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Thursday, 10 November 2011

Gotta Have More of That Big Sugar, Baby

Back in 1994 I bought Borrowed Tunes a tribute album to Neil Young.  It consisted of two albums actually, Out of the Blue, an acoustic tribute to Neil Young and Into the Black, an electric tribute to Neil Young.  My favorite out of these two albums was Into the Black...and my favorite song on that album was Big Sugar's cover When You Dance, I Can Really Love.
It was the first time I had heard of Big Sugar.  In my own defense, I didn't hear of them when they released their first album in '91 because at the time I was living in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.  The only fucking thing I could find on the airways back then was country.  That was long before I had my first computer so I listened to the cassettes I had, over and over and over again.  I had a pretty good collection of music so it wasn't that big a hardship, but I certainly didn't get the chance to hear anything new.  I moved to Alberta in '93 and was a big fan of Neil Young and his songs, so when the tribute album came out, I picked it up right away.  That album gave me a look at a number of great new bands including Our Lady Peace (also killed with their version of Needle and the Damage Done) but as I've already mentioned Big Sugar's cover was my favorite.
Well, I must have a hell of a sweet tooth, because ever since then, I just can't get enough of Big Sugar.  Lead singer Gordie Johnson is like the Canadian version of the Foo Fighters Dave Grohl.  He's multi-talented, gets involved in a number of different projects and is just so fucking cool.  Or who knows...maybe Dave is the American version of Gordie!  Either way, they both have aligned themselves with great musicians to develop great bands and great fucking music - but I digress...I talked about the Foo's last week, this week I want to talk about Big Sugar and the fucking great show they put on with Wide Mouth Mason at The Stone in Lethbridge Alberta this week.
The last time I saw Big Sugar perform before this past week, was back in December of 2003, during their farewell tour.  In fact that was the first time I saw them perform.  I didn't get out much back then...you know how it is when you have small kids...but I was going to be damned if I didn't catch a Big Sugar show before it was too late!  Yeah, you heard me right...their farewell tour.  So yeah, I was fucking thrilled to hear they were back together and had another album out. 
Big Sugar is a rock band with a bluesy, funky, reggae flavor.  Revolution per Minute is a cool, awesome fucking album....I love it!!!! Apparently I'm not the only one who loves it because The Stone was jam-packed.
Wide Mouth Mason opened and that's not surprising as Gordie Johnson recently joined that band as their bass player.  Shaun Verreault's unmistakable vocals front Wide Mouth Mason.  His high energy along with Gordie Johnson and drummer Safwan Javed had the joint jumping right from the start.  Their show alone would have been enough for rock fans but then Shaun returned the favor and joined Big Sugar as they took the stage and proceeded to blow everyone away for over two hours.
They played everyone of my favorites including Nicotina, Turn the Lights On before You Lie Down, Heaven in Alberta, The Scene, Diggin' a Hole, and their cover of Traffic's Dear Mr. Fantasy.  They mixed these in amongst their new songs including Roads Ahead, Little Bit of A Alright and Come a Little Closer.  Fuck I had a good time singing and dancing all night.
But the fun doesn't end there boys and girls, oh no....
After the show I chatted with the security guys that wouldn't let me past into the dressing room.  You know, I've come across a lot of pricks that are full of themselves working security.  I'm happy to say that security at this show were fucking decent nice guys.  I'm sure if I gave them a problem it would be a different story but yeah they let me joke around with them and more importantly wait around.
I met Friendlyness from Big Sugar first.  This guy is so fucking cute...and nice.  No wonder his name is Friendlyness!  I love his Jamaican reggae rap and long blond dreads.  I shook his hand and thanked him for an awesome show.  I didn't want to let go of his hand...it felt so warm and comfortable that I just continued to hold onto it.  I'm still not sure how he got away from me, I truly don't remember letting go.
Then I had the opportunity to thank Gordie, himself!  Holy Fuck!! And my best friend, Jeannine was there to snap a couple of pictures for me!  Well, you couldn't have slapped the smile off my face, I was so fucking happy.  I can't wait until Big Sugar comes back, I'm gonna be there!  I really do love the music but I think maybe it's because I really want to hold hands with Friendlyness again...........; )

Gordie Johnson & Cat Hennebury


Wide Mouth Mason links:
Official Wide Mouth Mason website
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Big Sugar links:
Official Big Sugar website
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 Big Sugar Blog
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