by Larry Portelance (Contributer)
It was a cool October school night when The Progressive Thinker (TPT) and The Blisterin’ Barnacles (TBB) performed right in the heart of old historic downtown Abbotsford. With two excellent D.I.Y. Abbotsford bands performing for free, the Airfair Lounge was packed with plenty of punks and a healthy dose of hipsters.
And where else would one want to be on a Thursday night? At Casey’s where people were drinking dangerously and fighting despite the very costly security presence? Or at a greasy downtown Abbotsford pub full of the good vibes that come with a place filled with people there for the music? Take your pick and to each their own.
Anyway, TPT took to the stage sometime around 9:40 p.m. and immediately got to work putting on a rock and roll show. TPT dished out a great serving of spastic energy, and the crowd was digging every moment of it. With over a decade in the local music scene, TPT certainly knows how to perform.
By the time TPT got onto their second song, “You Are What We Like To Eat,” the band were jumping around on top of tables, chairs and amps. For Jason Nicholas, guitarist and vocalist of TPT, it is all about the stage shenanigans, and this time he kept blasting a foghorn at random intervals. However, the foghorn could barely be heard as the guitars and bass were really loud.
It was so loud that it also drowned out the drumming of Stu Hood. Maybe something could have been done, but loudness typically defines a TPT show. Besides, there were still plenty of shouting and epic guitar riffs to enjoy. When TPT performed “The Constitution,” Will Sabotage, lead singer of TBB, was handed the mic, and he provided the main vocals for that and a few other songs. It was really neat to see that kind of music scene camaraderie.
TBB were next up. TBB had a line-up change as their bassist Davey Cuthroat fell off a ladder at work and broke his arm. So in came Captain Haddock (Zach Bell). Any way you slice it this pirate, punk party had plenty of swashbucklin’ sass.
Starting off with their song “Masturbatory Habits,” TBB quickly got into their zone, and this made the sea of punk vests on the floor itching to mosh. They all wavered side-by-side with the music until TBB played “Just Say Fuck.” Then the moshing started, and lead vocalist Will got flattened.
Once TBB played the local punk anthem “Brewsers Rock N’ Roll,” the moshing reached a climax and people in the pit were in a cathartic state. And on the rad punk music went. It was great to hear a cover of the Screeching Weasel song “Cool Kids” because here were the TBB making the AirFair into a real cool club.
TBB will be performing in Chilliwack on Sat, Nov 6 with Eugene’s Axe and The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets. As for the AirFair Lounge, it is quickly becoming the choice spot for live, unpolished and gritty music in Abbotsford. The greasy bar always hosts Harma White on Wednesdays. Then on Sun, Oct 24, B.A. Johnston and the Magnificent Sevens will stop by Abbotsford to perform with Fraser MacLean and The No Regretskis.
So see you at the next show, and as Stephen O’Shea of TPT and You Say Party! says, “support your local music scene because it is the only one you got.”