I had come to Harbourfront on Saturday to visit the Hot & Spicy Food Festival. During my afternoon I saw a sign saying the The Shuffle Demons would be playing at the festival on Sunday. For the price of a TTC token and sharing a busy streetcar I knew seeing these guys again was well worth the trip. Featuring Richard Underhill, Perry White and Dave Parker on sax, George Koller on bass and Stich Wynston on drums.
I have followed The Shuffle Demons since the mid eighties but haven’t had the chance to see them live in a number of years. I had the chance to meet Richard Underhill a year ago at a celebration for the late and wonderful Reiner Schwarz. Richard had just then abandoned his mayoral candidacy and thrown his support behind Olivia Chow. The Demons started in 1984, the joining of Toronto street music, Richard Underhill regularly played Yonge & Bloor.
Since those days the Demons have travelled the world extensively played countless festivals and concerts and streets in countless places around the globe. I borrowed this line from their website, 3 saxes, bass, drums, one goatee, 29 years later, 8 albums, 5 Casby Awards, 2 Toronto Musician Awards, 1 Juno nomination, 7 videos, 700,000 km, 3800 concerts, 6500 conga lines, 1 cockroach, 12 Beer my dear, 100,000 rubles, 1 Spadina Bus. Their intoxicating mix of Jazz, Funk, Soul and downright great music are as on point as they have ever been and their painted suits and onstage antics still live up to their billing! I couldn’t help notice that during their performance these guys are still having the time of their lives. Sure was a pleasure to see them again and it is always fun to watch such talented musicians show their love and joy for their music!
If you ever get the chance to check them out live do yourself a favour and take that opportunity. Thanks Demons for a fun afternoon and thanks to Harbourfront and the Hot & Spicy Food Festival for serving up such quality entertainment!You know your good when David Clayton Thomas drops by to say hello!
As always enjoy Toronto!~