Thanksgiving Sunday, October 7th. The perfect day for the Southern Soul band, St. Paul and the Broken Bones to stop into Toronto. If you fought through the turkey naps and made it down to the Danforth Music Hall to catch this show, you were left with a lot to be thankful for.
Words and photos by Scott Ramsey
What. A. Show.
If you haven’t heard of or seen St. Paul and the Broken Bones make it a priority to do both as soon as possible.
The band opened their set with LivWithOutU, from the second side of their new album Young Sick Camellia, followed by a lengthy ovation by the appreciative crowd. And that appreciation carried on through the rest of the night. Song after song, Paul Janeway belted out the band’s emotive music. You could close your eyes and be taken back to the golden days of Soul. You’d think Otis Redding was up there belting out the lyrics, only to open your eyes and see the unassuming Janeway in a glittery cape pacing back and forth on the stage, hitting notes that left the crowd silent, wanting to hear every word, only to erupt in thunderous applause following each song.
The aforementioned Young Sick Camelia, was released in September, and while still beautifully soulful, is a departure from the band’s more classic soul sound from their previous two albums as Janeway wanted to move away from the Soul Revival label they were receiving. This album has done just that without sacrificing his voice and lyrics.
The band ended their set with Bruised Fruit, and quickly moved into their 4 song encore that included a giant crowd surfing teddy bear. Their final song, and namesake, Broken Bones & Pocket Change had Paul Janeway singing while walking through the crowd. He worked his way through the lower lever, and up to the mezzanine, finally standing over the crowd at the side of the balcony. It was a fitting end to a show from a front man who almost became a Baptist minister.
St. Paul and the Broken Bones continue their tour on the West Coast of the US, before heading to Europe in November.