In our high school days, my friends and I would “blast” The Budos Band through the hallways with a gigantic sound system, causing a groovy ruckus and annoying our peers with instrumental soul dance hits.
On our way home we would catch Jeremiah Lockwood, the lead singer of Sway Machinery, busking in the Union Square subway station with a guitar, harmonica, and tambourine. Sway Machinery has been described as funk with an old-style Jewish cantor.
When I moved to Montreal, I soon caught wind of The Youjsh, a six-piece band that uses klezmer sounds and complicated compositions to create infectious dancing music.
Once in a while worlds collide. This Saturday, The Budos Band, Sway Machinery, and The Youjsh will be playing Pop Montreal at Club Lambi. For me, it will be an intergalactic planetary explosion. Actually, I can imagine everyone present will experience some kind of cosmic disturbance.
“We seem to be a regular fixture now,” says Malcolm Sailor, composer and founder of The Youjsh. The Youjsh is definitely a prominent Montreal band: they’ve been playing Pop shows for the last two years, played a show with tUnE-YarDs this summer, and recently opened for Socalled. This isn’t hard to believe. As Sailor says, “It’s music that you can listen to on an intellectual level…and music that’s got a party atmosphere to it.”
The headliner, The Budos Band, is influenced by 60s soul, Ethiopian jazz, and afrobeat. Don’t worry, though: you don’t need to know anything about their roots. Whenever The Budos Band is selected by the DJ, the whole dancefloor starts moving – they’re an instant crowd-pleaser. With ten members – sometimes more – you’d think that they’d crowd the stage. On the contrary, the atmosphere is one of teamwork and camaraderie, both among the players themselves and with the other bands.
Even though The Youjsh didn’t arrange the show, Pop Montreal’s pairing of the three bands isn’t surprising: they all try hard to infuse dance with a smart, playful vibe. The result is a barrage of well-crafted grooviness that will effortlessly guide you to a state of ecstasy.