Toronto is lucky to be home to to so many fantastic bands and music venues, and a few weeks ago I got to visit a new-to-me place to see a band with a brand new name. Habits Gastropub played host to the newly coined Birds of Bellwoods, featuring Stevie Joffe on mandolin and vocals, Adrian Morningstar on guitar and vocals, Kintaro Akiyama on Upright Bass and Backup Vocals, and Chris Blades on Banjo and Backup Vocals.
The night opened up with a trio of opening acts with the standout being Kenisha Humber. The gal has an incredible set of pipes and wowed the crowd with her vocal abilities and awesome vibe. I was so impressed and look forward to making a point to see her perform again.
The Birds of Bellwoods' set did not disappoint. There have been some changes in the band and I was stoked to see the addition of the banjo and upright bass; The dynamic of the four-piece certainly suits the folk sound that they've been honing. The four of them are solid musicians and bring great energy and talent to the group. Joffe's lyrics are heartfelt and often heartbreaking, giving you the sense that he is an old soul who has seen a lot in his time. Their harmonies are stellar and Adrian and Stevie do a good job at keeping the crowd engaged and appear to be having a ball whilst doing so. Their songs are charming and enjoyable and the crowd was with them every step of the way.
The boys have a gig coming up tonight at the Horseshoe Tavern at 9pm along with some residencies at Round Venue and Habits and are currently in the midst of recording an EP. I'm stoked to see how the band evolves now that they're a four piece and look forward to attending more of their shows in the future.
You can find Birds of Bellwoods all over the internet to keep up with their music and upcoming shows