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Apostle of Hustle
July 1, 2005 - Harbor Front Centre – Toronto, Ont
by Leanda Quinquet

It’s an early show for Apostle of Hustle at the outdoor venue on the Waterfront. Eight o’clock and the seating area is jam packed solid with bodies, fussy babes, eager teenagers, and a multitude of hot sticky people.

An eclectic bunch of musicians; 3 percussionists, a drummer, a keyboard player and front man Andrew Whiteman, casually grace the stage. Whiteman is the founder and driving force behind the band that is comprised mainly of members of label mate band Broken Social Scene. Also playing this evening is another member of BSS, Leslie Fiest, a brilliantly soulful chanteuse, who has spent the last few years living in Paris soaking up the musical influences which that fair city has to offer.

The crowd waits patiently; die hard fans push themselves up and against the stage boundaries waiting in anticipation. Those not so familiar with the music float about the venues periphery--curious as to what the fuss is about, they are about to be pleasantly surprised.

The band began to play a slow song to start, full of Cuban flavor and plenty of Whiteman’s signature BSS guitar riffs. Andrew has a fabulous voice, gritty and rusty when edge is needed only to switch to a smooth and gentle side, when you least expect it.  The percussionists were also a true joy to watch and listen to, they were amazing. Using shakers and drum sticks on every surface available, floors, stage walls, laps you name it they used it, to create the supporting beats that are a great part of the bands distinct sound.

The highlight of the show was when the keyboard player, a beautiful woman seemingly of Latin descent, began to Flamenco dance in the middle of a song, wielding castanets and tapping out the most clear and crisp beats…it was classic. Andrew also invited Leslie Fiest on stage to perform a song from his album which she sang on originally "Baby, You’re in Luck." It was a beautiful duet, more upbeat than the record version, but absolutely stunning.

This band knows how to have fun and it’s infectious! People of all ages, races and backgrounds were floored by the performance. Andrew has a way of engaging the audience that is magic…getting them to participate in the songs, sing along, clap in time, and they love it, they become a part of the whole experience.

This show was part of the Canada Day celebrations in Toronto and the sense of national pride the band exuded was outstanding.

Apostle of Hustle is one of the best things to come out of Canada…we love them and if you manage to see them live in your town, you’re guaranteed to fall in love too.