Condor, Bootlicker, Wirehead and Toy Tiger at The Astoria

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Thursday night at the Astoria was a good outing for a cheap bill of killer punk and hardcore. With touring heavyhweights Condor in town the turnout was strong.
Firmly planted in the rock ‘n’ roll side of Oi, Toy Tiger opened up the show with a short set of songs. Lead singer, Finn i’d seen play years ago with a mess of a band that I could barely comprehend and I had no idea what was in store for this outing. My fears were for naught, Toy Tiger came on messy and lean like a real punk rock band oughta. Finn looked comfortable and poised with an impressive voice and tuff songs. Toy Tiger relies on a good amount of swagger to pull it all together. Think of a very drunk The Blood trying to tone down the heavy metal and cover some Eddie and the Hot Rods. I even liked the exaggerated guitar player’s solo stance. Good fish n’ chip rock. I was into it enough to book em for the Death Ridge Boys and Savage Beat show I’m putting on in July so you’ll have another chance to peep. Wirehead filled in the gaps with the return of their lead guitar player, Mikey. I was under the impression he was out and enjoyed them as a 4 member punk rock unit. I was wrong in my first assessment as Mike’s guitar playing managed to fill in the sound with some tight guitar licks and a bit more energy on stage.

The setting for Wirehead is established and they’re getting more comfortable playing together. Hopefully we can get some new songs soon, there’s a hit in there somewhere waiting to get worked out. Third to the stage was a band I’m heavily biased to. Bootlicker are a fucking powerhouse and this was one of their strongest sets yet. The sound was perfect for them and they embraced it with a pummeling set of D-beat hardcore. Even the obvious mishaps and a few riffs falling flat here and there it was a memorable set. Look for them at the ‘Don’t Wanna Heat It’ (August 10th, Edmonton) and ‘Have A Good Laugh’ (June 20th, Vancouver) festivals. I’m very happy to be involved with them in releasing their records. A total stunner of a set tonight which had everyone talking. Condor from Boston/NYC/Paris were the headliners and they put on a good show even if they seemed a little slow. They’re been on tour for two weeks thus far and a mid-week show might be a little tiring after the flight from the East Coast. The crowd seemed a little weathered and couldn’t give much back to them. The sound was overall quieter which likely had something to do with my sentiments but even still, I didn’t see as much engagement as I did with any of the earlier bands. It wasn’t bad. Just a little bit tame. A little too quiet. If you’re going on after a set like Bootlicker’s, it’s going to take some effort to hold that space. Obviously Condor is still worth seeing as the recordings and songs are killer and they are tour-tight right now. The singles compilation on Beach Impediment Records is highly recommended for those that are into more melodic sounding, classic Oi. They’re a little over half-way done their tour in North America and will be making their way down the West Coast the next two weeks. Take a look at the poster for dates in your city.

Massive thanks to Michael Jurek for photos of this show. Mike plays in Wirehead. Neon Taste is releasing ‘Nuclear Family’ by Bootlicker. It is currently at press. Condor’s singles compilation is available HERE from Beach Impediment Records.

*it was previously written here Bootlicker was playing Nothing Left To Lose festival on July 15th. That was incorrect. They are playing Don’t Wanna Heat It festival on August 10th

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