Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
Story & Photos By: Kieron Yates – mtltimes.ca
Music in the 90s was something of an anomaly. Genres were appearing out of thin air while others were revamped and presented as new again ñ genres such as Swing Revival, and if the Montreal International Jazz Festival is anything to go by, Swing is back again, baby! Big time!
After an eighteen year hiatus, California’s Big Bad Voodoo Daddy returned to Montreal to play two sets in one night, as part of the free selection of shows on offer from the jazz fest. During both segments, people crowded the Place Des Festivals portion of Place Des Arts in droves. For as far as the eye could see, people danced and clapped along, some swinging their parents with fierce momentum, as the energy from the horns on stage drummed through the mammoth audience that swarmed to the Scene TD stage.
During what was perhaps one of the greatest sets of the entire festival, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy pumped out fan favorites such as ‘Mr. Pinstripe Suit” and ‘The Jitters”, “Go Daddy-O” and “Minnie The Moocher”, and best of all, “You & Me & The Bottle Makes Three”. It was more than just the music that beckoned back to days of yore, as their wardrobes also had a heavy hand in the creation of that atmosphere. Classy suits and all manor of hats, slicked back hair. Even the instruments seem to conjure up images of a bygone era; and it was all a treat for the eyes and ears, and for many, the feet too. Although, I’m sure quite a few were hobbling about on blisters come morning. I couldn’t help but dream of Montreal during the height of American prohibition, when our great city became the mecca of booze staved travelers. When this weary ol’ town earned its reputation for a sin city, and music and burlesque was in full blossom. Not forgetting the famous Cafe Cleopatra just a stones throw away from all the festivities. What a time it must have been on the streets of Montreal.
Music never really dies. Styles may come and go, only to be revived and dragged back to the limelight. And the proof is in the pudding, and the retro styles are back in full… swing!