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Toronto Calling

Stuart Bailie | 16:35 UK time, Monday, 24 September 2007

Stuart Bailie.jpgI haven't been to Toronto for a few years, but happily, it's still looking good. The people are civil, the second hand bookshops are stacked high and the bohemian strip around Queens St West is tremendously cultured.

Last night I saw Akron / Family at the inappropriately named Lee's Palace. It was in fact a dingey joint, but the music was remarkable. The A/F posse look like vagabonds and unabombers and they play loads of instruments in a style that's designed to hypnotise and to trip the consciousness. They were also the backing band for a recent Hal Wilner CD of sea shanties, but I wouldn't hold that against them.

Anyway, myself and some pals took as much of this as jet lag would allow. They were harmonising like the mice from Bagpuss. They had whistles and hand drums. They played 'Turn On Your Love Light' like Them on extra gospel juice. And the Canadians seemed to like it a great deal.

Polaris_Rogers_logo.gifTonight we're on the door for the Polaris Awards - the Canadian version of the Mercurys. The nominees include the Arcade Fire, Stars, The Dears and the Besnard Lakes. All proof that the artist from these parts are currently giving it socks. Catch you presently...

Stu Bailie presents The Late show on Radio Ulster, every Friday from 10pm until midnight. See his playlist here.

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