Young Doctors in Love Bring Earth Day to Sneaky Dee’s
On Thursday night I made my way into College Street’s infamous grimy bar and rock club Sneaky Dee’s. I headed up the stairs, beer in hand, ready for the usual debauchery. But by the time local Toronto act Young Doctors in Love hit the small stage shortly after eleven we had no idea what we were in for.
I had discovered Young Doctors in Love a few days prior and had been listening to the tracks off their recent debut EP “5 Golden Greats” on Myspace. This really led me to expect a pretty rambunctious show. However, to my surprise, the band began their set sitting down. From my experience in the rock world this could only mean one thing: an acoustic set! In honor of Earth Day, the band promised to play mostly acoustic and even attempt to play a few songs entirely unplugged. In the loud boisterous confines of Sneaky Dee’s this seemed to be an all but impossible feat although an admirable one none the less.
When the band kicked in they provided the crowd with some bittersweet melodies harkening back to the sounds of Kim Deal of The Breeders. Lesley McRae on guitar and Jen Short on keys sang in almost perfect harmony throughout the show while the rhythm section plowed along in traditional pop fashion. A fun note is how Chris Hudson played a Rubbermaid storage tub as part of his drum kit.
When the time came for the band to play their no amp, entirely Earth friendly unplugged set I was really unsure if it would work at all. Even as the revelers in the back of the bar grew louder and more raucous, the audience crowded in closer. Despite this, the guys trudged along through it with some great tunes like “Eloise and Her Sister Marta”, an obvious highlight by far. The music seemed so utterly optimistic and bright, full of energy and good vibes, which stood in complete contrast to the dingy surroundings and made for an unforgettable experience.
One of the most unique things about Sneaky Dee’s upstairs level (as opposed to almost every other music venue in the city) is its wraparound window. Throughout the show I couldn’t help but continually glance outside to see what was going on, watching the streetcars go by and people walking up and down the street. As I continued to do this I found the music start to make more and more sense to me, with its simple repetitive melodies and optimistic chorus lines. It’s not the music of dingy bars but more so it seemed to capture the beat of the city and its energy. This is the music of our most simple desires expressed with an almost childlike innocence. This band really gets it.
– WRITTEN BY DYLAN, PHOTOGRAPHY BY GENEVIEVE