Big Fernwood show: Anal Shawarma, Androgyne (#live #local band & venue review)

Truth be told, I went to see T.O.A.D. even though they’re from Toronto because they’re friends of mine, and I didn’t know the other bands even though they’re local.  A handful of punks at the show were wearing Jobsite patches or hardhats and high-vis even, so presumably they’re well-liked but actually I dipped before T.O.A.D. or Jobsite played (my girlfriend owes me a favor now) so this is a review of the openers and Androgyne.

Are you ready?


Anal Shawarma acts like they think they’re not even good, like they’re a joke band or something. They were all like “now here’s some bands that are actually good” at the end of their set…and like, the band name really says “we’re not serious you know, like, psssh” but, the live show–this set–was another story. Like a story from another planet.

Big Fernwood, I’ll interject here, is a great venue in many respects.  The accoustics are fabulous.  The vibe is exceptionally wholesome. That’s sort of the fulcrum of the remainder of the praise and the body of the criticism: its just so scrubbed and well-lit. It has very little “punk” “atmosphere” in and of itself, to contribute to the vibe.  No one is ever going to get crowd-killed in this place but also you can’t tag the wall or drink inside.  The washroom is unisex (“all gender”) and easily accessed.  In summary, when I was visiting Toronto and got told that T.O.A.D. would soon be in Vic, I happened to be wearing a Fernwood Inn tanktop I found at a Beacon Thrift and snapped up because Big Fernwood and Little Fernwood don’t have cute summery merch shirts to hock at patrons.  That’s just not the true Fernwood, DIY vibe.  Those overpriced Fernwood Inn pieces are the next closest thing.

Moving along to the major highlight of the night and this review:


Very like, progy (? vast, industrial landscapes at times) noise from some points of view.  I found it severely cool at times, like standing in a Chelsea loft a million years ago hearing the Velvet Underground deconstruct music itself or something. But newer, y’know, like that, plus a full half-century of experimentation and expansion (with a lot of Throbbing Gristle in the middle lol).  Otherwise it reminded me of Iron Maiden kind of, but like in the best way, of course.  There’s spacey and/or operatic qualities to all these things.


There’s my buddy from T.O.A.D. setting up his merch table for Sonic Bath stuff.

Anyway, here’s them some other time.





One response to “Big Fernwood show: Anal Shawarma, Androgyne (#live #local band & venue review)”

  1. Nat Bat Avatar

    Androgyne was sick! Love your writing n videography !!

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