As well as the many music venues downtown, the Robert McLaughlin Gallery also hosts music performances. Each first Friday of the month, the Gallery presents two acts along with exhibition
openings, pop-up vendors, activities, and screenings by the Durham Region International Film
Festival. Events begin at 7 p.m.
This first Friday, May 5, two-time OMA award winner Delon Om will be performing. Delon, from
Pickering is the real deal, a soul man who has also been nominated for three Canadian Latin Awards. His 2022 album ‘Theatre of Cruelty’ begins with recordings of news reporters announcing the discovery of residential school gravesites. This is a statement of intent and a frame for his music: R&B with generosity of spirit at the centre.
Also performing is Haddix. Her single ‘Crash and Burn” is as fine a piece of empower-pop as anything
this side of Lizzo or the Beaches. Haddix is from Brooklin, a small-town girl with big-time ambitions. One
It’s been a vision for some in the downtown arts community to have the RMG First Fridays act as a lead-in event for activities later in the evening and night involving local restaurants, shops and bars. The
original First Fridays movement in the US was precisely that, and this sort of grassroots business
initiative fueled Hamilton’s Supercrawl (which, this year, the 15th anniversary, is anticipating more than
275,000 people). I sense there’s greater cooperation and innovative thinking in the downtown core
these days, so perhaps this is the time for those folks in the arts to drill down and make these RMG Fridays something the entire culture community can get involved with.
Speaking of, The Penalty Box, a local supergroup of sorts, is at the Bollocks on Friday. This power trio is all that; Ted Davidson, the go-to soundman and guitarist; go-to session guy Craig Stacey is on drums; and the go-to for everything Rob Laidlaw has stepped up for Platinum Blonde, Honeymoon Suite and Kim Mitchell. So go to.
Saturday, May 6, it's off to the Atria for a great line-up of rock ‘ roll. The night starts with psychobilly duo Sick‘n Vicious; Poison Fountains bring the melodic hardcore; Vs The Borg brings the psyche-rock, melt Meddle and Raindogs, and you’re close; and G.F.U. bring the thrash!
Saturday continues with Keep The Faith, who bring the sounds of Bon Jovi to the Regent Theatre, and The Quartet puts the blues into Simcoe Blues and Jazz. Then on Sunday, May 7, Cancon rocker Ian Thomas rolls into the Regent Theatre with his Not Gone Yet tour. Thomas had a major hit with the track ‘Painted Ladies’ (it still rocks) in 1973, but he was no one-hit-wonder. Over the past 50 years, Thomas has written songs for some of the better-known American acts, had Lunch at Allens with Murray McLauchlan, Marc Jordan and Cindy Church, written two books, wrote the sound for the animated show Bob and Doug, and was regular on the Red Green show. I imagine Thomas is not done yet!