Focus on Indie: United Steelworkers of Montreal

Photo by Trevor Weeks

Who: The United Steelworkers of Montreal

From: Montreal, Quebec

Genre: Folk bluegrass punk swing gospel, or ‘citygrass’

Check out: The track Meaner Than You from the band’s 2007 release Kerosene and Coal.

On the Web: Everything United Steelworkers of Montreal can be found on the band’s website, including videos, bios and an extensive list of members-past.

My Take

Co-fronted by two contrary stage personas — the sweet and sexy Felicity Hamer, and Gern f., a growly curmudgeon-like giant — the United Steelworkers of Montreal are one in a handful of Canadian indie touring bands that I never miss.  Now, I say “stage personas” because, while Felicity is indeed sexy as the dickens, in reality the “sweet” part might be a tad off the mark (in a crazy party ’til dawn kinda way).  And Gern, well, he’s really just one big pussycat at heart.  Thirty seconds of conversation with him will prove it.  Yep.  A giant, scary-lookin’, mohawked, voice like a finely tuned chainsaw, pussycat.

Artfully messy, the music of the United Steelworkers of Montreal is a torrid affair entwining genres from opposite ends of the spectrum, using just a bit of grace and a whole lotta heart.  It’s never boring, keeps you on your toes, will make you smile… and laugh… and dance, and it goes down perfectly with a lovely shot of Bulleit Bourbon.  It’s always a joy to see a band that loves what they do.  And these guys love it in the face!  How can you not love ’em back for it?

The United Steelworkers of Montreal will make a stop in Sault Ste. Marie on the evening of Saturday, February 12 at Loplops Gallery-Lounge (651 Queen Street East).  If you live in the Sault, and you’re a fan of live music, and you choose to miss this show…… well, you’re kinda lame.

See ’em Live

Feb 10 – Wakefield QC @ The Blacksheep

Feb 11 – Sudbury ON @ The Townehouse

Feb 12 – Sault Ste. Marie @ Loplops

Feb 14 – Thunder Bay ON @ The Apollo

Feb 15 – Winnipeg MB @ Times Changed

Feb 17 – Saskatoon SK @ Lydia’s

Feb 18 – Calgary AB @ Ironwood Stage and Grill

Feb 19 – Colman AB @ Blackbird Coffee House

Feb 20 – Nelson BC @ The Royal

Feb 22 – Vancouver BC @ The Railway Club

Feb 23 – Revelstoke BC @ The Big Eddy Pub

Feb 24 – Golden BC @ Rockwater Bar and Grill

Feb 25 – Canmore AB @ The Drake

Feb 26 – Lethbridge AB @ The Slice

Mar 3 – Toronto ON @ Lee’s Palace w/Sunparlor Players

Mar 4 – Kitchner ON @ The Boathouse

Mar 5 – Hamilton ON @ This Ain’t Hollywood

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