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Hillside Festival, Guelph ON July 26 2008

After a 12 year hiatus the Bourbon's took the stage again for a Reunion gig at Hillside Festival on Saturdy July 26 2008 from 8:45 to 10:00PM. The band were asked to reform for this one show by the man in charge of Hillside, Sam Baijal. The band got together for the first time in 12 years at Chris Brown's place on Wolf Island about two weeks before the show and then rehearsed during the day in the week leading up to the show, at The Dakota Tavern in Toronto. At the same time Liz Marshall filmed a documentary on the history of the band, reformation and reunion show which should be airing in the Fall of 2008.

The show itself was an awesome event. The weather was beautiful and the band took the stage as the sun began to set. They led off with one of their favoured openers, Grow and gradually eased into the event over the next 1 hour aned 15 minutes. They worked their way through a mix of songs from Sister Anthony, Superior Cackling Hen and Shy Folk as well as a take on Whoever Built This Would Never Live Here which was played by the band near the end of their run in 95-96. The song would end up on Other People's Heaven - the Chris Brown and Kate Fenner album that emerged from the ruins of the planned, started but never finished 3rd album by BTC of the same name.

The Highlight of the show, as often was the case in the 92-96 period, was Simple - Chris Brown's ode to his father. The song was as good at this show as it was in 95 - the heartwrenching lyrics emoted perfectly by Fenner while Mercer, Whiteman and Bona kept the groove. Brown, Hardy and Wall played triple brass accompaniment wringing the emotion out of the song while Miller played the best solo of any song they ever committed to tape.

Throughout, Dave did a few of his trademark kicks (but sadly no finger wiggles) and the band eased through the set, gaining comfort as it progressed in what was surely for them a somewhat surreal 75minutes after 12 years apart. It was great to see the old lineup (minus Gregor Beresford) with Tom Bona on Drums in back, Mercer and Miller in the middle on left and right and in the front (from left to right) Chris Brown on Hammond, Kate Fenner, Dave Wall, Andrew Whiteman and Gene Hardy. Just like old times. The interesting thing was seeing Whiteman play on some of the songs recorded after he left the band (prior to Shy Folk) and him sharing the stage with Bona - the two of whom were never in the band together.

Hopefully the band will do another club show in the future. If not it was an amazing moment to relive for anyone who appreciated all that they were and are. It is never to late to get Bourbonized.

Here is the setlist for the show:

01. Grow
02. All Peace
03. Worms
04. Whoever Built This Would Never Live Here
05. Asleep At The Wheel
06. One More Time
07. By The Time
08. Love Like Nothing
09. Simple
10. Waiting In A Hurry (not played due to time)
11. Death Is The Great Awakener (not played due to time)
12. Shy Folk (not played due to time)
13. Ain't It Better To Ignite Than To Explode
14. Under Pressure (not played due to time)

The video is pretty shaky and a bit distorted as I was right up at the front and wasn't really trying to take quality video footage.
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Here are the AVI links if you like - right click to save as
1. Intro 1
2. Intro 2
3. Intro 3
4. Grow/All Peace (550MB)
5. Worms (226MB)
6. Whoever Built This Would Never Live Here (241MB)
7. Asleep At The Wheel (150MB)
8. One More Time (250MB)
9. By The Time/Love Like Nothing (433MB)
10. Simple (455MB)
11. Ain't It Better To Ignite Than To Explode (198MB)
12. Outro (58MB)

Send photos to Darrin at
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