That’s one Tuffcookie

Montreal band Tuffcookie throws down Halloween with The Dryheaves and free porn

By Gabe Gilker

Last Thursday at Cabaret Playhouse Tuffcookie and The Dryheaves kicked off the beginning of Halloween weekend by commanding the stage in full costume and throwing free porn slides and monster balls at the crowd.

Feathers and glitter opened the show as the sexy Miss Ellen Cherry Charles treated the crowd to an entertaining Burlesque dance. Wearing next to nothing with huge feather fans she teased the crowd, laying on the ground and showing off her long, skinny legs.

“Free Porn!” Hicham Illoussamen, the guitarist and synth player of Tuffcookie yelled as he threw a slide of 1970s porn right at me. Tuffcookie charged the crowd with their moody, crashing, alternative rock. All dressed in mismatching costumes, but not mismatching beats, Tuffcookie preformed a solid set with a great dynamic.

“We draw our inspiration from our day to day life. We’re pretty moody people, most of the time it’s a way to vent,” Illoussamen said.

Don’t get it twisted though, just because they are moody don’t expect little teenie-bopper whining rock, Tuffcookie is literally made of four tough cookies. Marie Tilbe on vocals, lead guitar/bass, Hicham Illoussamen on bass, guitar and keyboard, Reuben Bouza on drums and Josiah Toufexis on bass know how to power their emotions into their music which transforms it into something deeper and darker that hides in the undertones of their music.

Tuffcookie started off by accident as Illoussamen helped Tilbe work out some song material after her and her previous band split. Good thing this accident happened because now Tuffcookie is finishing their first album “Fake it to Make it,” and recently had a song on the Crane Record Launch CD, which Illoussamen also did the cover artwork for.

“Our songs are surrounded by tough luck, but we don’t want to be too serious, too dramatic or deep. We’re here to have fun,” Illoussamen said.

Also there to have fun was The Dryheaves. The three (wo)man band dressed up as The Runaways, reminded everyone that girls can play punk-rock. The trio brought the no-pants and high kicks to the stage as Miss Ellen Cherry Charles returned to add some burlesque flair to the heavy music. The highlight of the set wasn’t just the half naked girls on stage, but the drummer, Vero J. This petite girl produced intense, rapid and clean drumming from her sticks of power all the while making it look too easy.

The show ended on a high note, with Monster balls being bounced, free porn slides being compared, candy being eaten and shoved away for later and of course, cheap beer being guzzled, the bands and fans all mingled together to enjoy the holiday festivities.

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