March 31, 2010

Toronto Police to shake down city’s historic el Mo club to cut live album

Toronto’s el Mocambo nightclub is known by rock music aficionados as the historic venue where the Rolling Stones made Love You Live and Elvis Costello laid down his Live at the el Mocambo in the 1970s. This year, on May 15th the Grade 1 Toronto Police Pipe Band will hit the “El Mo” to record what it hopes to be another important live album in the history of new music.

The recording will be the first in 15 years for the Toronto Police, which last produced On The Beat in 1995 under former Pipe-Major Jake Watson’s leadership.

The band had hoped to release a recording of its concert at the Festival Interceltique in Lorient, Brittany, last August, but heavy rain pelting the venue’s marquee interfered with the sound, causing what Pipe-Major Ian K. MacDonald described as “background ambient rainy buzz – like a massed-band of bees hovering overhead.”

The band will share proceeds from the event with the el Mocambo’s in-house charity. The relatively small capacity and exclusivity of the club will mean that the $20 tickets to the Toronto Police show will be limited. Tickets are available directly from the venue.


“We were looking for a project that was a little out of the ordinary – that sort of approach really pumps up the team,” said MacDonald. “The el Mocambo fit the bill in a big way. With an interesting club atmosphere it’s definitely not the usual sort of place for a pipe band concert. I’m looking forward to a great show and a lot of fun.”

The band said they have “a few tricks up our sleeves,” and have been working on a new medley that continues the approach the band first took in 2008 with its much-debated “Variations on a Theme of Good Intentions” medley and maintained with last year’s “Idiomatica.”

The band plans to travel to Scotland to compete at the Cowal Pipe Band Championships in the Grade 1 medley event.




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