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"Good Times with Indie Band Datura"

Whether it was strategy or just plain fluke, the solo-acoustic-artist opening acts made the sound of the band Datura that much more explosive when they hit the stage. The few delays were forgotten once Datura began to play, bringing their unlikely amalgam of hard rock, folk and jazz to the venue at Newmarket's own Good-Times Cafe.

Bass player Brett Collins played slowly through the tunes, with scale-runs that would feel right at home in a blues bar. Lead axeman and vocalist Kirk Holmes counterbalanced them with menacing grunge riffs that firmly established that Datura was there to rock first and groove second. It was the band's jazz backbone that had shined through as they paid homage to the jazz standard "St. James Infirmary Blues". The band reinvented the song with the intricate stickwork of drummer Ryan Webb and the spooky Hammond organ sounds of Alana Young.

The highlight of the set was the third song. It alternated hushed melodic verses with choruses on overdrive. The melodies in this song stood out in a unique way when in comparison to the rest of the band's set. It had interwoven harmonic phrases that brought back some of my own memories of early sixties american folk music. It surely calmed down the room before a few more hard rocking songs kick-started everything grunge back into gear.

By the end of the set Datura had shown that they could be both quiet and introspective, raucous and brash. They managed to stay new whilst maintaining their core ménage of southern folk, african jazz and late nineties rock; a unique and tasteful combination surely to brake barriers for the years of music to come.

Edited by: John Hooper - Dusty Lalas


1.) Kill Jessica
2.) St. James Infirmary Blues
3.) Hollowed Body



Datura's music is often an erratic stab into the blanket of genre and musical convention, the band's art is bound together by a string of despondent imagery often dealing with environmental fallout and the hopelessness of human created spaces. Peoples reaction to the constant mish-mash of sounds and styles is what interests the band the most. By playing into genres such as pop, blues, alt rock and even heavy metal. Datura finds a way to separate form from function and bring their politics and message into previously uncorrelated domains of music. Datura is a band for whom artistic excellence is the top priority. Their main goal is to contribute a unique and provocative sound to Canadian music. The band is composed of Brett Collins - bass, Kirk Holmes - vocals and guitar, Ryan Webb - percussion and Alana Young - vocals and samples. Datura looks forward to touring Canada as much as possible after the completion of their first album. Datura is a young band prided in their unique sound and Canadian heritage, they hope that their future music works to reflect these values as well.