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  • Writer's pictureTrevor Greenway

Bringing back the weird

If anyone was out and about on the weekend throughout the Hills, you would agree that there was a lot going on – from bizarre comedy in Low that went off the rails several times to a full-on rave in Wakefield, at Nikosi of all places. 


It was the first time in a long time that locals could go “bar hopping” around the Hills and catch a different kind of magic at every venue. 


The Low Down crew spent a team night out Saturday at Brennan’s Hill for Yuk Yuk’s comedy night, and right off the bat, you knew it was going to be an entertaining night with one trans and two Black comedians in backwoods Quebec. It was the first time in a decade that many of us had heard the word “homo.”


But everything is fair game in my books at a comedy show, and it seemed like everyone else in attendance was down with some vulgar comedy throughout the night. When one comedian asked if we wanted a clean or dirty joke, a man named “Spawn” yelled, “Filthy!” Yup, that’s us. 


Things got weird, with many in attendance thinking they were a comedian, especially local Kathleen Wilson, who was heckling the comedians all night. Then it got weirder when the headlining comedian lost control of the crowd, and there was just muffled, drunk shouting and laughter filling the room. One comedian was talking about gaslighting, and someone in the audience quipped, “Yeah, and who can afford the price of gas right now.” Crickets. 


But the entire night was a hoot, and when the last comedian dropped the mic, the night was far from over. Twenty kilometres south there was a full-on rave happening at Wakefield’s Nikosi Bistro, filled with DJs, emcees and a crowd moving to deep drum and bass and jungle music. Props to Wakefield DJ and Pipolinka co-owner Kalina Ostrowska, a.k.a. Latak (stage name), for trying something a little different.

Anyone who has had dinner at Nikosi would not have been able to recognize the place Saturday night. Live, psychedelic visuals were being projected onto a white canvas above the DJs, and you could feel the heavy bass pounding in your chest. They had a good crowd of folks who were willing to go down the rabbit hole with them. 

And down a couple doors at Kaffé 1870, the Tin Constellations were rocking away a great set for indie rock lovers. If you had to judge a region’s art scene by one Saturday night, this weekend was the one to do it. 


But weekends like this are becoming more frequent in the Hills, as the pandemic fades further in further in our rearview mirrors. Locals are no longer waiting for the day the Black Sheep Inn reopens because other establishments like Motel Chelsea, Biscotti, Cafe Earle and La Fab have begun to fill the sonic void. (Add to that whatever Bar Bougie is doing at its underground speakeasy/candle factory). 


Jazz cats can always get their fill of live music at Cafe Earle, as the restaurant transforms into a live music venue every Friday night. Motel Chelsea has become an intimate venues for shows, and La Fab and its new renovation have turned the old church into the premiere music venue in the Hills. 

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