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It is a Sunday night, and from here we can see a band trickle down the stairs of The Dakota Tavern to set up on a stage that is adorned with the skull of a steer on the wall. The basement walls are made of barn board and dusk, little red candles keep quiet vigil on the uneasy tables, and the floorboards maintain last night's souvenirs of booze, boots, and bedlam. Outside, the lean and hungry sky hovers above our city like a dark and early debt. It is surely better to rely on a band than the weather, which is why we're all here. It is a Sunday-God's day, some would say-but in exactly one hour the room will be filled with sound, sweat, and bodies, and the eager crowd will be taken to a different kind of church owned by the howling and swaggering amplifiers of The Beauties.
The Beauties were formed in 2006 at a tavern in the west end of Toronto. A Sunday night residency (which was initially intended as an informal jam) soon blossomed into sold out shows, week after week. Darin McConnell and Shawn Creamer share guitar and vocal duties, Jud Ruhl streams the lead guitar while Paul Phisterer and Derek Downham keep time as the unapologetically stoic rhythm section. A four-song, self-titled EP quickly established The Beauties as a band to watch out for, earning them coveted support slots with acts such as Broken Social Scene and Alejandro Escovedo. They have also backed up such noteworthy songwriters as Ron Sexsmith, Jim Cuddy, and Serena Ryder. Three years later, they continue to remind the crowds of the tightly-knit seams that stem from rock and roll, as well as confirming the often overlooked truth that there isn't a single person who will love us like the devil does.
The Beauties represent the darker and louder places where songs reside. There is a sober truth in their songs. We raise a glass to this truth against the barnboard and the dusk, wishing the sobriety away. Against the loud crowd, The Beauties take the stage.