The Black Sheep Inn is probably my favourite venue for seeing live music in the Ottawa area, even if it is technically not only not in Ottawa nor even in Ontario. There is something very special about this venue, and it brings me back time and time again. The Black Sheep typically hosts singer-songwriters, and there is a great intimacy with the crowd, who usually take their places with a drink and sitting at a table or along the sides at any number of stools. However, Friday night was not your typical Black Sheep performance.

For starters, all the tables were removed and the evening would be “standing” only. The opening band had to set up on the floor because the stage could not accommodate everybody. This gave the crowd an opportunity to get even closer to the band. Any closer and you would have had to join them. The Dark Plains were unlike most bands I have seen at the Black Sheep Inn. No doubt about it, they are a rock band and put on a very spirited show.

The second band was called Theaternia. They list their genre(s) as dream-synth/dark wave/new-wave pop. Check them out here.

The headliner that night would be on the Black Sheep’s very own and a fixture of the Ottawa music scene. Mike Dubue who is the house tech at the Inn and he fronts a band called Hilotrons, but until the Arboretum Festival this past year I had never actually heard the band. I was very pleasantly surprised, but I was even more pleasantly surprised after tracking down a few albums of theirs post festival. Personally, I love their 2013 release At Least There’s a Commotion. This winter, the band released their new album To Trip With Terpsichore as a free download through their website. It was another solid Hilotrons album added to this fan’s growing library. When I head about the Vinyl Release party, I wanted to go support the band. It quickly became obvious why the tables were removed as the Hilotrons had the great audience dancing along to their energetic music. The band put on a fantastic performance and it was an atypical but wonderful night at the Black Sheep. I already have their date at Bluesfest on my radar.

The Hilotrons new album is still available for free download on their website or hear it below. Follow the Hilotrons on Facebook and Twitter.

 

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