Friday, 22 November 2013

Van City Soul Quartet takes off

Good news on the band front - got a new band ! Formed just in time for Christmas, the band consists of Howard Greenstein on keys, Doug Jang on drums, Howie Wowie on bass and myself on guitar. The luvly Patsy Thompson is on vocals, Patsy is a BC gal recently moved back from Austin TX and what a great voice she has. We have two gigs coming up - December 15th @ Guilt & Company in Gastown [no cover] and the following weekend at the Fairview [891 W.Broadway Cover $10]

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Night out on Vancouver Town with The Chantrelles

A band that I have been watching closely is Victoria's "The Chantrelles" they played at the Electric Owl on Friday night. I was impressed with their stage show, sadly it was a rushed job, with three bands in 2 hours. However, there are lots of opportunities to see the band on their current mini-tour of Western Canada.

I look forward to booking the band - look for another Vancouver date in the fall either at Cellar Jazz or the Kozmik Zoo.

Considering the average age of the band they pull off a marvelous soul and funk vibe with mostly original tunes. The audience consisted of some older folks, who were around in the first wave of soul - back in the day and possibly their grand children :-) It's great to see people of all ages enjoying a new vibe on an old sound.

The Electric Owl remains a venue that remains in my bad books, crappy sound and the closure of their kitchen [not a good sign] has seen this venue go downhill in recent months. I can only guess the plethora of underage teenagers present as sign of desperation at the door and back office. I can only suspect bad management is at fault.

Here's a little video I took last night.
On a positive note - one of the other band's worth mentioning was Johhny de Courcy and the Death Rangers I was pleasantly surprised by Johnny and the band. I must admit I've always been a sucker for ambiguity, regardless of the art form and Johnny delivered that in spades.

You can find more on Victoria's The Chantrelles here
You can find more on Johnny de Courcy here

Van City Soul Club has lots of events coming to the Cellar Jazz Club in Kits for the month of August - please check the Cellar's web site for details - reservations strongly suggested:
August 7th - Holly Burke
Aug 15th - Skylab Sounds
Aug 29 James Buddy Rogers
Sept 1 Riley Inge Sr. with the Flora Scott Band

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Car Free Day - Hits a home run in to the left field

The Car Free Day Festival in Vancouver originated on Commercial Drive - it stems from the rise of "green" politics on the east side of the city; seven years on the event continues albeit it has major competition internally and externally.
twidling my knobs in public

I love car-free day, my band Mr M & The All Nighters played it in 2007, it was raining that day but we had a good time and have the photos to prove it. Last weekend my new band Vertigo played the mainstage as its first ever public appearance and I got to supply the sound through my Adanac Sound for the whole day.

Car Free Day currently runs in 2 other locations; Main Street and Denman Street. The Main event expanded this year to 33rd Ave, making it by far the biggest of the three. Opposingly, by all reports the Denman event continues to dwindle, possibly due to the lack of support from the local BIA. The Commercial event continues, however it has strong competition from the rejuvenated Italian Days that is now just the week prior. Commercial Drive is known as for its "cool-ness" however some parts of the drive are "cooler" than others. South of 1st Avenue the event seems to get about a third of the crowds, this is a little bizarre since people arriving on transit have to get off at the Skytrain and or Commercial and Broadway. The mainstage is located at 7th and Commercial and it was powered by Fraser Valley Cow Poo

the view from the sound desk
As expected the day was a long one for fellow organiser Joel Liman and myself. we were basically loading gear at 8am and ended the day around 9pm loading the gear. Our stage was kindly supplied by Conrad Schmidt @ Vancouver Sound and Lights, special thanks to Devo for helping us put it together. This was the first time out for my PA system, so I was a little nervous as to its reliability, volume and quality. We had a bit of freak out 2 mins before noon when we had no monitors, however with a little help we got things off to a good start.

Vertigo - rockin' out
The bands were awesome, we had many different styles from bluegrass, rock, funk and soul. Coco Jafro had an awesome set despite Karl leaving his keyboard dongle at home, Kiki Em was in fine form and my PA did her justice. My mate Brian Harris made the trek from Maple Ridge to perform with his band "Ages". My band Vertigo did well for its first gig, a bit shaky in spots, but not bad at all for a first outing, at least we are still together and have not parted ways immediately after. Our next gig is July 6 at the Richmond Night Market. Joel and his various bands performed well with some impressive new singers in tow. Nice to see the lovely Rebel Valentine in her post natal repose back on stage.

Ages - doin' their thing

Once the bands were done it was time to pack away the stage and the PA, thankfully made easier by the volunteers that turned up to make it happen. My thanks to Joel, Conrad, Devo and all the performers for making it happen; after a few days rest and a few ideas to make the mainstage that much better,  I'm already looking forward to next year.

To see more photos from the Mainstage

Friday, 7 June 2013

Return of the Stern and Skylab Sounds @ Cellar Jazz June 5th

Wednesday nights are not usually a busy night for most venues, this last Wednesday [June 5th] at the Cellar Jazz in Kits was no exception, however what the audience lacked in numbers they certainly made up for in energy and participation.

Kicking off the night were recent imports from Victoria, Skylab Sounds; Skyla and Ozzie have just moved from the Island yet have already garnered a bit of a following in the city. Their funky/jazzy laptop beat oriented sound was a perfect fit for the Cellar, a venue that admittedly doesn't see too many laptops onstage. Skyla's vocals are well suited to the downtempo vibe and Ozzie's keyboard and bass foil fits nicely in their overall sound. They will certainly be coming back to the Cellar in the near future.

Return of the Stern is a band that I have been following for a few years now. I first put them on with High Society back around Christmas 2011 at the Media Club and was immediately impressed with their ability to groove. Although the line-up has altered some what since, the central core of Adam Baylin Stern on drums and Ryan Grimsey on keys has been consistent. With the recent addition of my former band mate Lorick Russow on tenor sax and Graham Holland the band have a more of a jazzy feel. Lorick's wacky street smart style is a perfect foil for the talented Ryan on electric piano. On a side note Ryan is a graduate of the Young Lions jazz school, having played in the class at age 12, so it was great to see some of that come to fruition on stage. This was the band's most prestigious gig to date and they certainly rose to the occaison. The Cellar is a perfect venue for them.

The future of Vancouver jazz lies in the hands of bands like these; not only within the music they create but in their ability to attract a younger audience. Music is always evolving whether people like it or not, new styles attract new audiences and new audiences keep venues like the Cellar alive. About 90% of the audience had never been to the Cellar Jazz Club before and that was also good to see.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Supernovah Soundwave May 21 Cellar Jazz, 3611 West Broadway, Vancouver

This week's East Van Soul Radio show features an interview with Supernovah Soundwave who play at the Cellar Jazz May 21  @ 8pm. We talk with Devon Martin and Mark Nybo about how the band came together at a 420 event in Vancouver and how they have taken this otherwise random event and creating a cool new band from it.

Presented by Van City Soul Club Supernovah Soundwave 8pm Tuesday May 21 featuring Juno award winner Devon Martin aka Mr Metro

See the event on Facebook

Join the Facebook group for East Van Soul Club Radio

More Van City Soul Club presents event will be announced shortly....

Neglecting the blog

It has been almost a year since I last posted, so it is indeed high time to do so.

At lot as happened around East Van Soul Club over the last 11 months, we have expanded geographically to the Van City Soul Club; the radio show continues every Monday 10-1pm and I now work at Cory Weed's Cellar Jazz in Kits a few nights per week as sound tech.

More to come real soon....