I sadly missed the two openers, but arrived at Club Soda in time to see the set up for July Talk. I squished my way through the crowd (being short, few people care if I stand in front of them) and found myself amid a sea of Osheaga goers who had traded their short-shorts for flannels and vintage sweaters. Fresh faced with thick glasses, they threw their arms and screamed when July Talk’s Peter Dreimanis came on stage to prep his stand and guitar. Their adoration for the blues/rock could only be topped by July Talk’s biggest fan, who positioned himself centre stage with a t-shirt proclaiming as much.
Though I’d never put the gravelly, sandpaper voice of clean-cut badboy frontman Dreimanis with badass pixie frontwoman Leah Fay, their combination is electric. Their sexually-amped physicality may just be stage banter, but it’s so believable. I’d swear they were a couple of the Eric’s Trip sort. While Dreimanis musses Fay’s hair and licks her face, she’s not shy to boot him in the chest. It’s affectionate but competitive and the two seemed to feed off the love the audience had for their music and physical… um… banter.
The short set was only about eight songs long. The big hits were Summer Dress, Guns + Ammunition, and Paper Girl. Every song had a magic catch to it. Dreimanis got every one woo-hoo-ing along to Guns + Ammunication then stage dove still playing his guitar. In one more, Fay rubbed her head against a thrilled audience member. “Montreal taught me not to give a fuck,” Fay announced. She slipped off her bra and replaced her shirt with one that read Boobies Make Me Happy taken from an audience member. The energy sent shockwaves through the whole theatre.
Some of the July Talkers took off before Lisa LeBlanc, but this Acadian powerhouse won new converts of those that stayed. Things started with enough guitars being brought on stage to compete with Steve’s around the corner. Her accent adorable in both languages, she took that banjo and played it like she was wrestling with a wild tiger… and winning. Hair flying, body shaking. At one point, she even snapped a banjo string during YOu Look Like Trouble (But I Guess I Do Too). She played a few covers — Motorhead’s Ace of Spades for one.
While Lisa LeBlanc stands at the front, her drummer Maxime and guitarist JP gave just as good as she did.