The first day of the Navan fair had everyone on their feet and rocking right along to music from Alex Ryder and Honeymoon Suite!
Alex Ryder kicked the night off strong on Friday with her raspy voice and energetic vibes! Her set full of fun covers had the crowd dancing and singing right along with her. She even showed her Navan and Canada pride by rocking a red Canada 150/Navan jersey. She was definitely a great choice to open things up on Friday night at the Navan fair!
I would have liked to have heard some more original stylings from Ryder, but her show, which consisted mainly of classic rock covers, was definitely well received. She channeled her inner Joan Jett rock n roll, made us say our Bon Jovi prayers, and asked us to stomp our Serena Ryder feet (no relation even though they share a last name). Her slightly ‘alt’ look, combined with her perfect rock and roll voice will have Ryder singing more of her own songs for the same crowd and many others in the future!
The 80s Canadian-rock band Honeymoon Suite, hailing from Niagara Falls, the unofficial honeymoon capital of the world, took to the stage immediately following Ryder. They were definitely the draw for Friday, bringing die hard fans, both and young and old to the East end of Ottawa. A couple standing next to me drove 10 hours, from Fredericton New-Brunswick, just to catch their show. They have been following the band for 32 years and shared with me that the band recently released some newer material.
Even though it was a little rainy (which may have led to some unfortunate mishaps on-stage…), the crowd was packed and ready for the band to start. Their hair-rock sound and edgy look had everyone in the crowd throwing up their fists and banging their heads right along to the beat. One of the things I really enjoyed about their show was their use of lights. Even though outdoors and not the best weather, I felt like I was in an arena at a true rock and roll concert.
The band as whole is incredible, and seemed to be having an amazing time on stage. You could tell they were really in their element in front of a crowd and enjoying each other’s company. What really stood out for me was Derry Grehan on lead guitar. His mastery of the instrument, and ability to play some catchy, and seemingly impossible riffs, really lends itself to the Honeymoon Suite sound. A few notes in to their classics such as “Wave Babies”, “New Girl Now”, and “Burning in Love” reminded all of us why they were such a force in Canada back in the day.
About halfway through the concert, Peter Nunn broke into an incredible solo on the keyboard. His fingers were flying! Talking with people in the crowd who are pianists, they were incredulous at this man’s talent. This coupled with Grehan on guitar, and lead singer Johnnie Dee’s familiar and powerful vocals, as well the rest of the band supporting them, created some true Canadian rock and roll music!
The band’s next gig is in the Peg at the Winnipeg Classic Rockfest on August 29th. Catch them if you can!