Last year for the encore at their AIDS benefit concert at Hart House, the Hidden Cameras played a mean cover of “Umbrella.” You know which “Umbrella” we’re talking about—that amazing ubiquitous pop song, oft-covered but never really matched or trumped. Not until Joel Gibb and his dozen or so band members took it on in Hart House, at least: Gibb’s pronounced croon somehow fit the song even better than Rihanna’s resigned “ey”s, and the huge band—killer drum line and all—only added to it. People at the concert flipped out, as well they should have.
We’ve been trying to find it or a similar performance from the band ever since: somehow, footage of the Hart House cover never made its way to YouTube, even though “Smells Like Happiness” and “the WAning mOOn” and “Awoo” from the same gig did. But thank goodness for Soundvenue: the site filmed the band playing a unplugged version of their cover in Copenhagen this past summer, with the Toronto gang (including Maggie MacDonald and Laura Barrett) mostly intact. With Gibb’s voice backgrounded and with more than a bit of the oomph of the song drowned, it’s only a little like the band’s other cover, but we’ll take what we can get. Skip to 1:45 for the highlight of the whole thing: an a cappella, ella, ella, ey, ey, ey.