After a long (14hr) day of work on Friday July 25, 2014 I needed to get out, have a couple of beers and hear some loud rock and roll. A co-worker had the same thoughts and I knew just the place to be, right here in my little town north of Toronto, Ontario. I was familiar with the band Skrou, having seen them live several times at The Rockpile venues in Toronto as they set the stage for acts such as Michael Schenker among others. While the band plays a healthy dose of awesome 80’s cover material they also released their self titled debut CD back in January and slip their own tracks into the setlist as well.
Arriving around 11:30pm we entered the tiny bar in my hometown of Newmarket just in time for “A Place to Shake”, the opening track on the CD and recently released video. I always chuckle to myself as I hear this song. A good friend of mine residing near Amsterdam, Netherlands who taught himself English uses the word “shake” to mean sex and he’s always looking for a “shake”. I’m not sure if that’s the meaning here, but as the song says she’s looking for a place to shake……maybe I should introduce her to my Dutch friend! The sound in the bar was great, nice and loud but the stage was so small that it barely had enough space for the quartet as they ripped through the rest of the second of three sets. There were some member changes since I’d last caught The Skrou Rock Show with vocalist Sam Kirou and guitarist John DeFino now being joined by bassist R.C. Ricci and drummer Eric Bonatti. We were treated to covers of The Cult’s “Love Removal Machine”, KISS’ “Lick It Up” and Ratt’s “Round and Round” for which Kirou’s voice was a great match.
The third set (unfortunately we had arrived too late to catch the first) was filled with Bon Jovi’s “Wanted Dead or Alive”, Judas Priest’s “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming”, Deep Purple’s “Smoke On the Water”, The Cult’s “Little Devil”, Joe Walsh’s “Rocky Mountain Way”, Brownsville Station’s “Smokin’ in the Boys Room”, Poison’s “Nothing But a Good Time” and KISS’ “Shout it Out Loud”.
An AC/DC double encore of “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” followed by “T.N.T.” featuring bassist, R.C. Ricci on vocals shut down the night just prior to two am. Mixed in amongst these excellent cover versions were the Skrou originals, and three of the best on the debut album, “No One’s Home”, “Cold Heart” and “Ride On”. All of which settled neatly amongst the well known songs, effectively keeping the crowd rocking while introducing the original compositions. I dearly wished that I had gotten there for the earlier portion of the event to maybe hear my favorite track, “Dirty Little Fantasy”. All in all Skrou delivered spirited sets of rock and roll that enticed several attractive ladies into dancing up a storm in the few feet of space at the front of the platform/stage, perhaps they were looking for a place to shake! My co-worker was also impressed with the band, in his first experience with them and we even had a few moments to chat with extremely personable front man Sam Kirou on our way out the door as he thanked us for coming to the Skrou Rock Show.
These guys are one of the hardest working bands around having over 70 shows booked for this summer already. Trust me, get out and support great rock and roll and Skrou as they cover many towns, small and large in Southern Ontario this summer!
The debut CD was reviewed on Decibel Geek by my fellow writer Wallygator and you can check it out via this link (Giving Us A Place to Shake).