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I Went To A Basement Punk Show (and it was awesome!)

Toronto's Plasmalab rocks out in a basement in Ottawa

Toronto’s Plasmalab rocks out in a basement in Ottawa


I had heard (and read) about Ottawa’s house show scene, but until this weekend had never had the chance to see it in action.

I stumbled across a listing for a show being headlined by The Soupcans. A killer band from Toronto, whom I had seen before when they opend for METZ at Babylon. Needless to say, the $6 price tag was appealing, but the part of the listing that did it for me was that there was no venue name, just an address. A Google maps inquiry found a semi-detached house in Centretown. I had to check this out.

I arrived to the sound of Warp Lines, a new, local punk group opening the show, playing the basement performance space. They sounded great. I couldn’t see them, as the room was filled right up the stairs. I made sure to sneak down between bands for a better view.

Toronto’s Plasmalab was next. They were awesome too, really hard and loud. I bought their tape.
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Right before 11:00 hit, Soupcans stepped up to finish things off. They kinda blew my mind.

A terrible picture of Toronto band Soupcans

A terrible picture of Toronto band Soupcans


It was so warm down there by this time of the night, the hot water pipe running across the exposed ceiling was sweating.
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The heat, and lack of room to really move around didn’t seem to get in the way of the people who wanted to mosh. I guess I forgot i was at a punk show, as these kids (I use the tern condescendingly, as some appeared to be older than me.) occupied between 50 and 75% of the entire floor of this basement. I almost found myself offended by it, but quickly snapped out of it.
At one point the entire basement became a mosh pit

At one point the entire basement became a mosh pit

Overall, it was a hell of a deal for $6. A fantastic show in some dudes house. (Full disclosure: I know who’s place it was. However, in keeping with the DIY spirit of the punk scene here, I won’t disclose the name of the tenant or the address unless they want me to promote it. These house show promoters seem to be satisfied with how big the scene is, IMO.) As someone who would never, ever dream of doing this in their own place, I was smitten by how cool and respectful attendees seemed to be to this space. One person I spoke to told me that both sides of this semi regularly held shows. I don’t mean to gush like a small child, but I just thought the whole experience was so cool. I look forward to attending more shows like this in the future. Beats the hell out of going to a club.

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This entry was posted on December 14, 2015 by in Reviews, Thoughts and tagged , , , .

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Phil [at] TheAlbumDrop [dot] ca
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