Reviews

Cuff The Duke at Electric Owl



I’d never been to the Electric Owl before. It was very small, though it had a large selection of booze on display, which I thought was odd. There was a black display sign blocking off the area where the ropes didn’t cover…

Oh, right. This is the entrance to the liquor store area of Electric Owl. Not the actual venue itself.

After heading outside and taking the CORRECT entrance and getting Cali and myself in, a different picture was painted. The place was actually really quite big for what I was expecting from the outside.
There was plenty of room to sit spanning one end of the place to the other, and still enough room for a decent sized stage, a large floorspace for getting your groove on however you’d like to (which at this particular show had quite a range), and two separate and very accessible bar areas on either side of the floorplan. I have to say, I really quite liked the place. What made things even better?

Coat-check in a downstairs area! No more tears trying to shove your way past people to get outside.

We were a bit late from acquiring food, so we only made it in time to hear three and a half of Hooded Fang’s set. A five member band out of Toronto (2 guitar, bass, keyboards, drums, and a whole lot of
singin’) they had a surf-rockish sound to them that was nice and groovable (as shown by members of the audience). Couldn’t tell you the name of their songs for the life of me (sorry guys), but whatever the last song they played was really made my malleus dance. They released a new album recently, so give it a look-listen. There’s a good selection on their website listen-y dealy.

Alright, now you put on the theme to “The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly”, because that’s exactly how Cuff The Duke’s set started.

Have it on now?

Part-way through?

Great.

Cuff The Duke is Wayne Petti, Paul Lowman, Dale Murray, Corey Wood, and François Turenne (vocals/guitar/harmonica, bass/vocals, guitar/vocals, drums, and MORE GUITARS). They’re from Oshawa, Ontario, and they’ve got a sweet alternative country sound that makes me happy that country music exists, even if the majority is NOT my thing. They played ‘Time Is Right’ from their new album leading out of the aforementioned theme song, which got the audience all worked/warmed up for more.

Now here’s where I play the setlist guessing game as per norm. Feel free to fill in my blanks with what your heart tells you is right. ‘Count On Me’ (the first single from the new album) was up next, followed by ‘I Really Want To Help You’ (a personal favourite), and ‘Listen To Your Heart’. ‘Follow Me’ made everyone’s heart melt a little as we sang along with those sweet words. ‘Rockin’ Chair’ and a new album song ‘Standing On The Edge’ preceded something that I can’t remember (HAW HAW sorry). ‘Rossland Square’ was dedicated to a friend from back East in the audience who (not quoted to exact words) “took a wrong turn and wound up in Vancouver”.

Now for this one I’m somewhat confused. There’s a song called ‘You Don’t Know’, and one called ‘What It’s Like’ following it on the new album, so I’m ASSUMING it’s a two parter that creates a song called ‘You Don’t Know What It’s Like’ that they played next, but at this point, I’m not positive on that one either.

I’m also not positive on what the next song was.

Moving on to ‘Belgium And Peru’ (RHYME), which is another one of my favourites. Now, at this point I had to move over because of someone getting up in my grill (more on this later), but I THINK it was ‘Promises’, but my ability to hear lyrics was greatly diminished by having to stand in front of a dopey old speaker. But it was a GREAT song, and if ‘Take My Money And Run’ hadn’t finished the set off (which wasn’t a bad thing at all as it’s a great song as well), it would’ve made an awesome finisher.

Now it was time to shout encore (though people were yelling “Cuff The Duke”) and the band came back out and blew us away with a four-song encore, which was a lot more than I was expecting.

Which apparently wasn’t the case with everyone’s perception of how the set would go, as Mr. Petti made mention of a complaint about how their set wasn’t long enough. Cuff The Duke played for almost (maybe more? Wasn’t really checking.) 2 hours. ‘Nuff said as far as length of a set goes.

‘Remember The Good Times’, [fill in correct song in your mind here] (which included the dropping of a bottle of beer, which is totally fine, it happens. But don’t just kick it to the side; if someone is drunk {which clearly people were as it was dropped in the first place, and Cali and I had people who didn’t understand the concept of “other people do in fact exist even though you want to dance in a 10 foot radius of yourself” rubbing against us at points} they could slip on beer and fall on it, or something equally as unlikely yet possible. It’s just kind of poor form not to get it removed as quickly as possible.), ‘Ballad Of A Construction Worker’, and a heart-warming “C’mere and gimme a big ol’ hug” sing along version of ‘You Were Right’ gave us our final Cuff The Duke fix.

Overall, the show was great. We got a good dose of Hooded Fang (or I assume so, sorry I missed most of the set), and 1000 cc’s of Cuff The Duke shot right into our eardrums. More than enough for a $15 dollar
ticket.

And then, after all this, we got to experience the BEST part of this venue:

The one and a half block walk to the skytrain. Just beautiful.

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