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- Posted on Jun 18th 2010 2:45PM by Dave Jaffer
The Beauties, who held down the midnight slot at the Six Shooter Records/Starfish Entertainment NXNE showcase, Outlaws & Gunslingers, are exactly that kind of band, and they more than made up for missing the end of a championship game.
Touted by many as Toronto's best bar band -- quite literally, they hold down a longtime Sunday residency at the Dakota Tavern -- they certainly didn't disappoint, playing a rollicking set full of energy and fire.
The Beauties' whiskey-soaked brand of hard-won country rock and surprisingly well-balanced vocal attack was more than palatable on this night.
Playing to a hollering partisan crowd that, unfortunately, started to thin a bit around the witching hour, the Beauties more than held their own while following the likes of better-known artists like Blue Rodeo's Jim Cuddy, Hawksley Workman and Justin Rutledge.
The timing of Outlaws & Gunslingers couldn't have been better for the Six Shooter family, as Workman, Rutledge and Amelia Curran, Six Shooter artists all, were long listed for the 2010 Polaris Prize and its $20,000 purse earlier in the day.
The standout moment of the Beauties' set, which felt overly brief, was a cover of Holly Golightly's 'Devil Do.' They demonstrated that even in this day and age, rock and roll still owes a tithe to the dark prince with the repeated refrain, "Ain't nobody gonna love you like the devil do."
All due respect to the outstanding Ms. Golightly, but on this night the song belonged to these hard-working Beauties.
The band may be a staple at the Dakota, which Beauties guitarist Shawn Creamer just happens to co-own, but the band showed they don't need home-court advantage to shoot out the lights.
"This is our first time at Lee's Palace!" shouted drummer Derek Downham towards the end of the set. "I used to work here!"
Last night, he still did. And he brought his band mates with him. And what good work they did.