Rock singer James Alcock tries on new hat tonight | 160414Th | Shows for Thurs., April 14, 2022

James Alcock -Gary 17

James Alcock -Gary 17


I first met Rock singer James Alcock about three years ago when he was teamed up with veteran guitarist Andy Walsh as part of an outfit known as Rockin’ A Hard Place that was tearing up a stage in Scarborough’s West Hill area, delighting a crowd that comes by its appreciation of the genre honestly.

He still teams up with Walsh fairly regularly and just this past weekend they appeared together in Brampton as part of another classic Rock configuration, Babylon, that debuted a few months ago and which appears to be picking up where RAHP left off.

But Alcock, although only singing professionally for just seven years, has actually become pretty well known for his role singing AC/DC tunes.  He was the former lead singer for AC/DC tribute Powerage, also handled the fronting role for Bare Rump for a while and these days is keeping very busy with his own tribute to the Australian icons, Hell N Back.  He put together that unit just over a year ago and nowadays, after getting some very good reviews, it’s been increasingly in demand at clubs across the GTA —next week making another appearance in a new room, at Gravity Lounge in Oshawa.

But tonight Alcock is trying out a new role for himself —as a jam host— as he runs the weekly Thursday jam at Birchmount Tavern in Scarborough.  He’ll be backed up for at least a few tunes for the 8-12 event, he tells me, by guitarist Earl Johnson of MOXY fame (and these days also part of several other bands) and a house band of established local players (Kerry Kalli, Gunner San Agustin and William O’Connor) that will more than be up to the task of helping him shepherd a night of lively rockin’ entertainment.

The setting for the show, The Birchmount, has been a bit of a puzzle to me for some while now.  At one time, 15-20 years ago, it was a very happening club that helped define the vibrancy of a thriving live music scene east of Victoria Park.  But a change of name to Cactus Pete’s and switch to all-Country music a decade or so ago —then eventual reversion back to the Birchmount with, the past few years, an on-again off-again approach to booking live music— has led to it becoming a bit of an afterthought on the scene.

It’s a room that seems to be trying to find its identity and for a while last year there were persistent rumours that it was closing (as had already ensued for a while after a major fire there several years ago).  A lack of consistency and a laid back approach to promotion hasn’t helped its cause much either.

But the room that dominates the plaza at 462 Birchmount Rd. at the corner of Danforth Road still has a really impressive stage set-up with a great dance floor area and huge capacity, allowing it to bring in some pretty fine acts when it has a mind to.  I’ve enjoyed seeing some pretty fine bands there and the memorial show there for Brian Maxim in 2013 was a reminder of what a great venue it can be for Rock music.

Hopefully rather than echoes of past glories, tonight’s jam event will be more about the portents of great nights yet to come in a room that retains one of the few impressive stages left in an area with a Rock ‘n’ Roll lineage well worth preserving and developing.

-Gary 17,

SHOW LISTINGS for Thursday, April 14, 2022

Listings are organized by area in which the shows occur and within each area field shows are listed chronologically.

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Listings preceded by an asterisk (*) are repeating weekly events. (Double asterisk indicates repeating event with different hosts/guest/etc.). Events preceded by question mark (?) usually take place but have not been confirmed. Admission prices followed by a slash and minus (/-) after the amount indicates door charge with availability of cheaper rates for some purchases. /+ indicates stated price is minimum.

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6> Brock Zeman @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen St. W., TO

6:30> charity Jazz concert for Grandmothers Partnering with Africa (Stephen Lewis Foundation) featuring Heavyweights Brass Band with vocalists Jackie Richardson & Jay Douglas @ Jazz Bistro, 251 Victoria St., TO ~Pop Jazz; $

6-8> Riley Murray Trio @ 120 Diner, 120 Church St., TO ~Jazz; $10/pwyc

6:30> Ross Wooldridge Trio @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W., TO ~Jazz

*7> open mic with Derek Mok @ Kensington Lodge, 21 Kensington Ave., TO

*7:30-9:30> Bluegrass Thursdays with Houndstooth @ Tranzac Lounge (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave., TO

*8-1> open mic with Alicia Porter @ The Local Gest, 424 Parliament St., TO

*8-12> Joe Bowden @ Nawlin’s, 299 King St. W. TO ~Blues

8> Ron Hawkins & The Do Good Assassins @ Rivoli, 334 Queen St. W., TO ~Country Rock; $

8> Between The Trees & Skyscrapers @ Free Times Café, 320 College St. TO ~$10

9-12> Annie Bonsignore @ 120 Diner, 120 Church St., TO ~Jazz; $10/pwyc

9> ZUZE @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen St. W., TO

9> Aidan Knight; Laura Sauvage @ Horseshoe Tavern, 370 Queen St. W., TO ~indie; $15

