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The Hamilton Spectator, Wednesday June 7, 1978

By Doreen Pitkeathly, Spectator Staff - At The Clubs

Weird props, explosions some of the Imps' surprises


An Imp, according to Webster's, is a young demon or a mischievous child. And that pretty well describes The Imps you'll find at the Jamesway's Shot and Bottle this week - three devilish creatures whose line of work falls somewhere between music and hard labor.

"You'll never get fat playing rock and roll," says drummer James Lord. Not the way The Imps play it anyway. The music is pretty basic rock - Zeppelin, Queen and the like - but the visual presentation is about as absurd as anything you're likely to see in the bars these days.

THE IMPSGuitarist Frank Soda and bassist Charles Towers hardly take time for a breather between leaps and bounds and Lord hammers his mammoth drum set so hard the sweat sprays off him.

Strobe lights blind, mini-explosions startle, flaming drumsticks excite and weird props like giant plastic ears, flashing glasses and arrows through the head provide constant surprises. Add to that, zany outfits like gym shorts and striped knee socks, flowing capes and eerie masks and that just about covers it. But not quite.

The bass player chops off the guitarist's head. Now, that's absurd.

What could make three competent and intelligent musicians leave their Vancouver homes and head to Toronto to put together an act like The Imps?

First clue - they used to back up Thor (you know, the Viking singer whose recent single, You've Got To Keep The Dogs Away has been getting a lot of airplay). The second - good business sense.

"The business drives you this way," explained Soda. "The audience wants more - they want to be entertained."

"There are a lot of good bands around today but the ones who'll stand out are those who stand out more than musically."

You just had to listen to the response of the audience last night, or check out the size of a crowd for a week night to get confirmation. And there's a recording contract in the offing for the trio which will feature their original material.

They may appear insane, but they obviously know what their doing.