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Pouzza Fest Day 1 – Montreal Live Review

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Pouzza Fest Day 1 — A Night in Review

Fouled Weather Friend - Frite Alors! - Pouzza Day 1- Photo by Andrej Ivanov

Fouled Weather Friend – Frite Alors! – Pouzza Day 1- Photo by Andrej Ivanov

Pouzza fest has reached its fourth year, and it is the second year that we find ourselves sponsoring and providing coverage for the punk-rock festival. The first day of the very fun festival was met with some hurdles all around. It seems to be a pattern that is forming that it rains when Pouzza fest, and this year was met with a torrential downpour the entire evening. Despite the rain, people definitely ventured out to support a variety of local talent, some better, and some worse.

We visited the Theatre Sainte-Catherine first, to be sure to catch a band there, before moving along with our night. We came around 9pm and found out that the small venue was rather empty and that the band, Lovechild, was just about to start. When the band started, the crowd seemed to come to life, and the room filled up a bit as people from the mezzanine came down to mosh. Sadly, the band sort of fell flat. The vocals were high-pitched screams and badly calibrated so it was hard to make out what was being said. It also didn’t fit well with the more old-school hardcore vibe the band had to them. Their best success was a cover of a Rancid song (again the vocals were not calibrated well enough for us to catch the name of the song), but that as well was quite sub-par. It might have been an off night, and the bad calibrations definitely did not help, but I would like to hear what this band sounds like on a good night because there is a certain spark there and an energy that they possess that only came through in very brief glimpses.

We moseyed on to see what was happening at the Sailor Jerry event hosted at Montreal’s punk/rock/metal bar “par excellence”, Les Foufounes Electriques (Foufs). The band we found was an older punk group, with a tinge of pop-punk and country mixed into the fray. Two Cow Garage may have an unusual name, but their music was definitely catchy. The lyrics focus on drinking and on life problems such as depression, but the upbeat causes a stark contrast. Overall, the band is a lot of fun and definitely had us bobbing our heads along to their tunes. Suffice it to say that when Sailor Jerry puts their name behind something, it will rarely fall flat.

We finally went over to an acoustic set over at a small resto below a bar, a small chain of Belgium fries shops called Frites Alors! (yes, the exclamation point is in the name). The first of the two sets we caught there — after obviously getting some of their amazing fries and milkshakes, to prep us for the rest of the evening we had planned after Pouzza — was Chainsaw Bitch Acoustic. The music was alright, the vocals a raspy remenant of older punk bands, some cigarettes, and probably some alcohol, but was all ruined by the heavy francophone accent that the singer had. It’s really disappointing that this would even come in as a factor, but when it’s too prominent, that can become distracting and completely ruin a set. Despite his accent, and once the ear got used to it, the punk-rock ballads were there, the stage banter was entertaining, and Chainsaw Bitch showed that he doesn’t take things overly seriously, loves to play music and has probably saved the earth once or twice from a sure apocalypse — heck, he even wrote a song about it!

Last, but far from least, we stayed a bit later to catch the full set of Fouled Weather Friend. His sound is nothing exceptional; as a matter of fact it felt like he was playing very similar chord patterns — but the content matter, meshed with his raspy voice had such a truly powerful effect on all of us that it was impossible not to stay. The content matter dealt with depression, drug abuse, overdosing, and losing friends. Just looking back at it brings back a tinge of pain. Simply put, it makes you want to kill yourself in the best possible way! It makes you feel something so powerful, and so fundamentally at the core of human emotion that it becomes very hard to explain. Now, you must think that wanting to kill yourself is meant pejoratively here, but far from it! It is not meant as figuratively killing yourself, it is just meant as a metaphor for how low it makes you feel, but the music makes you feel something! That is the sign of a true musician, right there, and cannot be overlooked. Foul Weathered Friend definitely stole the show and had us talking long after the final chord was struck.

Written and Photographed by Andrej Ivanov

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