Highlight of the night at Joseph’s Well on Sunday November 14th were undoubtedly blues-rock trio, Canola Wonders. Their pulsating opening set, with its stampede of barnstorming riffs and supreme technical musicianship, dominated the fervent chatter of the audience for many hours to come. And little wonder. It was a scintillating performance, laying down a benchmark, not just for the evening, but for free-flowing invention on guitar fret-boards everywhere.
It was a set that seized with a wallop from the first slamming kick-in to the last, pulling you headlong into a shifting labyrinth of prickly solos and throbbing bass, before releasing you battered, breathless and eager for the next barrage. This is because, despite the clearly complex levels of technical ability on display from these three, and in particular from guitarist Paul Ward, there is something direct and uncomplicated about Canola Wonders that should please fans of gutsy, stripped-down blues like The Black Keys but also devotees of those vulgar bulldozers of rock, Queens of the Stone Age. It’s urgent, it’s unfussy, and it damn well knows how to show you a good time.
So watch out for Canola Wonders on the Leeds circuit in the coming months. To be honest, it’ll be difficult to ignore them.
As for the meaning of the band name, one can only wonder…