Where we are today – Paint @ C’est What – November 6, 2012

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Well, well, well. Who would have thought Paint had moves like Jagger?

With a swing of the hips on guitar and a bit of swagger in the boots Paint launched into their month of November residency at C’est What down there on 66 Front Street (at Front and Church not too far away from King Station on the TTC).

A hop down the stairs (but be careful because there are stairs) and a step to the left and it looked like a full dinner crowd in the space. C’est What and Paint have become a notable pairing, what more could one ask for with C’est What beer and dining while one watches the hardest working band in Canada always on the go, looking to make another mark with its breadth of embracing songs from its discography.

A prior residency of Paint at the intimate C’est What led to the high profile court case involving the band and the support of the club over the postering charges laid down by the law. And now Paint were back with its unique selection of entertainment: an opening band from Paint’s select list of band friends, and a comedian to help warm up the evening and provide in between set crowd amusement (because as one knows, Paint are not gifted joke tellers).

Receiving or snarking the setlist from Paint at the end of the night was over has been a tiny (and appreciated) ritual. The list for the night revealed three new tunes (two of them being Bonvire of Vanities and Shattered Hearts) immersed amongst the crowd favourites found on their two CDs to date. Some of the background trouble and turmoil in the Paint scene has provided the fuel for song creation. The sound of Paint is always in flux as is the roster of musicians who show up on stage depending on the circumstance of the moment. The echo of ring and chime and metronomic syndrum and keys slides sidewise into a mesh of sproing and crunchy guitars. And one can never count on the standby songs sounding the same as mysterious introductions swirling in the dark finally lead to the moment of recognition. Paint must be secretly planning world domination with the grandiose stage show at Coachella or Reading Festival that lies just around the corner.

The atmosphere for the night was not just anticipation for seeing Paint in familiar surroundings, but the feeling of doom and tension stemming from the election results pouring from the televisions. Worry and gloom gave way to a whoop and celebration onstage by Paint as the results from Ohio projected into victory for the incumbent President. Indeed, it was just another manic Monday on a Thursday.

The evening was led off by Craig Fay, an affable comedian with a dry taste for contemporaneous storytelling that one had to think almost one beat too long to get the point. Then the laughter came.

The first time we saw Paint in a previous Mandy on guitar incarnation at C’est What was also the first time to see some ska-kicking poppy ladies called Mittenz who definitely knew how to rock out. Three degrees of Mittenz separation later Hayley Stark were the opening band for the Tuesday night. Hayley Stark have come a long way since a previous viewing at the benefit for Girls Rock Camp Mississauga where they were a gentle folksy foursome on the stage. Hayley Stark are not that band now with a plus of guitars rocking out and more laughter on stage refuting any prior sombre demeanour.

Another set with more laughter from the comedian Craig Fay, the subject of the ihatecraigfay.com site then through the electoral gloom and doom Paint emerged. New patter, new talk, new songs, new shattered strut.

However, you paint it, Paint is still the star of the night. And they may not realize is the constant travel on the road has led to an easy confidence and given them a bit of that hippy hippy shake on stage. And we did mention moves like Jagger [but not in shades of maroon].

Now She Leaves has a hidden irony, the Girl in the Frame has become unhinged but Home is still Home on a manic monday, and you may be strangers when we meet, but friends with a beer before you leave. Did we mention that a certain President won an election?

More to say, more new music to hear through November at C’est What every Tuesday. Stay tuned for the drama and new songs in the offering.

And don’t forget to visit paintband.com

DSC_8426, originally uploaded by Midnight Matinee 24.

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