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Toronto punk band thrashes its way through Cleveland

Chris Rex and Gypsy of The Swabs performing with their logo superimposed in front.
Chris Rex and Gypsy of The Swabs performing with their logo superimposed in front.
The Swabs

Simple, straightforward punk rock sensibilities define the break-neck playing style of the The Swabs who hit the stage at Peabody's this past Thursday night in support of The Independents who have done a lot to support them. 

The Swabs are a punk/thrash band from Toronto, Canada and is made up of Chris Rex (guitar, vocals), Tom Ireland (drums) and their bassist, known as "The Gypsy."  This power trio from Canada is on its first official tour in America and has played shows in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. 

Gypsy talked candidly about the band's varying experiences playing shows in America and Canada. He said that they've had mainly good luck with their American shows as far as dealing with venue managers that treat them fairly and make sure they get paid what they deserve.  Some of the venues the band has played in Canada are not as fair in their treatment of bands, according to Gypsy.

In addition to his opinions about different venues, Gypsy spoke sparingly and reluctantly about his father.  He said, in all seriousness, that he is actually the illegitimate son of the late Beatles' guitarist, George Harrison who died in 2001.  Harrison is only known to have one son, Dhani, making this claim difficult to verify. 

The young band maintains a positive attitude even as its members deal with the strains of being on the road, including lack of sleep. 

Both The Swabs and The Independents stayed at the Wyndham Hotel in Downtown Cleveland where they returned to after the show well after 3 a.m. 

An exhausted Gypsy, not one to split hairs over sleeping arrangements in a hotel room full of people (half of whom were not actually staying at the hotel), didn't complain as he took a pillow and a blanket from one of the overcrowded beds and took refuge on the floor. 

The Swabs are slated to end their summer tour in their home town of Toronto on July 6. 


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