by Tiana Feng
This was my first year at the Manning BBQ, hosted by none other than Mr. Tim McCready. I’ve heard great things about the past ones. And if you know me, you know I can’t pass up a chance to eat some roast pig. For the price of $30, it guaranteed you entry to the show and as much food as you could eat. There were plenty of vegetarian options for those that didn’t eat meat, and the occasional offering of free beer from Blue Ribbon. The atmosphere was really lovely and intimate, with all kinds of people in the audience: spectators, media, bands and concertgoers. Everyone there was there for a good time. It was a lovely day as was the rest of NXNE.
As I stepped in, I led into the living room where the harp twins were gracing us with their beautiful harp music. They played mostly covers of pop songs including Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing, which everyone attempted to sing along to. Camille and Kennerly are indeed twins and you can see a bunch of videos of their performances on their website.
Following the twins was Julie Doiron with some folk tunes. There were a bunch of fans in the audience that yelled out some of her song titles, and she gladly played them.
Next we headed to the basement where a band called Cola Heads were playing. They sound kind of like what you wish your high school punk band was. Their songs were quick with simple tongue and cheek lyrics. They were backed by the drummer of The Balconies.
Then we were back outside for some more music. This time it was little grade school band Unfinished Business. It was pretty adorable and funny. They played short songs about their friends and school as a 10 year old.
Back into the living room we went. Marnie Herald sang some folk tunes and was later joined by Catherine Stockhausen on keyboard. It was a comfortable set (although seeming quite unrehearsed) and they finished with a cover of Stevie Nick’s Wild Heart.
So around this time, I noticed hundreds of people gathering in the backyard.
It turns out they were part of a Toronto group called CHOIR!CHOIR!CHOIR!. They sung arrangements of pop songs that put smiles on all the faces in the audience. The arrangements didn’t try too hard to be fancy and was easy enough for those watching to join along.
Then it was Little Orton Hoggett and His Ten Cent Wings. What a name. I noticed the drummer was one of the members of Sloan and he had one of the cutest kids ever at the BBQ. They played a bunch of covers but also an original (my favourite) called Honky Tonk Modulation. The song modulated into random keys and it was a blast.
Following, was Brooklyn New York’s Shellshag. They built the mic stand they used themselves, so that they could face themselves while they play. The girl had bells on her shoes to add to the percussion. For two people they can have a pretty thunderous and big sound.
Shellshag- Resiliant Bastard
My favourite performer of the night was Buck 65. His song lyrics and antics are just hilarious. I don’t know how he can keep a straight face. Marnie Herald also joined in for the songs he usually has female vocalists for. I loved that he was so friendly and treated the BBQ as if he was just performing at a friend’s house. He kept the friendly atmosphere going.
Before heading off for the night, I quickly stole a spot in the living room for Cousins while Choir!Choir!Choir! was performing another round. It became pretty packed. Megan from Purity Ring sat beside us on the couch. They played a loud set and rocked it even in such a small space.
The Manning BBQ was one of my favourite parts of NXNE, and I’m pretty sure I’ll be back again!