The quiet will ring
In my ears underneath
As I’m starting to sink
And as I see the bottom
It’s all I can do
To keep waiting, and waiting, and waiting for you
I keep waiting, waiting, waiting for you…
Katie Munshaw’s angelic voice glides through the bridge of “Backstroke,” my favourite track off Dizzy‘s impeccable debut album Baby Teeth. The album ranks high on my list of best releases of 2018 and recently picked up a JUNO Award for Alternative Album of the Year. It was the last song before Dizzy’s encore during a sold-out show at The Casbah in Hamilton this past Sunday, April 21.
First up, Toronto artist Ruby Waters kicked off the night. Starting the set with electric guitar, I was immediately impressed with her smokey, soulful vocals. What I assumed would remain in a singer-songwriter, guitar-based vein, quickly switched to Ruby ditching the guitar and pressing play on some backing beats for a few more really solid pop/R&B songs. If you missed this show, watch Ruby’s stripped down Audiotree North performance of “Sweet Sublime” and keep this artist on your radar.
Then it was time for Dizzy! The Casbah was packed with smiling fans, swaying to the dreamy melodies and mouthing along the lyrics. “Toronto was louder,” teased Katie as she tried to get the audience to harmonize. That did it. The crowd came out of its collective shell after that. Jokes aside, the Hamilton stop of Dizzy’s spring tour was a memorable one for the band. “Hamilton is so special to us. We have so many pals here,” related Katie, giving a shout out to local band Basement Revolver (Katie was also sporting the band’s tee). Basement Revolver singer and guitarist Chrisy Hurn was among the audience giving that love right back to the stage, and fellow band member Nimal Agalawatte was behind the booth on sound as part of Casbah’s staff.
Some more local love – guitarist Alex Spencer strummed a Jillard Guitars original during the show, and creator Jay Jillard was in attendance. “Jay’s the best. If you’re from Hamilton and play music, you know who he is.”
Katie also gave a thoughtful shoutout to their friend Nathan Savelli of Hamilton, who is embarking on a Ride to Remember with his partner Shantal to raise funds for Alzheimer Society of Canada. The band even made it possible to contribute to the cause back at their merch table. “Hamilton is just really wonderful, isn’t it?” said Katie, while raising her glass to the city.
There’s a bitterness and
A mellow sting
It was always in vain
It was always in vain
The band’s lyrics by Katie and Charlie Spencer (also on drums/synths/acoustic guitar/vocals) are as heartbreaking as Katie’s delicate delivery. So many lines struck me during their set, despite having listened to the album countless times. The audience had Katie’s back during “Joshua,” as she raised both middle fingers in the air, with a few people raising them back in solidarity.
Dizzy also treated us to an upbeat new song titled “Twist” which was a nice addition to their generally slower-paced repertoire. “If you’re here for us… I guess you are here for us,” says Katie with a soft laugh. “We’re used to being the opening band.” She added, “Maybe you’ll dance with us,” before delivering the new song with a smile.
For the encore, the four musicians didn’t even need to leave the stage and flowed into “Bleachers” with Charlie jumping from drums to acoustic guitar for a folkier rendition of the song, rather than the punchy backbeat of the recorded version we’re familiar with.
If there’s no heaven
We’ll meet in space
And then we’ll pirouette
Around all the things man made
“If you know this one, it will bring you right down and then we’ll go to bed,” said Katie before playing the album’s stunning closer “Pirouette” for a dreamy finish. What a treat to see Dizzy again, since their last Hamilton show on Labour Day for their label Royal Mountain Records’ first festival. Any chance to see Dizzy now in a small club shouldn’t be taken for granted; this band is something special.
Thank you to The Casbah for guest list to attend the show.