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First Friday’ Category

Offsite Impact First Friday Impact

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Offsite Impact First Friday...

To say the August First Friday was a roaring success is an understatement.  A combination of pleasant summer weather, GreekFest happening a block away and Offsite Impact playing at Cheeky Monkey was the best possible mix to kick off the Civic Holiday weekend. We were very familiar with the talent of three members of Offsite Impact. Dale White (Keyboards/ Back-up Vocals), Barry White (Frontman/Vocals/Bass Guitar) and Paul Eastman (Drums) have all played at Cheeky Monkey previously in other bands.  Paul, being a very versatile and accommodating drummer, has played in at least four different bands appearing over the years at Cheeky Monkey.  We were so very impressed with Offsite Impacts sound and stage presence, that we sincerely hope Paul has found a long lasting band to set his kit up with. Offsite Impacts playlist is an impressive selection of very dance-able hits from over the decades.  Suspect they choose these particular songs to ...

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July First Friday with Blackmore & Blackmore &

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July First Friday with...

Mike Blackmore has played at Cheeky Monkey many times over the years.  As has Dwayne Cloes.  Both have been here as part of bands and played here solo.  During the 2017 Record Store Day, they played here for the first time as a duo.  We were so impressed, we asked them to come back - so they did - for the July First Friday. With Mike on guitar, d'jembe (hand drum) and looping machine, and Dwayne playing bass guitar they created a unique musical experience.  You could not find two more different people in their history and approach to music, but somehow the combination of their wealth of talent works wonderfully for them. Armed with a playlist of originals and cover songs such as 'Knocking On Heaven's Door' and my personal favourite Mike has done for years, but never the same way twice, 'House of the Rising Sun', they easily entertained the audience ...

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The Gypsy Flats Rocking In The Summer

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The Gypsy Flats Rocking In The...

The Gypsy Flats are a local band that clearly enjoy playing live music.  During the June 2, 2017 First Friday at Cheeky Monkey, the audience clearly sensed that by the reaction and comments they made. Playing primarily music that was popular before they were born, The Gypsy Flats give the songs penned by the likes of John Prine, Neil Young, Kris Kristofferson and John Fogerty a special touch creating their own sound.  Each member of the band brings a unique ingredient to the mix to create the perfect recipe for an entertaining evening. The Gypsy Flats consists of Cassy Dube, lead singer and rhythm guitar player backed by Marc Gauthier on bass, Ryan Smith on drums and vocals along with Mike Beauchamp on lead guitar and vocals. In their playlist are also several original songs.  Currently they are booked to play at several of the upcoming summer festivals such as the Kinsmen Ribfest July 8, headlining ...

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Evan & John May First Friday review by Brian Hay

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Evan & John May First...

Evan & John: May 5th First Friday at the Cheeky Monkey by Brian Hay The harmony singing by the duo of John Pilat and Evan Dawe was great right from the start. Their vocal work on ’New York’  by the Milk Carton Kids was easily up to the standard of the recording released by the original group. The parts for their guitars and the ease with which they wove them together were exemplary and their interpretation carried some individual touches while remaining faithful to the original piece. That it rolled off them so effortlessly shows they put a lot of work into getting things right. The reading given to Simon and Garfunkel’s ‘Mrs. Robinson’ was an attention grabber of the best kind. Subtle weaving of guitar parts and brilliant harmony singing was again the dominant force in their delivery. Moving to ’Snake Eyes’ by the Milk Carton Kids before playing ‘Wednesday Morning 3:00 ...

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‘ROUND HOUSE’ BIG HIT AT MARCH FIRST FRIDAY

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‘ROUND HOUSE’ BIG...

Creedence Clearwater Revival - Susie Q Van Morrison - Brown Eyed Girl Stevie Wonder - Superstition These are a few of the classic songs played by the local band Round House during the March 3rd First Friday at Cheeky Monkey. Most of the songs on Round House's playlist were hits before they were a twinkle in their Daddy's eye. The oldest member of this talented group is a mere 17 years old. Despite their young ages, they displayed a professionalism not seen in many bands twice their age. Each is extremely dedicated to playing their instruments to the best of their ability - which is saying a lot. Learning from some of the best music teachers in the city, they have taken what they were taught and moved up to the next level. Jared Parke the lead singer and rhythm guitarist shows great versatility with his voice. Bryce Abrams on bass guitar instinctively knows to ...