*9-1> Blackburn @ Jo Mamas, 317 King St. W., TO ~Blues

9> Carlos Morgan & guest @ Alleycatz, 2409 Yonge St., TO North ~Funk/R&B; $5

9> Sweater Pants @ C’est What, 67 Front St. E., TO

9:30> Alex Goodman Quintet @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W., TO ~Jazz; $

*9:45> Mary McKay @ Reservoir Lounge, 52 Wellington St. E., TO ~Jazz/Blues; $

10> Crooked Brothers @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen St. W., TO

10> The Responsibles @ Grossman’s, 379 Spadina Ave., TO ~Blues

10> The Collette Savard Band @ Tranzac Lounge (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave., TO

10> Ra Ra Riot; PWR BTTM; And The Kids @ Lee’s Palace, 529 Bloor St. W., TO ~original Rock; $18.50

10> Grump @ Bier Markt King, 600 King St., West, TO ~Pop Rock

10> Oakland Stroke @ Orbit Room, 480 College St. TO ~Tower of Power tribute April 15 2016

10:30> Dustin Jones and the Rising Tide @ The Hideout, 484 Queen St. W., TO ~indie Rock


7-9> Kirsten Jones & Clela Errington @ Relish, 2152 Danforth Ave., TO East ~Roots/Country songwriters

*8:30-10:30> Jerry Leger & The Situation @ Castro’s, 2116 Queen St. E., TO East ~Folk-Rock/Country

8:30> The TrollBlazers @ Linsmore Tavern, 1298 Danforth Ave., TO East ~Rock ‘n’ Roll; no cover

?9> Running Red Lights @ Murphy’s Law, 1702 Queen St. E., TO East ~indie Pop-Rock

*9:30> open jam @ Sportsters, 1430 Danforth Ave., TO East

*10-2> karaoke with Shane Taylor @ Relish, 2152 Danforth Ave., TO East


Southside 1604117:30> Roberto Occhipinti Trio @ Old Mill Inn, 21 Old Mill Rd., Etobicoke ~Jazz; min table charge

9> Kimberley Wetmore Band @ Timothy’s Pub, 344 Brown’s Line, Etobicoke South ~Pop Rock

9> Mrkules @ The Rockpile, 5555 Dundas St. W., Etobicoke

*9:30-2> Skip Tracer @ Southside Johnny’s, 3653 Lakeshore Blvd., Etobicoke South ~Rock/Pop


8-12> jam night with guest host James Alcock @ The Birchmount, 462 Birchmount Rd., Scarborough

9:30> Taxi @ Black Dog Pub, 87 Island Rd., Scarborough ~Pop Rock/Funk


5-8> Amber Leigh Jazz Trio @ Gate 403, 403 Roncesvalles Ave., TO West ~Jazz

7-9> Julian Fuego album release party @ Dakota Tavern, 249 Ossington Ave., TO West ~$12 includes copy of cd

7:30> Joao Frade’s Du Bosque Trio @ Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas St. W., TO West

8> DieHipster; Dad Radio; Broken Arrows @ Junction City Music Hall, 2907 Dundas St. W., TO West ~$5

8> The Holiday Crowd; Sigrun Stella; Blue Copper @ The Piston, 937 Bloor St. W., TO West ~indie

8:30> Animalia album release with guests BoyBitch; Garbageface; more @ Smiling Buddha, 961 College St., TO West ~electro synth-Pop

8:30> Old Man Luedecke & Tim O’Brien @ Hugh’s Room, 2261 Dundas St. W., TO West ~Bluesy Roots; $37

*9-12> open mic night @ DeSoto’s, 1079 St. Clair Ave. W., TO West

*9-1:30> open stage with Jay Pennell @ Dave’s On St. Clair, 730 St. Clair West, TO West ~eclectic

9-12> Kevin Laliberte Jazz & Flamenco Trio @ Gate 403, 403 Roncesvalles Ave., TO West ~Flamenco Jazz

9> David Krystal @ Burdock, 1184 Bloor St. W., TO West ~ original UK Soul-Pop; $15

9> Smokey & Blooze Hounds; Flamingo Bay @ The Painted Lady, 218 Ossington Ave., TO West ~indie; $

9> Ray Whimsey @ The Local, 396 Roncesvalles Ave., TO West ~Romantic

9:30> The Mercenaries @ Fat City Blues, 890 College St., TO West ~retro Soul-Rock; $

9:30> Lily Frost and her Kelvinators; Brookly Doran; Darling Cora; Naked Wild; Prairials; armanie // ill-fated; Chop-Z; Chemical Burn @ Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas St. W., TO West ~multi-act showcase; $12

10> The Two Koreas; The New Enchanters @ Dakota Tavern, 249 Ossington Ave., TO West


*7:30-12> open mic with K.M. Smith @ Molly Bloom’s Guelph, 91 Wyndham St. N., Guelph

7:30> Tony Paglia @ Fionn MacCool’s Orangeville, 75 Fourth Ave., Orangeville ~Pop Rock

