Editor’s note: computer problems have caused this to be a half-assed Sunday Music Spotlight. That’s not a reflection of the band or its music. Just a reflection of how badly Microsoft blows. Now, on with the band’s bio, from their MySpace page.
With three years and hundreds of shows under their belts, the Toronto roots-rock trio The Schomberg Fair have developed a reputation for their hard-breathing, sweat-stained, late-night speed-gospel sets. It is with great pride that they announce the release of their sophomore long player “Gospel” – out October 2009 on Hi-Hat Records / Sonic Unyon Distribution.
The Schomberg Fair’s music grapples with the inclination to destroy oneself, the desire to be saved, and the hope of better things ahead. The band itself was born out of the near destruction of the musical ambitions of lead singer, guitarist/banjo and primary songwriter Matt Bahen. At 24, Bahen cut off all of the fingers from his left hand in a work accident, and had them reattached. While recuperating, he reconnected with high school friend Nathan Sidon, and the two bonded over their mutual appreciation of pre-war blues. It was as Bahen regained movement in his digits that The Schomberg Fair was born, named for the spring agricultural fair of their small Ontario hometown, the one time a year that teenage townies look forward to most. With the addition of drummer Pete Garthside’s thunderous beat and high lonesome vocals harmonies, along side Sidon’s punk-rock bass technique and rich bass vocal and you’re left with an inferno of a whiskey-swilling good time and an unforgettable Saturday night.
The true stories songwriter Bahen has been privy to in his job as an outreach worker heavily inspires ‘Gospel’. These are tales of the dispossessed, the hurt, the vulnerable, the lost, the cruel and ultimately, the survivors. But the music is raucous, rousing and wild – it is within this dichotomy that the band shines brightest. The result is a sober reality with decidedly dynamic delivery.
This past year has seen The Schomberg Fair touring everything from dive bars to major festivals across Canada and the United States, sharing stages with Canadian indie stars (The Handsome Furs, Slim Twig, The Pack AD), international imports (The Oholics), and even 85-year-old blues legend T-Model Ford. Look for them as they cross Canada once again this fall.
“Angel Wings”, live
“John the Revelator”, traditional, live