Bonjay Pop Montreal show review (September 30 @ Jukebox)

So I went to check out Bonjay based on a recommendation on a tweet. They were not the headliners, Cocktail Club Soundsystem were. Bonjay did play immediately before them. Also on the bill was Recife and Pink Skull. I cannot say I have heard of any of them save for Bonjay. And even with Bonjay, I had only their small MySpace selection, most notable, “Gimme Gimme”, which is quite a good club banger!

The Bonjay set was all I did see, as this was after the Laura Veirs show. Regardless, the set was about 45 minutes, which is not bad for an up and coming act, and with limited material to my knowledge (They have been around for a couple of years though).

For those not familiar with Bonjay, they are a duo, Alanna Stuart and Ian Swain (aka DJ Pho). Alanna is the vocalist, and Ian Swain the DJ, as you can imagine based on his alias! His setup is a couple of Akai decks and a Macbook. A couple of times Alanna said how they do it all live, hence no turntables, making it more likely to make mistakes. Call it the organic way. I myself do like turntables, however if the DJ is just playing records, indeed, it may as well be done live. I am not too familiar with the process, although I am working on getting into making some of my own music.

The setup did cause one mistake, I believe it was “Gimme Gimme” they were starting, and DJ Pho had to restart after a moment due to an error. Of course, it did not bother me, as I got to hear the start of the song again!

The show was the Thursday before the release of their third EP, Broughtupsy. They did have copies though, and I did pick one up. They played a few from the new EP, and ones that I imagine appear on the first two, Gimme Gimme and Bangarang Business. Alanna is quite the versatile vocalist, she can go from dancehall to R&B to dance, and so on. The first two in the same song, “Faat Gyal”! Therefore the beats and breaks run the gamut as well, making for an eclectic mix, but all in all great club/dance/electro music. They also played the Bonjay take on Feist’s “Honey”, and Caribou’s “Jamelia”.

So all in all, quite an enjoyable set. I look forward to see what the future brings for the up and coming Bonjay!


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