As a very wise rabbit once alluded to: you can't be late for a very important date. However that was very much the case for me on Monday as I raced from SW to SE by bus and on foot to catch Nurses opening for Born Ruffians at Holocene. I've been enchanted with the band for awhile now but still hadn't caught them live, and, of course, I was running behind schedule. Finally making my way down Morrison, I could hear that Nurses were indeed already onstage and in the middle of "Technicolor."
For the amount of songs that I was able to hear it appeared that I didn't miss much before my arrival. With John Gnorski of fellow local trio Inside Voice augmenting Nurses as a fourth member for the evening (and week-long tour) and drummer James Mitchell standing stationary, co-frontmen Aaron Chapman and John Bowers made their way back and forth between a plethora of instruments. Strumming guitars, tickling piano keys, and operating various sampling tools and pedals, both carried each song's beat on their knees while Bowers occasionally extended his arms at peak moments as if led by the ascending rhythms.
There wasn't much communication between the group and audience until a closing announcement that it was Chapman's birthday. Shouts of "happy birthday!" commenced from those in the front rows and the show was over. Much later in the night Born Ruffians gave a long enough shout-out that it could be deemed a speech, thanking Nurses for playing and mentioning the band's talent. Who knows if this will be the last pairing between the acts? Nurses has joined Born Ruffians on the bill the two times that the Toronto act has graced Holocene's stage.
Photos by Nilina Mason-Campbell