Dead Obies, Brown, KNLO, Laurence Nerbonne, Les Deuxluxes and more @ FME 9/2/2016

My Friday in Rouyn-Noranda began with a pool party hosted by label, Bonsound.

We enjoyed BBQ as industry and artists gathered around a pool. It was a bit too cold to actually go in it. Les Deuxluxes gave us a stripped down performance without drums. The duo’s album Spingtime Devil had just come out the same day. Their bilingual two person rock tunes paired with the beautiful blue sky.

The lovely weather also lent itself well to La Colonie de Vacances, a mind-blowing experimental showcase in the city hall (Place de la Citoyenneté) featuring 4 bands (Papier Tigre, Electric Electric, Pneu and Marvin) playing at once. They would play off each other like a game of pong but it would magically all sound as if one band was making one song together. The public square really lent for this type of project, creating excitement for anybody who walked by. I wondered how many hoops we’d have to go through to pull something like this off in Toronto.

Wth 4 bands playing at the exact same time #fme2016

A video posted by Tiana Feng (@tianafeng) on

Next my adventures took me too Laurence Nebonne (of the now defunct Hôtel Morpheé) at Salle la Légion. She may sing in all French but sugary electropop breaks barriers and can get anyone dancing. I find for those that are somewhat bilingual, she sings in a way that isn’t too hard to understand and she is a great songwriter, as the lyrics of “Rêves d’été” won her the 2016 Prix SOCAN. My favourite part was when she sang and rapped “Balade Luxeu$e” which is usually done with the help of Larry Kid from Loud Lary Ajust.

Speaking of rap, I spent a few hours at Scène Paramount for the hip-hop showcase. I ran into VNCE, the DJ from Dead Obies who told us that the opener KNLO was a legend, and well respected in the underground hip-hop and beat making scene. KNLO (akaKen-Lo Croqnote) is also in hip-hop collective Alaclair Ensemble. As I learned this weekend, Quebec artists frequently have roles in other projects. Performing numbers from L’AN 16 a video album that was released in April. His raps possessed a classic vibe to them.

Up next was a family affair. Robin Kerr (from Uprising) and his two sons Jam (from Alaclair Ensemble) and Snail Kid from Dead Obies make up Brown. The result is a mixture of old meets new rap with a bit of reggae infused. Kerr held his Uprising roots by playing guitar. I thought it was some of the coolest music anyone could possibly make with their dad. Despite Snail Kid being injured and in a wheelchair, the family group was full of energy.

Snail Kid remained on stage for the next set, party-rap group Dead Obies. With 6 members, there was never a dull moment on stage for the entire of Obies’ set. I find it hilarious that there is like a member for every type of person and their voices are so different but lend to different parts. Their bilingual rap got everyone excited and singing along to banging rhymes like “Where They @”, “Montreal $ud”, and “Moi pis mes hommies”. Of course they finished with the aggressively fast and entertaining “Tony Hawk” with a few words changed live to yell Taylor Swift and Ryan Gosling in the finale. I don’t think any other group could get away with yelling that randomly.

Though Snail Kid was injured, his bandmates pushed him about in a wheelchair and it looked effortlessly cool, in a way that could inspire those who are differently-abled that they could do anything.

The day came full circle as I ended the night with Les Deuxluxes’ full set. What was missing earlier in the day was Étienne Barry’s drumset which he plays at the same time as his guitar. Anna Frances Meyer and Barry decked out in coordinated colourful outfits as they brought down the house at Scène Évolu-Son as I ended my night 2 of FME.

Stay tuned for Part 3!