Previewing the 5th St-Ambroise Fringe Music Festival

A Variety Of Fringe Shows Await

Amy Blackmore Air Guitar. Photo Rachel Levine. Fringe For All 2015. Amy Blackmore Air Guitar. Photo Rachel Levine. Fringe For All 2015.

From the 2nd to 19th of June, Indie Montreal will be presenting the music component of the St-Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival. Starting with an opening cocktail event, there will be a mix of 11 concerts and 4 free music conferences (plus an air guitar championship!) that will all take place at Le Divan Orange. As usual, Indie Montreal and Fringe have kept things affordable as no concert will cost more than $13. Bands include Northcote, Jordan Klassen, Geoffroy, Oblique, Pif Paf Hangover, and more. Here are some of Montreal Rampage’s picks.

DUNES (Desert Blues Ensemble)

Spearheaded by bands like Bombino, Tinariwen, and Songhoy Blues, desert blues from Niger and Mali have swept our part of the world. The coming together of blues licks and Saharan rhythms makes for an always rollicking, hypnotic, and oddly calming time. The Montreal collective DUNES look to serve up much of the same.

2nd June. Pay What You Can. More details here.

Cherry Chérie

Montreal band Cherry Chérie have been lauded in the francophone part of the country. They describe their music as “rock ‘n roll trash-bonbon” which sounds just about right. Think skiffle and 50s R&B with louder amps and fuzzier guitars.

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4th June. $12. More details here.

Fringe Music Conference #1

Aspiring artists take note. The first conference of Fringe Music has the clear as daylight title of “Living from FRINGE: how to put a room over your head without settling for mainstream.” Anyone who loves music and going to shows can attest to having a conversation about bands selling out, swapping their original sound for a Centre Bell glo-stick screamfest. Cough. Coldplay. Louder cough. Is it a generalisation? Yes. Does it happen? Yes. Here’s hoping this conference can shed some light on how to make it.

9th June. Free. More details here.

Les Guerres D’l’Amour (Brunch Concert Yes No Toaster #4)

Indie Montreal continue their Yes No Toaster Brunch Concert series, where concert goers are served homemade brunch while watching a live show. I attended the last one which I can safely say was one of the most unique live shows I’ve been attended. We’ve all seen or even been part of a dinner table serenaded by a violinist or classical guitarist. This is different. With whooping and talking at a minimal, the only sounds that can be heard are the artist’s. Having said that, my brunch accompaniment Laurence-Anne, a folk group. Les Guerres D’l’Amour will be a whole other experience with their funky, disco sound.

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12th June. $13-$30 (depending on meal choices). More details here.

Lakes of Canada

Calling Lakes of Canada a folk rock band with gospel and soul influences barely scratches the surface. Their 2015 album, Transgressions, evaded categorisation. Heck, opener ‘Eden’ is harmonic bliss but second track ‘The Fall’ has some prog-rock vocals and guitar tones. If there’s one thing I’d call the album, it would be expansive. Their live shows are energetic, grandiose, and most importantly in an era where so many artists seem detached from fans, warm.

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17th June. $12. More details here.