, remove, and re-title the included songs, but who knows if he has anything extra. As usual, we'll hold formal thoughts until our full review of this album, but check out all 6 songs at the above links, here's "To Kansas: The Ballad Of K4/K5", and stay tuned for our thoughts on Mike's rare solo set at last night's Swampstravaganza!

That's all for now, but stay tuned for our review of last night's Sewer Swampstravaganza next! Thanks everyone!

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