Saturday, November 01, 2008

The Pan Canadian New Folk Ensemble

I know that post title is a mouthful but I just saw this group down at a local cafe. It was the topping on a perfect day.

I found out about this gig late in the game but as soon as I heard there was a banjo involved I was all in. They're a newly formed group, currently on tour and stopped in to Victoria after their gig in Whitehorse went belly up. The "ensemble" includes songwriters Kim Barlow, Christine Fellows, Old Man Luedecke as well as Jordy Walker, Alex McMaster and Alison Corbett.

The cafe used to be an old warehouse or bakery I think and has been converted into this very awesome cafe. The owner, David Cardinal, only serves fair trade coffee/teas and organic vittles. He also makes a mean London fog, my favourite drink.

But on with my story. We arrived just as the doors opened but we might as well have been late. The place was packed. We found a small space at the back as a variety of people had "reserved" seats for their friends. (I won't go into how much I detest "seat savers") I joyfully paid for my delicious London fog when we discovered that there was a cramped space near the front that afforded a better view. (By this I mean we could actually see the performers) Our view meant sitting on the floor and trying to avoid getting stepped on.

The best part about the night was how friendly, funny and quirky the group was. The space was intimate and slightly cramped but cozy. They told us humourous stories like how "Old Man Ludecke" went to go see his idol in New York only to be told off because of the carbon footprint he'd made driving down. Their songs were strange, their lyrics, weirder. One song was about flying a bush plane up north, another about a poor gingerbread man biting off his own legs (ew). But they were my kind of strange and the songs were lyrical and beautifully orchestrated. They were inclusive, encouraging us to sing along to what they called a song in the style of "environmental balladry". (I'm pretty sure this is a new niche genre)

The point is, they were amazing, I had a great time and it was really nice to go out, have tea and listen to great talent, even better, Canadian talent! This song, "Little Bird" was my favourite of the night. So gorgeous!

1 comment:

mister anchovy said...

really nice video...I'll watch for them if they come to Toronto.