Wednesday, April 01, 2009

BURNING the Family Thrift Store Down!

It originally seemed strange that a Peterborough band would play the final set at the beloved Guelph institution, but Mathias Kom showed his connection to- and reverence for- the Guelph music scene, and in particular Ray Mitchell, the proprietor of the venue, with this show. The nine-piece settled into their instruments (including glock, synths, trumpet, dueling violins, xylo, uke and more!) that were arranged along one wall of the now-barren floor of the Family Thrift store. Full of mixed-emotions, the crowd (as crowds do) crowded around the group, as well as watching from upstairs, standing on crates, and atop empty shelves. The Burning Hell started with a new track, Tired of Playing Music, from their recently released Baby album. This provided one of the slower tracks of an otherwise rocking set (no, my personal fave It Happens in Florida didn't make it). The crowd really got going (ie:stomping down the place) for old favourites such as Grave Situation Pt. 2, and Dance Dance Dance, while also thoroughly enjoying the new tunes sprinkled amongst them.

At the strike of "eviction time" (aka 12:00am April 1st) Mathias stopped to give praise to the man who had so generously offered his space for rehearsals and shows over the many, many years. No lengthy speech was required, as all it took was "Thank you Ray Mitchell!" to induce a rumbling of clapping, that grew louder into an outstanding ovation which carried on and on, in gratitude for the generosity that had touched everyone in the room. The crescendo sounded like thunder as people stomped, hollered, clapped and sang out their praise - a truly uplifting display of respect.

After things finally settled back down The Burning Hell played I Love the Things that People Make and dedicated it to Ray, whose store had probably sold each of the things mentioned in the song at some point. As if that didn't bring the house down, the sing-along Bretton Woods definitely did, and as we sang out "And the hippies say 'I can't get enough of the green stuff'" the always-witty Ray held up a nearby sign that happened to be hanging around (as things do at a Thrift shop) that clearly read "No Hippies!". In finale, and to make sure anyone on the verge of tears was pushed over the edge, Jenny Omnichord (née Mitchell - Ray's daughter) who'd been playing all night with the band joined just Mathias for a quiet and stirring rendition of the Kom-penned Municipal Monarchs. He said it would be retired along with the Thrift Store, and the song that speaks fondly of The Royal City gave Jenny the deserved privilege of being the final person to sing in the Family Thrift Store that will now only live on in memories - for which we have Ray Mitchell to thank.

1 comment:

  1. First time reading your blog. I'm very impressed at the style and level used in your writing. Makes my posts seem juvenile and unpolished!