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February 2017 First Friday reviews by Brian Hay

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February 2017 First Friday...

Editor's note-- Thank you to Brian Hay for writing the review below regarding Cheeky Monkey's February First Friday event.  To see more photos of Evan Dawe & John Pilat CLICK HERE. That same night, the band Roundhouse was playing at the Trinity Lounge and he has reviewed them as well.  They are the band playing during March 3rd First Friday at Cheeky Monkey.  CLICK HERE for details. Sarnia’s First Friday, February 3, 2017: evan.john at the Cheeky Monkey and The The Rapids with Round House at the Trinity Lounge — Young Musicians Bringing the Excitement Back to Music by Brian Hay This is no small thing. I didn’t see it but have read that the Superbowl halftime show was polished but lacking in excitement and surprises. Recently a high profile event featured a big surprise but having the singer stop while the music continued with the vocals wasn’t one anybody involved wanted. The ...

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Barnburners Heat Up January 2017 First Friday

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Barnburners Heat Up January...

Oh my gosh, what a frigid night for the first First Friday of 2017.  To those who braved the cold to come see Scott Manery and The Barnburners at Cheeky Monkey, it didn't matter.  "Why" you ask?  Simple answer.  They are a smokin hot band who know how to ramp up the heat so everyone has a good time and feels warm to the core.  Playing a mix of fan favourites off their four CD's, I don't think their was a cold person in the building - especially the dancers. This was The Barnburners third time playing at Cheeky Monkey for a First Friday.  Sure hope to see them back many more times.  Maybe on a night that is not so flippin cold. For more photos of the night taken mostly by Grumpy (Roland) CLICK HERE

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High Canadian Content for Dec. First Friday

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High Canadian Content for Dec....

Once again, local band BIG HIGHWAY delivered an evening of well played music with a healthy dose of Canadian content during the December 2. 2016 First Friday at Cheeky Monkey. Kicking the night off with Tragically Hip's 'Three Pistols' we all just knew it would be a good night of live music.  This was followed by several other Hip songs during the 2 sets along with some Big Sugar, Wide Mouth Mason, 54-40, Junkhouse and Matt Mays.  Not every song was Canadian.  They also had Current Swell, REM, Wallflowers, Black Keys and Counting Crows in the mix.  A real standout in my opinion was their version of 'Down By The Water' by the Decemberists.  The harmony between James McNaule, Andrew Germain and Dave Johnston was outstanding.  Behind them on drums keeping the steadiest of beats was Ric Brown.  All four members gel so well together, despite wide age differences, that you can't ...

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Wild First Friday with Wild Cards

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Wild First Friday with Wild...

For the November 2016 First Friday, a somewhat 'new' group played at Cheeky Monkey.  Wild Cards consists of 3/4 of Erika & Sara And The Guys.  Over the years, they had played here a multitude of times including for Record Store Days.  We have and do think very highly of their musicianship.  With a new singer, their sound has morphed into something different again. Sara Campbell on guitar, Scott Vegh on bass guitar and Gerry Hawley on drums have a  gutsier, upbeat sound with the addition of  Renee Card as the front vocalist.  Renee brings a seasoned, strong and somewhat sultry sound to the overall feel presented. Their play list varied from the likes of 'Long Train Running' by the Doobie Brothers to current hits like 'Stay With Me' by Sam Smith.  The first come off like a slow, sizzling groove with the second was litterly dripping with emotion.  All four look to ...

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2016 Fall First Friday with Mike Blackmore & Rock of...

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2016 Fall First Friday with...

What can be said about the legendary Mike Blackmore that has not been said before other than he is bordering  on mythical?  He is one of the most versatile musicians in the city with the ability to entertain an audience no matter what he does or how many people are on stage. For the October 7, 2016 performance at Cheeky Monkey's First Friday event, he chose to play beside himself in the guise of  'Blackmore + Blackmore'.  The name did cause some mild confusion, but once Mike started playing it became clear he was his own one-man-band.  Utilizing a looping machine, Mike laid down tracks as his background to play in front of.  Sometimes he recorded drum beats using his ever present d'jembe.  Sometimes it was guitar rhythms and he'd bring the d'jembe front and centre.  Either way, it sounded great.  He has used this looping technique in previous shows here, ...

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