Guided by Voices pummel Bluesville tent at Bluesfest

Guided by Voices

Bluesville Stage, RBC Ottawa Bluesfest

Reviewed Friday

Robert Pollard appears to shed songs at the speed most individuals shed useless pores and skin cells. The singer-songwriter and foremost inventive power behind Dayton, Ohio’s Guided By Voices is a prolific songwriter, to say the least, with two full albums launched this yr alone, and plans to play 100 songs throughout a New Year’s Eve gig in Los Angeles.

That the Dec. 31 present is already offered out is a testomony to the cult attraction of the band the 61-year-old fashioned in 1983. His group was among the many authentic wave of so-called faculty rockers, impressed by 60s storage rock however pre-dating grunge by virtually a decade.

On Friday, Pollard led the latest incarnation of the band by just a few dozen of his crunchiest and most succinct rock anthems throughout a pummeling present within the Bluesville tent. With Alexisonfire and The Offspring sucking most of Friday’s festivalgoers to the principle stage, it was an underattended live performance witnessed by a small however enthusiastic clutch of followers.

This newest chapter of GBV has been going sturdy since 2016, fuelled by Pollard’s reinvigorated inventive output. “We’ve got it going on … they’re some good kids, man,” he declared, referring to the 4 youthful gamers in his band.

Indeed. Anchored by the drum- and cymbal-bashing of Kevin March and the bass heroics of Mark Shue, guitarists Doug Gillard and Bobby Bare, Jr. duked it out with ever-inventive licks as their silver-haired chief channelled his vocal depth like he was making each second rely. Which he could properly have been — GBV is famend for reveals of epic size; this one was a mere 80 minutes, leaving valuable little time to waste on something aside from momentous slabs of electrical guitar-driven rock.

However, Pollard broke the careening tempo to make a few feedback, one regarding the NBA champions Toronto Raptors and their MVP. “It’s about time somebody took it away from the Golden State Warriors,” he stated, his tone turning to a query. But as quickly as you try this, your star leaves? What’s that’s about?”


Guided by Voices performs Bluesfest on Friday, July 12, 2019. Greg Kolz photograph

Greg Kolz /

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He answered his personal question: “Money,” he stated. “Guided By Voices has never been about money,” he added, “… but we got what we asked for in the lottery.”

If he was wishing for a bottomless properly of inspiration, it seems he’s on a fortunate streak. In truth, two extra albums are able to launch, he revealed. Or was it 12?

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