It’s 1996 again: Toronto’s THE CONSCIENCE PILATE reform to perform their debut
record, Living in a Movie Scene, released 20 years ago.
But the happening at the Monarch Tavern on May 14th 2016 doesn’t just feature TCP. The
Shanks unveil their new single, “Do You Fear Me?”, the first track off the brand new
“Prisons of Ecstasy” album produced in Sweden by Nicke Andersson; and The Dirty Water
rounds out the three-way bill.
Let’s hop on the underground rock n roll time machine to understand what this zeitgeist
means. Back in 1996, if you wandered around the streets along Queen West, Spadina,
Bloor, Bathurst and the Annex, rest assured you would see gig posters predominantly from
three bands: The Sinisters, Nancy, Despot!, and yes, The Conscience Pilate. They
were everywhere: lamp posts, walls, service boxes, any old surface would do – although
there were street rules about covering up other artists’ gig posters of course. Otherwise
you might have to deal with Troy Sinister.
The Conscience Pilate and Nancy, Despot! gigged together often. TCP went from their
Gasworks debut to selling out Lee’s Palace inside of 6 months – with the debut of the
above-mentioned classic, “Living in a Movie Scene”. The Sinisters were regulars at the
Bovine and the old El Mocambo, where the three bands performed their first and only gig
together as a three-way bill, prior to the untimely death of Brian Gunstone, singer-guitarist
of Nancy, Despot!.
What’s all this underground history have to do with the Monarch gig, you ask? Gather
’round children, papa’s about to tell ya. Ian Starkey, aka St. Pistolwhip von Shankenstein,
bassist of Nancy, Despot! has soldiered on – more like marshalled on – with The Shanks,
a power duo consisting only of bass and drums. Brian Christopher, aka Smokin’ Billy
Sinister, is the drummer for The Dirty Water. So, all three heretofore referred culprits will
be duly represented at the Monarch on May 14th.
It will be a gathering of rock n roll friends, and for Neil Leyton and Edward Pond, a shaking off of TCP cobwebs. They will be joined on stage by George Bettencourt on guitar and Tim Timleck on drums. When the band broke up in 1998, released several solo records, moved to Europe, and is back in town for CMW plus a week. Edward went into photography and now film direction. Now
more than ever, he is Living in a Movie Scene.
Poster Art by Bill Douglas. Thanks, Bill!