Last night I popped into Cherry Cola’s Rock ‘n’ Rolla Cabaret and Lounge, legendary Toronto sanctuary of sin. What was going down? Besides the luscious lady in the window dancing with dainty delirium, Jack The Lads opened up a manic Mod Night, full of sweat, stripping, and savage songs of a bygone era, still very much relevant to the apathetic young, and bitter old today. A throwback genre in its re-animation, it’s no wonder why it appeals to both.
I had the privilege to speak to, and receive a whisky from, lead singer of Blackdog Ballroom, Mike Stanfield, before he went on to rock the rollas at Cherry Cola’s. A down-to-earth, and chill Mod chic (which may be a redundant title), he was electric both off and on stage.
Rocking out The Beatles, Stones, The Who, Oasis, and some even more fantastic originals, Blackdog Ballroom killed the night in the best way, and if the decor wasn’t already overwhelmingly red, Mike, and company would have painted Cherry Cola’s the healthy bordello red it already is.
When asked about the band, ears bleeding, avid fan Sean Kennedy called out above the crowd “impeccably dressed, outrageously messed good time”.
Some contentions, as there must always be in review, I found the mix a little lacking, if only because I cared to hear the entire band, and missed most of the backing vocals from bassist Hayley, and lead guitarist Mat. And regarding the rest of the band (perhaps not including drummer Rob for the sheer fact that I could not see him most of the night), I felt they had not the conductor to receive the electricity that coursed through Stanfield. Terrifically tight players all, and certainly in their own grooves, it seemed they did not quite groove on the same wave length as Mike. The closest, perhaps, was Hayley, consistently necking guitars with Stanfield, though one could not help but feel the band was a little too behind their fearless front man.
Regardless of how the band looked though, in playing, they were phenomenal, and got the house roaring for more, and more, as Quadrophenia projected above them, giving a riotous inkling to the fanatic crowd. And if that wasn’t enough, surprise guests, Queens of the Stone Age caught the set, and Jay Macedo, and Cherry Cola’s own Mat Groopie hopped up on stage and blew the eardrums of every ecstatic guest in the place (Iggy Pop was meant to be there, but had to bail).
All in all, whether you’re a Mod fan or not, Blackdog Ballroom is the way to go for a randy rockin’ rolla; especially at Cherry Cola’s. This ain’t no Debutante ballroom. This is the fucking Blackdog Ballroom! Check them out HERE!