bizZarh Drake Underground, Toronto ON, May 10
Published May 11, 2015The Punch Records: Best of British Showcase was scheduled to begin at 6:30 on Sunday (May 10), rounding out the end of Canadian Music Week, but by 7 p.m. the place was still well lit and empty. "It's been pushed back until 8," explained the woman at the door, "because people were busy all day with Mother's Day plans." While that's a very cute reason to postpone a show, it meant that the already brief set times — eight acts in under three hours — were further condensed, making the whole event a series of truncated performances. Maybe this was a smart move: with only a few minutes to do their thing, each artist could only show off the best of their work before disappearing, leaving no time for the audience to get bored.
It was 8:45 before bizZarh went on. Combined with the surreal-ness of being in the basement of the Drake (a venue that feels a little like a cross between a high school auditorium and a night club) and the Beckett-ness of waiting for a show that was always being pushed back, it was the perfect setting for the Toronto duo's dreamlike music.
Charli Champ and Dollar Paris met when they were in high school, which doesn't seem like it was too long ago for them. Charli acted as the front woman, interacting with the crowd, reminding them to listen with their heart and "not just with your senses." Paris hung back, her voice an ethereal, hypnotic complement to Charli's mellow rapping.
They opened with "pluto.wav," a song that set the tone with the lines, "Almost anything we do, actually everything we do is awesome." Most of their songs contained references to self-love, magic, being magic, casting spells and the universe. They played an audio clip about being a rebel, spoken, as Charli explained, by "Eartha Kitt, a.k.a. my mom." They were lovely and powerful. The set ended as soon as it began. It could have lasted an infinity, and still felt too short.