@ The Dakota Tavern, Toronto
November 3, 2017
As you may know, Skydiggers have returned with a brand new album, Warmth of The Sun, their first since last year’s tribute to Gene Clark, Here Without You – The Songs of Gene Clark and their first album of original material since 2012’s Northern Shore. A new album from Skydiggers is always a cause for celebration, and celebrate they we did at their official album release party.
Skydiggers hit the stage and opened with the first track on the album. Andy Maize, lead singer, is quite proud of the fact that Warmth Of The Sun is their actual first vinyl album release. He should be proud, as the album sounds terrific. And in fine style, he opened the night by saying “first track, side one” and the band launched into an energetic version of the song.
The same line-up appearing on the album were on the stage. This includes Maize on vocals, guitarist Josh Finlayson, Derrek Brady (bass), Noel Webb (drums) and Jessy Bell Smith (vocals) and Aaron Comeau (guitar). This line-up of Skydiggers is a force proven by the energy pouring off the stage and the fact the band enjoyed every second of playing together.
Of course, promoting the new album is the main reason we were gathered in The Dakota Tavern (a fine establishment, and I cannot think of a better venue for them to host the record release party) on a Friday night in Toronto. They performed many of the songs off Warmth Of The Sun, and because the album was basically recorded live off the floor, it translates beautifully on stage. “Push Comes To Shove”, “Needle and Thread”, “An Apology” were just some of the highlights from their new album that they performed perfectly on stage.
Between the songs, Maize told incredible stories about the band and where some of the songs came from. The banter between him and Finlayson had perfect comedic timing and only added to the overall performance.
They did dip into the past several times, performing “Dear Henry” and “Only A Fool” from their classic Desmond’s Hip City. The songs have not aged at all. They even went back to their debut album, Skydiggers for a flawless and extended “I WIll Give You Everything.”
They will be embarking on a tour starting on November 15th in Winnipeg. No doubt the show will not be exactly as the record release show, but if that performance is an indication, they should not be missed and I, for one, will be at their Christmas show at The Horseshoe on December 22, 2017. Their Christmas CD, Angels is well worth a spin this time of year.
An excellent evening, and a stunning way to kick off the release of Warmth of The Sun and a tour. Welcome back, Skydiggers! You have been missed.