Toronto #12

Bloody hell, what a week! After a few quiet weeks, this week has been absolutely packed. Where to begin?

Firstly, on Tuesday, I finally got to see one of my favourite bands, Steel Panther, perform live. They were exactly as brilliant as I had hoped. Not only were they amazing at playing so many of their awesome songs, including ‘Gloryhole’, ‘Death to All But Metal’ and ‘Community Property’, but they were really great at getting the crowd going. You could feel a real sense of energy from the crowd, and everyone was clearly having a great time. I even got to chat to complete strangers about the band’s awesome music, which was nice.

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Everything I had heard about previous Steel Panther shows actually happened. Lead guitarist Satchel got challenged to guitar solos by members of the audience. Tons of women from the audience got on the stage towards the end. One or two women were even very keen to show their breasts at one point. It’s funny how the line between exaggerated parody and genuine rock band really does blur with something like Steel Panther. Especially when you’re seeing stuff like a guy in a gorilla costume shredding (not very well) on his guitar.

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Seriously.

Overall, it was an amazing night, and the nightclub, Rebel, was a really great venue for it. I’m not sure if I’ll be going there more often, but if there’s more great bands playing, I’ll definitely head down there again soon.

On Wednesday, I got to indulge my geeky side. Well, indulge it more than usual, anyway. I went and saw newly animated Troughton serial ‘The Power of the Daleks’ on the big screen with a friend. How was it? Troughton’s initial story starts off slow, but it’s definitely worth the build-up, especially in the final two episodes. I prefer ‘The Evil of the Daleks’ out of his two Dalek stories, but it was great to get the chance to experience ‘Power’ again, the first time I had done so for a couple of years, at least.

How was the animation? Clearly low budget. The human characters did tend to move a little stiffly at times. However, I liked how the environments were done, and the Daleks themselves were absolutely perfect. It’s a bit of a shame that none of the humans looked as good as the Daleks, really. Still, it was nice to watch ‘Power’ in a new visual way. It’s not as good as watching the original episodes, but it’s a decent enough substitute for what it is.

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Thursday and Friday were rather chilled, and I needed to catch up on sleep, if I’m honest. Saturday though, I decided to head downtown. There was an event that had drawn my attention on Facebook: “Heavy Metal Weekender at Cherry Cola’s”. It sounded like a good enough place, and I’ve been itching to find some kind of Toronto alternative to the Railway back in Southend – a small but decent place with a good crowd of people and good live music.

Well, I wasn’t disappointed. While I didn’t really chat to anyone down there, I enjoyed a lot of the music, and the drinks were cheap. (Especially the soft drinks. As someone who gets drunk really easily and knows their limits, there is nothing like going straight for the soft drinks just to even things out. $1 for a glass of coke? Fuck, yes!) Cherry Cola’s Rock ‘n’ Rolla Caberet & Lounge seems like exactly the kind of thing I’m looking for, and could be the kind of pub I’d visit regularly.

So that’s my week. By my standards, pretty fun and pretty packed. And this is exactly the kind of week I had been looking for since arriving in Toronto. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’m not expecting every week to be like this, and I’ve had plenty of amazing times here already. But it is nice to finally get a week that mixes some of my favourite things – live music, cool places and of course, Doctor Who! Moving away from home, even for just a couple of years, was always going to be a risky and difficult move. But this has been one more week that has made it more than worth it. Especially for sights like this:

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Because downtown Toronto is a sight I’m not going to get used to anytime soon.
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