I seem to have taken a wrong turn downtown last Sunday and ended up in the ’50’s. The parking lot at the Metropolitan Entertainment Centre was full of vintage cars, rockabilly bands and people dressed in 1950’s attire. No it wasn’t some weird kinda time warp thing.
The event was the second annual River City Rumble Festival. It was day two of the festival and the people were soaking up the sunshine and the good live music on the outside stage by local rockabilly bands Handsome D and the Lousy Lovers (who may be lousy lovers but they sure knew how to move the crowd), The Fl!p Cats and The Reverend Rambler.
Simultaneously as bands rocked on outside, inside Miss Angela LaMuse hosted day two of her Burlesque workshop and the topic today was, ‘how to be sassy’.
The Hair and Makeup workshop was hosted by Miss Kelly O of Salon One Eleven,and Karla Chin, where folks could have a makeover ’50’s style.
By 5:00, the bands started up on the indoor stage in what used to be the glorious Metropolitan Theatre. First up was Butch Haller & His Chesterfield Ramblers. Butch was born July 1, 1926 in Boones Mill, Virginia and moved to Ontario in his 20’s. Butch is a legendary musician who has had nearly all of his songs stolen.
Also performing throughout the evening were Regina’s Brian Templeton Trio, The Fl!p Cats, Alistair Christi from Toronto, Montreal’s Hellbound Hepcats whose upright bass player was thrashing his bass so hard that he broke it. “Usually he breaks a string but this time he broke the whole bass,” said singer/guitarist Alexander Brown.
The headliner for the evening was The Matadors from London, ON, who created the genre horrorbilly, apparently inspired by Satan himself. This was the biggest sock-hop to hit Winnipeg in a long time and the dancers were dancing up a storm all night.
Throughout the day’s festivities, patrons were seen enjoying beverages in the Tiki patio bar.
There were also two Burlesque performances by the lovely Miss LaMuse and one of her students Ava Strange. Both ladies’ shows were done very tastefully and gracefully.
There was also a pinup contest where six beautiful ladies – Amanda Go Bang, Trinity Trixie Firecracker, Slayer (Sam), Melissa, Nellie Spitfire (Sharon) and Serena – competed for the chance to be next year’s River City Rumble pin-up girl. Nellie Spitfire was the one who wooed the three judges and walked away with the diamond tiara.
Cheryl Scott is the Chair of the River City Rumble, which is a volunteer-run, non-profit organization whose sole purpose is to provide a performing arts platform, by means of a music festival, to promote primarily Canadian talent.
If you would ilke to get involveed with this wonderful festival, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
All photos by Doug Kretchmer
Slide show by QUIDAM: