071507 The Village People/Peaches & Herb/A Taste of Honey/Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings/Deadstring Brothers/Sam Roberts Band/King Sunshine, Ottawa, ON

Posted by

I don’t know what kept me from the Ottawa Bluesfest on the last Saturday of the 2007 season – probably related to poor weather or perhaps poor judgment (the headliner was Kanye West) – but it certainly points to the fact that with an embarrassment of riches in the entertainment department an Ottawa music aficionado like myself could afford to put his feet up and relax in his own backyard once in a while.

Not anymore, but I digress.

However, I did attend the ultimate day of the festival on July 15th, where I started my day with King Sunshine on the Black Sheep Stage, after which I bounced from stage to stage taking in snippets of sets from the likes of Sam Roberts Band, Deadstring Brothers, and Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings.  And while the steak was clearly being served elsewhere, the true sizzle of the evening was the closing act on the main stage, a retro nostalgia act if there ever was one called (it makes me a bit queasy just typing this) the Solid Gold Dance Party.

For those fortunate enough to miss out on ’70’s television, there was a game show (I suppose it was a game show) called Solid Gold Dancers that featured tanned Californians engaged in a disco dance head cutting competition.  It was horrible and I was a very regular viewer, and as embarrassing as that was, even at the time I knew it was no worse than my uncle Don and his attraction to Grand Prix Wrestling.  Anyway, that’s obviously where they got the name for this disco revue, but I don’t think host Danny Terrio was involved (though I bet he wished he was).

I think KC and his Sunshine Band was a part of it [ed. note: they weren’t], and maybe A Taste of Honey too [me again: they were], and I’m sure I saw The Village People and Peaches & Herb.  Like, who is going to forget seeing The Village People?  Not that the music itself would be so memorable (though their big hits are hits because once you get YMCA, Macho Man, or In the Navy* in your head they become permanently attached to your psyche), but when a native American in full headdress, a cop, and a construction worker lead a festival crowd in a four letter dancing spell-a-thon you’re gonna remember it.

And why would I remember seeing Peaches & Herb?  Because Reunited is a great freakin’ song.  And because this was when I first found out that the group was a duo and there was actually a person named Peaches (okay, there has been about a half-dozen of them over the years), and a person named Herb (Herb Fame – the one and only – and not the Herb you’re looking for).

I guess I wasn’t the only one hooked in for the ninety minute guilty pleasure therapy session, because the Bluesfest would go on to make disco collectives a regular closing night feature for a few years to come.  Secretly, I wasn’t complaining.

*Did anyone not know that this was all super-gay?  Like Grand Prix Wrestling without as much nudity?  Even the costumes were likely designed to hit upon a bunch of freaky mano-a-mano fantasy groups.  Oh, the brighter side of San Francisco must have thought it was all quite hilarious.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s