As I’ve already written about several times on my blog, it’s always a pleasure to hear Le Vent du Nord perform–although this time, it was on a seriously rainy Wednesday night at the Rogue. Yet the loyal fans filled the place nonetheless!
This time too we actually were without Olivier Demers. If you’ve been following my posts and have seen my earlier Le Vent concert posts, you know Olo’s my favorite of all the members of the group! (And I’m not just saying that because he follows me on Facebook and therefore might actually read this. Auquel cas je dois dire SALUT OLO!)
But this time he had to stay home, due to having a death in his family. :( He posted to his Facebook wall that his father had passed away just a couple of days before the show. (And I was simultaneously very sad to hear the news and a bit relieved to have been warned about it in advance, because if I’d shown up without knowing M. Demers wouldn’t be on hand, I would have been even sadder!)
So Le Vent had to pull in Jean-François Gagnon Branchaud as emergency backup fiddler. If you know Quebecois trad, you may well recognize his name as one of the two fiddlers currently playing with La Bottine Souriante, who also sings some lead on La Bottine’s last album. And if you know La Bottine, you know that anybody who plays for them is guaranteed to bring their A game to a stage. Jean-François did not disappoint, and so even though we all missed Olivier, it was still a delightful show!
Let’s get down to the details, shall we? Continue reading “Le Vent du Nord at the Rogue in Vancouver BC, 1/27/2016”
As you know, O Internets, in the ongoing dearth of Great Big Sea shows in my life, I have turned to the joy and consolation of the principle of “Any Band With a Beaudry gets me across the border”. Which of course means mes gars of De Temps Antan–who last year broke my personal record of “How many times I visited Canada in one year to see the same band”–and most definitely, Le Vent du Nord!
By now the Rogue in Vancouver has a very warm place in my heart, since I’ve seen both Le Vent and De Temps Antan there twice each. This time around the venue was not set up with tables, which surprised me! But Le Vent did sell the place out, so it does not surprise me that they wanted to get as many people in there as possible. And most importantly, they did leave space for us to boing by the stage as we liked. That’s important, you know.
As for the show itself–it’ll surprise exactly no one that I enjoyed myself immensely. Particularly because this show included five, count ’em, five brand new songs that’ll be on the forthcoming new album, AND because we got the rare and unexpected treat of Olivier Demers taking a break from his usual masterful fiddling to demonstrate that he also plays guitar. AND: “Papineau”, a multi-layered turlutte that showcases all four of the boys’ voices to splendid effect, is now officially one of my top favorite Le Vent songs and that album isn’t even OUT yet. Everyone was in excellent voice and high spirits, band and audience alike, and by the end of the proceedings we had quite the crowd dancing around to “Au bord de la fontaine”. It was AWESOME.
In-depth show proceedings behind the fold! Continue reading “Le Vent du Nord at the Rogue, Vancouver, BC 2/23/2015”
My third visit to St. James Hall, a.k.a. the Rogue, proved every bit as delightful as expected and as they always do, De Temps Antan put on a lively and spirited show.
A satisfyingly large posse of my local AND online Quebecois trad fandom friends were on hand: in addition to myself and Dara, Dejah and Michelle from the Seattle crowd came up for the show. Ginny and Gary from Coquitlam were on hand, as well as Carol all the way from Iowa! And this time I brought Geri along so that she could see De Temps Antan in action, since she had not before. We all claimed a table close to the front of the room, since Ginny and Gary had ever so helpfully reserved it. There was singing! There was podorythmie! And there may possibly have been mammoth jigs on Dara’s head while the band was playing “Valse St-Sévère”.
Full deets behind the fold! Continue reading “De Temps Antan at St. James Hall, Vancouver BC, 11/8/2014”
Let it be officially noted: De Temps Antan has now officially COMPLETELY STOMPED all over Great Big Sea’s record for “Most number of times in one year that Anna has gone north over the border for the express purpose of seeing a band”–because they’re coming back again to BC in November. And I’ll be scampering up there for two, count ’em, two shows!
They’re hitting the Rogue again, which y’all may recollect was where they played this past February after Festival du Bois, a show at which many delightful shenanigans were had! AND they’re going to Cumberland, to hit the very same teeny tiny venue where last I saw my boys of Le Vent du Nord.