8> open mic night @ M&M Bar, 475 Main St., Cambridge

8> open mic with James Kuttelwascher @ Fionn MacCool’s Kitchener, 4287 King St. E., Kitchener

*8-11> open mic with Sandy MacDonald @ Williamsburg Arms, 1187 Fischer Hallman Rd., Kitchener


7-11> Chuck Jackson @ Harbour Street Fish Bar, 10 Keith Ave., Collingwood ~Blues

*7:30> Rob Phillips Jazz/Blues Trio and Marsala Likianchuk @ Black Horse Pub, 452 George St. N., Peterborough

*9> jam with Ted Rusk @ The Sauble Dunes, 11 Southampton Parkway, Sauble Beach

9> Severed Feathers; Damnable Man; Reiki Share; Ersatz @ The Spill, 414 George St. N., Peterborough ~indie

10> Nick Ferrio; Dan Edmonds @ The Garnet, 231 Hunter St. W., Peterborough

905 - EAST

*5-8> Nelson Denis @ Frank’s Pasta, 42 King Street E., Cobourg ~eclectic mix (Folk, Jazz, soft Rock, Latin)

8-12> Art Lajambe @ Fionn MacCool’s Ajax, 32 Kingston Rd. E. Ajax ~Pop

8> Bruce jam @ Simcoe Blues & Jazz, 926 Simcoe St. N., Oshawa

*?> jam with Darren Smith & Shayne Thomas @ The Corner Pocket, 45 Prince St., Oshawa

*9> jam @ The Wee Pub, 371 Wilson Rd. South, Oshawa

*9-1> Juggernaut Jam Band @ Tap and Tankard, 224 Brock Rd. S., Whitby ~Rock/Blues

*9:30> jam with Billick @ Harp & Crown, 300 Kingston Rd., Pickering

*10> Karaoke with Rob MacArthur @ St. Louis Ajax, 11 Harwood Ave., Ajax

10> Rock Party @ Tartan Tavern, 555 Rossland Rd. E., Oshawa ~Pop

905 – NORTH

*6:30-10:30> jam with Faces for Radio @ Coasters, 55 Rutherford Rd. S., Brampton

*8-11> Jam with Jayme Lynn Reed @ Offsides Sports Bar, 200 Simcoe Ave., Keswick

9> open mic (signup starts at 8:30) @ The Barrel, 2180 Steeles Ave. W. Vaughan

905 – SOUTH

*8> open mic (signup at 7) with Dave Gould @ Homegrown Hamilton, 27 King William St. Hamilton

8> vocal Jazz jam with Sue Ramsay Trio @ Artword Artbar, 15 Colbourne St., Hamilton

*9> LMT Connection @ Doc Magilligan’s Irish Pub, 6400 Lundy’s Lane, Niagara Falls ~R&B/Funk

9> Biblical; Cellphone; Not Of @ This Ain’t Hollywood, 345 James St. N., Hamilton ~garage Metal

*9> open mic night with rotating hosts @ Coach & Lantern, 384 Wilson St E., Hamilton

9> Fake Palms; Neon Wave; Deter; dj @ Casbah Lounge, 306 King St. W., Hamilton ~indie

10> Strummers Union @ The Pheasant Plucker, 20 Augusta St., Hamilton

905 – WEST

*6-9> Ric Jacobs @ Ivy Bar, 3330 South Service Rd., Burlington

*7-11> James Anthony Band & guest Harrison Kennedy @ Black Swan Pub Burlington, 4040 Palladium Way, Burlington ~Blues

*8-12> jam hosted by The Personics @ Carrigan Arms, 2025 Upper Middle Rd., Burlington

*8> Salsa band @ The Franklin House, 263 Queen St. S., Streetsville ~Latin

*8> Celtic Night @ Fionn MacCool’s Burlington, 2331 Appleby Line

8:30> Jason Smith & Jason Sheehan host Ceilidh @ Moonshine Café, 137 Kerr St. Oakville ~$5

8:30> Brendon Gomez @ Fionn MacCool’s Britannia, 825 Britannia Rd. W., Streetsville Mississauga ~Pop Rock

*8:45> open mic with Matt Zady @ Failte, 201 City Centre Dr., Mississauga

9> Eddy C @ Fionn MacCool’s Clarkson, 970 Southdown Rd., Mississauga ~Pop Rock

9-1> Freedom Train @ Roc’n Doc’s, 105 Lakeshore Rd. E., Port Credit ~Rock/Pop

9:30> Glenn Groves @ Shore Grill, 71 Lakeshore Rd. E., Port Credit ~Honky Tonk

*9:30> jam with Jack B Nimble @ Abbey Road Pub, 3200 Erin Mills Parkway, Mississauga

9:30> Chris Partland @ Cuchulainn’s Irish Pub, 158 Queen St. S., Streetsville-Mississauga ~Pop Rock

10> Mercuri Project @ Bier Markt Mississauga, 55 City Centre Drive, Mississauga ~Pop Rock

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