Satire, Antics Wow Youth October 6, 1993
Winnipeg Free Press

Satire, Antics Wow Youth

Moxy Früvous Cashes in on Federal Election

by Hilary Stead

"Kim Campbell's staking out her leadership turf/but they should never give a mike to a Smurf. She represents change because she's not a man, I guess. But I look at her and all I see is Mulroney in a dress."
-Moxy Früvous

It's not exactly the progressive Conservative's campaign theme. The lines above are Murray Foster's, from the Moxy Früvous song Tory Potion Number Nine. Sung to the tune of Love Potion Number Nine, it's the election offering from the Toronto band that is becoming the voice of the so-called Generation X, disaffected young people in their 20's. "It's a perfect time for us to be on the road," says Foster, one of the four men in their late 20's who are thrilling young audiences accross Canada with their theatrical brand of political satire.

The band first attracted widespread attention through the CBC, where the older, more literate listeners were well-versed with the issues found in their topical lyrics. It was an appreciation that made them a predictable choice to open for middle-aged fans who came out last year to hear Bob Dylan at Toronto's Massey Hall, and that helped them win the 1992 Casby Award, an alternitive music award, in the favorite new group/artist category. But it is a younger audience that is avidly buying up the band's debut album, Bargainville, released this summer.

Masses of excited teens will press together in front of the stage for a live performance, in an atmosphere reminiscent of the wave of idolatry at Beatle's concerts in the 1960's. Dancing teenagers will sing along with the lyrics and flawlessly mimic the the dramatic antics of band members Jean Ghomeshi in Green Eggs and Ham and David Matheson in King of Spain. "It's a younger audience that is thrilled by theatrics more than the political satire," says Foster, but the message is not lost by the audience. Their political satire is not in code, and Foster says, young people enjoy the political edge when politics is "slightly uncool."

"The younger ones may be introduced to politics through us," says Foster, but in a palatable form - one that combines rap, folk, soca and impromptu theatre. The federal election posed a challenge to Moxy Früvous, as Foster, Ghomeshi, Matheson, and Micheal Ford prepared for the band's 50-stop Canadian Tour this fall, including a concert November 3 at Winnipeg's Walker Theatre. But they are making good use of the material that an elaction provides. For their Tory Potion number, each day they add a verse about that day's campaigning.

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