Hello Beautiful / Hotel Royal
Johnny B's, Whitby ON November 28
Newcomers to the Durham Region's music scene Hotel Royal, named after Whitby's premier adult entertainment establishment, at no point embodied a sleazy, immoral or lowbrow performance. Their show lasted roughly a half-hour playing from their four-track EP, one new song and a worthy cover of "Rebel Yell."
After a short lived introduction Hotel Royal skipped past the novelties of conversing with the crowd and opted to let their sound do the speaking. They played a well constructed proportion of rock with a bit of blues, pop with a bite and lead singer Chris Hepburn's Mick Jagger-like mannerisms sealed the deal on the package that is Hotel Royal. It was a promising performance through and through and now the band's best bet is to get to practice on time and keep on writing.
This was a night that, at its most basic, showcased some of the finer musical acts that are protruding from Whitby. Hello Beautiful, who have been a busy band for the past while touring across Canada, and dipping into the U.S. on occasions, finally had the opportunity to play to their hometown crowd who yearned for a belting of Soundtrack For Scenario. They didn't miss a beat, they didn't mess around and surely they didn't let the crowd stand still on their feet. MC Charlie Royal's lyrical exchanges were tight and guitarist/vocalist Cole Martin's supporting vocal harmonies provided a glossy backdrop for Royal.
Hello Beautiful's rhythm section kept the jazzy engine purring and churned out the funky grooving melodies. The crowed was toppled by their pop/ska/ hip-hop fusion through favourites "Saint Andrew's Bridge," "Virginia Symphony," "Say Hey!" and "Words." Their set caused a dance floor eruption and a constant interchange between the crowd and band made for an endearing set. HB got enough love from the crowd to play an encore and left the stage while the crowed raged.
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