There was more pre-show intrigue circling this one than you’ll typically see at a CMW set. Jesse and the Dandelions didn’t bring cymbals and there were none present at the bar—band members and CMW staffers were running in circles, searching for loaners. Their bass player was a no-show as well, though they knew about that two days in advance.
A replacement bassist was recruited and learned the group’s songs in under 48 hours. Cymbals eventually turned up as well—a band member located some at a bar down the street. The only noticeable consequence of these tribulations was a short set, but Jesse Northey and crew were prepared to impress from song one.
The quartet has been described as Flaming Lips-like and that was certainly evident (see them covering “Race for the Prize” below, for a taste). They also reminded of modern Canadian guy-girl harmony groups like The Salteens and Young and Sexy. Their material is intelligent and catchy—see “Til The End” above—and their sophomore album, out later this year, should make a splash.
Kudos on the enthusiasm in the face of a crowd that was 80% staff and other bands.