Sept. 19 – 2015: Call The Office, London, Ontario, Canada
A perfect Saturday morning starts with French pressed coffee (Dominican beans, for the curious), reading about a Toronto Blue Jays win the night before and spending time with my wife and children. Confirming the children are staying at their Uncle and Aunt’s house for the night and finding out there is a great rock n’ roll band playing right in town Saturday night start the day off well.
We had 3 reasons for heading out to the show. All in an equally important order, hence the lack of any numbering system.
–Call The Office has the new KISS Pinball machine.
-A longtime friend is in town between gigs worldwide to drum for 63 Monroe
So for those that want to know about the new KISS Pinball, wow it sure is fun. For a toonie (Canadian speak for a $2 coin) you get 3 balls. About 10 minutes later I am hitting a score of 9 million, have had 5 bonus balls and get a free game. Good value! The game itself is fun, great lights and music. You can pick which songs you want the machine to play. The artwork is awesome. I managed to hit Gene’s tongue and Paul’s ramp a few times too and get backstage too which causes the most lights it seems! If you get the chance it is worth playing.
As for our longtime friend. A well-accomplished musician, Archie Gamble has been playing for many years all over Canada and now the world. He has been in the KISS Alive tribute band back in the 90’s with Spiro Papadatos (who now works with KISS), this is when we first met Archie in Montreal and as my wife says we have been his groupies ever since. He also had a recording deal with his band The Buffalo Brothers in the 90s. Always great to see Archie, catch up and know we are in for some awesome stick work on the skins! Considering Archie had just two rehearsals with 63 Monroe before the show, he kicked it! Well done and great seeing him again. A much-underrated drummer and a gem in Canadian drummers!
Now onto 63 Monroe. The show was also a record release party for the Party Like a Rockstar A-sided vinyl release and the AA-sided Punk Rock Soldier from Steven R Stunning. How cool is it to have a punk band releasing vinyl, in pink or green and one side be the band, the other side be the singer’s solo work. I will say, both sides kick it and are great music.
Stand out tracks: “High on Rebellion”, “FUKK The Radio”, “Party Like a Rockstar”, “Punk Rock Soldier”
The show itself was awesome as has been any time we have seen the band. This is rock n’ roll! The stage presence of Steven R Stunning on vocals and Pete Dekoker on bass are second to none! They are having fun, playing great punk rock songs, and should be noted for their contribution since 1980 to the scene. Throw in awesome guitar work and drumming and we had a solid show and sound. I was duly impressed when they did a rocking rendition of “Trouble” by Pink! It is easy to understand how 63 Monroe have played the legendary CBGB’s, alongside Sylvain Sylvain of The New York Dolls, and inducted into the London Music Hall of Fame. The highlight of the night was “High On Rebellion”. Steven R Stunning wails on vocals for 63 Monroe however, for this song the lead vocals are by Pete and impressive! The lyrics are witty too and the backing vocal harmonies fill out this song that should be playing everywhere, making folks ears smile! Bad grammar, I realize, but this is punk rock! Another highlight was the “Party Like a Rockstar” tune. Never ones to take themselves seriously, it is a catchy fun song and as Steven said numerous times during the show: “we play like we are in your basement”. Keep it up 63 Monroe, I am still smiling from the best show of the year hands down!
I have to note the opening band, TV’d that also includes Pete, was a fine sounding punk band too.
– Blair De Abreu