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Volume 90, Issue 84

Wednesday, March 05, 1997

Yo's baby


They would swear the earth moved

I Mother Earth
The Nac
Feb. 26

I Mother Earth may well be a lesson in frustration. For a band that produced such an eclectic masterpiece with its debut Dig, it seems a shame that IME's legend grows around the noisy and unchannelled Scenery and Fish – a project for which the band erroneously chose not to re-invite producer Mike Clink (Guns 'N' Roses).

A smooth blend of '60s psychedelia and heavy strains of hard-assed '90s rock, IME churn out a sound that is strangely versatile and disparate in the ubiquitous sea of modern MTV glam rock bands – leaving you wondering whether you should roll a joint or tell your old man to fuck off.

At two consecutive shows this past week at The Nac, traces of the latter were largely evident. A cold and wet capacity crowd waited patiently outside the venue, awaiting the multiple Juno-nominated ensemble. In an almost apologetic response, vocalist Edwin later shrieked the band's debut single, "Rain Will Fall".

Toronto's Glueleg warmed the anxious crowd with its funk/ska/jazz sound, but it was evident it was not the reason for the cramped floor.

Strutting on stage in a tight black vinyl top and plaid slim-fit pants, Edwin struck his poseur stances and swooned his arms to the rhythm of Jagori Tanna's electric chants, the singer seemingly commanding the action on stage. On this night he was the ringmaster of the IME circus and the audience cheered his antics on.

Bleached amidst a lit pool of chrome green, he asked a largely zealous audience the question of the night, "Are there any cosmonauts out there?" Being alone worth the price of admission, an immense production of "One More Astronaut" followed, radiating its titanic energy onto the largely obliging crowd below.

The band threw out pleaser after pleaser, as the cesspool of people bobbed hypnotically to its every move – a testament to the group's relative expansive growth in popularity over the last two years.

The influences were quite evident – IME playing out a worthy version of Santana's "Black Magic Woman" and later strutting a few chords of Status Quo's "Pictures of Matchstick Men."

"Another Sunday" was another delight met with great enthusiasm, as scores of fans filled in the programmed chorus to the song.

"We haven't done this song in quite a while, but a few people begged us to do it, so here it is." With that announcement the ensemble broke into a hallucinogenic and alluring version of "So Gently We Go," with its melancholy wailing and sombre twangings; a combination of which Edwin composed with such aesthetic beauty so as to send the ubiquitous audience into ecstatic rumblings of pleasure.

Despite clamour for more, soon the band found its time was up, as raging slabs of aggression and euphoria finally brought about the inevitable closer "Not Quite Sonic." A fitting finish to an impressive performance.

And as the crowd slowly thinned and dispersed, a sigh of content filled the air. Despite its craving for more, a satisfied swarm finally caught its collective breath.

–Nick Lewis

©Randy Gladman/Gazette
EVEN WITH THAT HAIR, HE'S STILL NOT QUITE SONIC. I Mother Earth guitarist Jagori Tanna.

To Contact The Entertainment Department: gazent@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright © The Gazette 1997