MACABRE MUSIC: FAITH & THE MUSE, JOHNNY HOLLOW LIVE IN TORONTO

Johnny Hollow cellist Kitty Thompson

Toronto’s creatures of the night came out in full force last night to sup on the sinful sounds of local Goth trio Johnny Hollow and the act they helped bring to town, America’s Faith & The Muse. This was FATM’s first local show in 11 years so the 90-minute delay to the start of their set (border troubles, of course) was only a minor impediment.

Johnny Hollow has built up a solid local following in the last couple of years, packing the Horseshoe Tavern on a Monday night this winter (despite the doubts of the ‘Shoe’s booking agents, we were told) and now drawing a solid crowd to the El Mocambo, a nice follow-up to their gig at the same venue on Devil’s Night last year. Here is the band performing their cover of The Sisters of Mercy classic ‘Temple of Love’:

And here they are playing their own song, ‘Worse Things’:

Janine White of Johnny Hollow

Not being overly familiar with Faith and the Muse, the DLB was curious, having only heard a few songs and watched the YouTube trailer for the Toronto show:

Monica Richards of Faith and the Muse

The result was mesmerizing, a phantasmagorical display of hypnotic rhythms, atmospheric music and a theatrical presentation. Core members Monica Richards (vocals) and William Faith (guitar, vocals, electric cello, drums) were joined by six other multi-instrumentalists to play an alternately beautiful and compelling blend of Gothic, Celtic and tribal tracks. Not being familiar with the band’s catalogue, I haven’t been able to name these songs but feel free to comment if you know their titles:

William Faith, almost in focus

Here’s hoping we don’t need to wait another 11 years before FATM’s next Toronto show. Johnny Hollow’s, by the way, is June 6 at Neutral (349A College St. at Augusta) with Attrition.

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