Bands Worth Watching



The Gertrudes are made up of some of Kingston’s finest people. Twelve (sometimes more) musicians of all styles coming together to create a unique blend of folk, ambient, rock, bluegrass, country and pop. The people in this band are very important to the Kingston music community. They put on shows sometimes and generally have a lot of love for the town and support other groups as much as they can. In the past couple of years they’ve played shows all across Canada, and they get lots of love from CBC Radio. Their live show is a heartwarming and ear-enchanting experience that leaves you dancing.

Madam Raz

Full disclosure alert: Benjamin and I are in this band. I play bass, and he plays drums. But we are definitely not the stars here. Carlyn Bezic (vocals, guitar) and Amanda Balsys (percussion, vocals) create these awesome groovy punk jams, and we just provide the rhythm section. Amanda also plays in the Gertrudes, and Carlyn is a gifted visual artist who has, unfortunately for Kingston, moved to Toronto.

False Face

Steve Guy and Mark Streeter write killer guitar riffs when they find time away from teaching Kingston’s finest youths about comics and literature at Queen’s University. Another full disclosure alert: I play the sloppy yet charming drums in this noise-rock trio. I basically begged these dudes to let me join the band too.

Sleuth Bears

This band is full of the kind of energy that I love in a guitar rock band—weird anxious energy. Their songs are loose and jangly, but where some bands would take things into a noisy, out of control area, Sleuth Bears maintains ice-cold control of its jittery songs. Sleuth Bears is a relatively new band (it’s releasing a debut EP this month) made up of Queen’s U’s finest young rockers and campus radio personalities. They have a style that reminds me of the “these are the clothes our parents sent us when we went to college”-vibe the Talking Heads perfected in the mid-1970s.
Next page: Venues Of Note