Well, it ain’t the El Mocambo, but it’s the next door thing…
Y’know, I kinda found it hard to “support the scene” back when a lotta cheap local heavy rock/metal gigs were being booked at Duffy’s Tavern. I’d always get a scuzzy feeling when I stepped off the subway at Lansdowne station and walked a couple blocks to the aging eyesore of a building, right across the street from some not-so-classy strip club. Inside, the place was old and decrepit, with the upstairs “concert area” being more of an afterthought, considering its nearly non-existent stage and trashy 70′s-style tables and chairs. This was the kinda place that actually served Lakeport. Nuff said!
You know how you throw your coat on a pile at a concert, and expect it to still be there at the end of the nite? Well, when I did that at Duffy’s, I noticed some old lady–one of the “regulars,” I suppose–rifling through my pockets, so I had to hang on to my jacket for the rest of the nite. Then there was that time when the “management” shut down a gig around 12:30 cuz they didn’t want the cops to show up. Not that they were in a residential area–unless you count rooming houses. Let’s just say that was the last Duffy’s gig I’ve attended. Fuck that noise complaint!
Fortunately, it seems that quite a few bands that used to play that Bloor Street dive have moved on the 460 now. A much better location, if you ask me–College and Spadina, literally right next to the El Mocambo. Mind you, there’s really no comparison between the ElMo and this hole in the wall, for better or for worse.
For one thing, it really is a hole in the wall. You know that front foyer when you walk into the ElMo? Well, it’s bigger than this entire bar. Suffice to say, the 460 stage is small, though there’s just enough room for a four-piece band. If everybody’s up front, 50 people practically pack the place. And while the lighting and decor leave a little to be desired (it’s a Scott Mission resident’s take on the Smiling Buddha), I appreciate the fact that they’re not a Molson-only bar–and that a bottle of Blue still costs about four bucks. I’m not sure you can even say that of Sneaky Dee’s anymore…
They’ve even got pitchers of some local horsepiss (I think it’s Golden
Showers Horseshoe) for 10 bucks. It’s really not the tastiest brew, but hey, 10-dollar pitchers, right? And for the record, I’ve heard their bathrooms smell better than Duffy’s–though I wouldn’t know, as I live within stumbling distance.
And if hanging out at a dark and dingy club when it feels like -25 outside is your idea of a good time, there’s a pretty decent heavy rock show happening there this evening, what with Enchantress, Ol’ Time Moonshine and Galaxies in the River taking the stage sometime after 9. If I can get this cough under control for more than five minutes, you might see my freezing fat ass down there, as well.
Time to go raid the medicine cabinet…