Dec 15

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Allstage Crawl: The Back Alley Bar and Grill

Allstage Crawl: Damn Pigeon

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This past Saturday I had the divine pleasure to attend a show at the Back Alley with four excellent local indie bands - Hybrid Monster, Howzat, Abandoned Souls and Damn Pigeon. I knew with the calibre of talent (and most of them being good friends of mine) that I was going to be treated with a night of great music – I had no idea!

The Back Alley Bar and Grill (Venue)

This venue is by far the best live music venue in St.Thomas, Ontario. Tracy Calder and her Dad Rodney have built a #1 venue for live bands to go and perform in and for bands to want to play in front of a large crowd with all the amenities that come with it. Flying Bob Taylor is the house sound man and being a musician himself, knows exactly what is needed to make a band sound great. The best sound men are always the one’s who are musicians themselves – they inherently know what is needed and what drives an audience (such as the kick drum needing to be a force of a nature, not buried in the mix).

The venue has a big stage, house lighting from all angles, in-house PA and monitors supplied by The PA Shop in London, Ontario, so you know going in that you have the best gear a band could ask for to play live. Load-in is a side door a mere 20 feet from the stage on ground level from parking lot.

Capacity for the venue is 300+, there is a couple of pool tables, numerous sports screens and the washrooms are as clean as a whistle. Greg Allen and his colleagues are the security and have the perfect temperament for the job – and Ladies, you will feel safe within the confines of the bar.

Everything about this bar is a winner so if any bands have a legion of fans they can sell a lot of tickets to one of their show, this is the venue to book in.

Damn Pigeon was the headliner this night and as such they were the icing on the cake. The band consists of Doug Weir – Lead Vocals and guitar, Joe Edmiston – Vocals and guitar, Steve Proctor – Vocals and guitar, Steve Proud – Vocals and guitar and Jason Latimer on drums. Now for those that haven’t heard Doug Weir sing, well sorry for your loss as this man has pipes to spare. The rest of the band’s talent is legendary to live music fans who have had the pleasure of attending their shows – these are the kind of musicians that anyone who picks up a guitar or drum sticks would LOVE to be able to play like. The bands songs are infectious, extremely well crafted and have some of the best rock hooks around. They bring their whole “A” game to every show I have been at and if you haven’t seen them, you are denying yourself a night of great, great original music.



To sum up – this was a spectacular night of live original rock music by four naturally gifted bands. The musicianship made a musician feel honored to be in their presence and to a fan – well, it was an absolute treat all night long.

          The four bands work like demons on stage and are well worth any cover charge to see them live, and they each have the utmost respect for the patrons who attend their shows.

          All these bands have EP’s, CD’s online on all formats, so go their pages and support them by buying their music – it will be well worth the money you spend I assure you.

-        Jim McCormick

#Allstage #TurnUpTheLiveMusic #DamnPigeon