Show review: Rah Rah, We Were Lovers, James O-L and the Villains

Rah Rah
Tom Lucier of Windsor's Phog Lounge puts together some really interesting and amazing shows. The lineup on Tues., Oct. 26 was possibly the most diverse: an acoustic version of alt folk/rock, a dance club music duo from Saskatoon and some of the best power pop to come out of Regina.
James & Steve O-L

Windsor-based band James O-L and the Villains are regulars at the Phog. However, like the Rheostats the previous week, we got a pared down version-- just James O-L and his brother Steve O-L, both on guitars. If you want to check them out with their full roster, you can download their latest album, Alive at the Colch, for free at their MySpace page.

We've seen a few people cut loose and dance at the Phog, but for the most part it's more of a head nodding and toe tapping crowd. Despite a filmy indigo curtain with their name in silver sequins emblazoned on it for a backdrop, We Were Lovers couldn't quite get the dance club vibe going. Certainly not the fault of lead singer Elsa Gebremichael and partner Ash Lamothe. Their talent-- Elsa has a powerful and lovely voice-- enthusiasm for their craft is obvious, and their music would improve the playlists at any urban club in the U.S.

Okay, we're going to try really hard not compare Rah Rah to another Regina band with an expansive cast of musicians, an equal ability to write and perform imaginative, fun and charming sing-along songs, superb vocal harmonies and numerous singles from their latest album in heavy rotation at CBC Radio 3. No language barriers here: Rah Rah's tentacles and their sophomore album, Breaking Hearts, will wrap themselves around your ears and won't let go. We don't know what's in the water in Regina, but it sure produces some great pop. There is one thing Rah Rah has the other band doesn't: RoboCat for a "manager."

Photos: Russ Gordon
RoboCat: Rah Rah