Velvet Black took the stage and rocked the house at the Hard Luck on June 7th. The Quebecois band played to a smaller audience, but lead singer, Gee has a velvet smooth voice. The band is an odd fit for a hard rock tour, accompanied by Old James, Crucified Barbara and Girlschool. They have a lighter rock sound but are a good addition to Old James.
Crucified Barbara changed the entire demeanor of the event as a beautiful Swedish storm blew in. This all-female band was a hard won favourite of the evening for most. The crowd thickened in anticipation as these warrior princesses mounted the stage. All three ladies have a unified presence and yet stand out as individual performers. Lead singer, Mia Coldheart and lead guitarist, Klara Force especially, standing out as strong female musicians.
Crucified Barbara has a very defined and specific sound, a perfect lead-in to Girlschool. They played both “Killed by Death” and “Please Don’t Touch” off their tribute album to Motorhead. These song choices complimented Girlschool, in a long time parternship with Motorhead which began as the all-female band as an opener for the "Overkill" tour in 1979.
"Guilty As Sin" NORTH AMERICAN TOUR 2015
Journalist, and photographer: Kaeleigh Phillips
Published: July 23, 2015
@ Hard Luck bar
Toronto, ON Canada
June 7, 2015
Presented by Inertia Entertainment
Old James came on next, and Brian Stephenson brought an element to the stage often lost in modern live performance; fearless passion. Stephenson isn’t afraid to get on his knees and belt it out, considerably an addition to his recent successes in Old James. Stephenson arises from the metal scene, playing in the past as bassist for Annihilator. Brian and drummer, Chris Stephenson were both members of Aggressor as well, and are currently in Old James together.
Old James is a substantially more bluesy music project, but still hangs onto a metal element in its performance style. The Stephenson brothers rocked the Hard Luck and prepared the crowd for the following act, Crucified Barbara.
Girlschool mounted the stage soon after and the house went wild. They began by playing “Screaming Blue Murder” which had been released on that very day 30 years ago on the album “Screaming Blue Murder”. It was a special moment to share with the crowd at the Hard Luck.
Noticeably, the crowd had several female fans in the audience as Girlschool is one of the longest playing all-female rock bands and has inspired many female music lovers. Two all-female bands performing in a hard rock/metal genre is a sight to see. Girlschool have been playing consistently for over 35 years and still bring a kick-ass show to the stage.
The band was on the tail end of their tour yet still had a strong show. They played all of the crowd favourites for their Canadian fans including “C’mon Let’s Go” which had their dedicated fans singing along passionately, fists in the air.
At one point, firecracker Enid Williams demanded photographers turn their flashes off or she would dismount the stage and kick their royal asses. Lead guitarist, Jackie Chambers shared banter with Williams and Kelly Johnson, demonstrating the on-stage relationship that ensues from playing for years together.
Overall, the Girlschool show was one of the best events at the Hard Luck thus far this year and each of those bands would be highly recommended to witness in a live setting. Well done ladies and gents.