Oshawa’s Dizzy beats the rain to close out Springtide Music Festival in Uxbridge

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Published June 12, 2023 at 10:38 am

Dizzy Photo by Mikki Simeunovich

The day was overcast and a little gloomy, perhaps befitting the lyrical bent of headline act Dizzy’s lyrics. But the rain only threatened to disrupt the final day’s performance at the Springtide Music Festival in Uxbridge, with the clouds withholding judgement until after the Juno-winning Oshawa pop band’s mournful – yet somehow joyful – set was complete.

That Dizzy, which earned their Juno at the 2019 awards for their debut album Baby Teeth, can instill joy in their audience is remarkable considering the tone of their songs, which are about bullying, depression, the trials of high school and growing up in Oshawa. When “take me to the roof, I wanna hear what a broken heart does when I fling it to the ground” (Sunflower, from The Sun and her Scorch) gets toes tapping, you are hearing a band that has found their place and is comfortable in that space.

Dizzy was the closing act at the three-day Springtide festival, an annual music event held at various venues throughout the north Durham community that is a celebration of music and community – especially needed after last year’s devastating F2 tornado that swept through the town, causing widespread damage – and features a wide range of stellar musical talent from Uxbridge, Durham Region, the GTA and beyond at a diverse set of downtown venues.

Headlining the three-day festival, which ran from June 9-11, is Oshawa’s own Dizzy, along with bluesy rock singer songwriter Terra Lightfoot, rock and roll legend The Sadies, the “gravel-on-silk” vocals of AHI and Uxbridge’s own Tania Joy, who also happens to be the co-founder and organizer of the festival.

“It’s a labour of love,” said Joy, spotted enjoying brunch and a performance from roots singer Mimi O’Bonsawin (‘Darling’ was a serious banger) at a free festival event at the Urban Pantry Sunday. “It takes a lot of work but every year it’s awesome.”

More than 40 acts in total performed at eight different venues in Uxbridge over the three days, with the main stage set up at Second Wedge Brewing, a business that was destroyed by the tornado last May and is only now getting ready to re-open after a long re-build.

Dizzy, formed by singer Katie Munshaw and drummer Charlie Spencer in high school and later joined by Spencer’s two brothers, closed out the festival Sunday, following performances from Billianne, The Pairs and Andrea Ramolo.

Billianne, a singer-songwriter with strong vocals and mature presence that belies her 19 years, mixed in original material like ‘Old Times Sake’ with cover tunes, including a slowed-down version of ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ that Journey would be wise to listen to.

Springtide co-founder and performer Tania Joy dancing to The Pairs. Photo Glenn Hendry

The Pairs got the crowd dancing, with Joy and Second Wedge co-owner Joanne Richter among those stepping out on the dance floor, while Andrea Ramolo softened the vibe with a set of romantic but sad folksy ballads performed in English and Italian, including ‘My Oh My,’ an homage to Leonard Cohen.

That set the stage for Dizzy for their 14-song set, with music off their first two albums as well their self-titled upcoming third record, due in August. The tunes are angst-ridden but somehow very infectious, especially songs that harken to their Oshawa roots, such as ‘Beatrice’ from the band’s sophomore LP, The Sun and the Scorch.

Would you call me when you get this?

I know there’s nothing left to fix

I just wanted to hear your voice. Would you meet me on Beatrice?

Dizzy finished the set – with the rain still in abeyance – with ‘Open Up Wide’ from the new album, but the penultimate tune was ‘Stars and Moons,’ one of their earlier recordings:

Found you in your bedroom

Vacant, set in gloom

Jamming all your fingertips into all your wounds

Munshaw said after the show, that the band was happy the rain held out long enough to finish their performance.

“We beat the weather,” she said, with a line of fans awaiting an autograph and a word. “It was an awesome show and we had a lot of fun.”

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