Because I mean honestly, if my Quebec boys keep wanting to come to BC so often, it just behooves me to scamper up there to see them, as much as my available time off will allow. As I have said before, there are critical principles here of Bands With Bouzouki-Wielding Beaudrys to uphold here! Especially given Great Big Sea’s until-further-notice hiatus. A girl’s gotta get in her bouzouki SOMEHOW.
This will be a rather more complex road trip, though! Dara will be coming up with me for the show at the Rogue, but then taking the train back while I proceed on to Cumberland. Seattle friends Dejah and Michelle are also eying hitting the Rogue show, and there’s a strong possibility that Vancouver-based friends may be showing up at the Rogue as well. And in between shows I’ll be buckling down for hardcore writing work, with periodic outbursts of practicing, because you better believe I’m coming up there with flutes.
And it pleases me immensely to be gathering together folks from both Great Big Sea fandom AND Quebec trad fandom. Just call me Anna the Piper, Rallier of Fandoms, and Instigator of Vertical Movement and La Danse Verticale. :D
I’ve already gotten time off approved for these shenanigans, and have elected to take the entire week of November the 10th off. Which will give me plenty of time to get home after the show on the 12th, and decompress over the following weekend. And post the obligatory trip reports and pictures.
And this time? THIS TIME I will not forget Jean-Claude. It is important, yea, VITAL I TELL YOU, to not forget your mammoth on road trips to see bands from Quebec. It is KNOWN.
When you go to Canada for two consecutive weekends, Internets, you tend to get behind on posting stuff to your blog. Which means for you that I got delayed posting my writeup of the MOST excellent concert by De Temps Antan at the Rogue. But I’m home again, and posting again, so here you go!
Previously in our adventures with Festival du Bois 2014, yours truly got to chat with both Éric Beaudry AND André Brunet after the close of official festival events on Saturday night! And y’all may recall that SOMEBODY got a little creative with how he did his signature on the inside of my copy of Ce monde ici-bas!
So what happened? Full concert blow-by-blow behind the fold! Continue reading “De Temps Antan at the Rogue in Vancouver BC, 3/2/2014”
48-hour turnaround time: fastest trip I’ve done to Vancouver in some time! Possibly EVER! Because yeah, my belovedest Dara and I zoomed up to Vancouver by train on Wednesday morning, and home again on Thursday night. We crashed at the home of friends Geri and Rob, and the purpose before us was, of course, GREAT BIG SEA!
We got up to Vancouver around noonish on Wednesday as per usual for the train, and promptly took the Skytrain over to Geri and Rob’s so we could crash for a while before heading off to the show. The B’ys played this time at the PNE, the Pacific National Exhibition, a venue that reminded me a lot of the Seattle Center during Folklife–only with a lot more of an amusement park/fairground feel to it. There were many more rides and a lot more fair food, but less music.
Shoutouts must be given to the other fans we met up with, in particular Kate, Helen, Robin, Angela, Angela’s mom Venus, and Angela’s grandmother as well (whose name I didn’t catch, sorry about that). Several of us all took time to go see the Superdogs show before GBS went on stage, and that was fun. Lots of acrobatic stunts with very cleverly trained dogs, and it gave us at least something else to spend our fair admission on. Which was $16 at the gate–and which also made it by far the cheapest ticket I’ve had to a GBS show in quite some time.
We nommed fair food for dinner, and as we were in fact in Canada, I naturally had to have poutine. Because nom. I have no idea who invented poutine, but my hat is off to whatever enterprising soul first decided that fries + gravy + squeakycheese = nom. And before we got into the show space, I amused myself buying a ten-dollar light-up toy that spun little colored bulbs on threads, thinking it’d be fun to have that during the show.
The show was outdoors, in a nice large ampitheater space, and we ducked in fairly early so that Geri and Rob could claim their seats in the reserved area and Dara and I could get as far forward in the GA area as possible. That let us also of course see superfan Lynda (I do always spot her at the concerts), and greetings were exchanged! This was the first time as well that I’d been at a GBS show large enough and in an appropriate space for using jumbotrons. There were two of them, one to either side of the stage, and all throughout the show they kept alternating between showing the band members and showing people in the audience.
Naturally, Dara and I had our Cascadia flag! We had great fun waving that around, and Geri was startled to note that my pink shorts, taken together with the blue, green, and white of the Cascadia flag, actually made for very Newfoundland-friendly colors. I noted wryly that I had not in fact done that on purpose. But yeah, the Cascadia flag? Very Newfoundland-friendly colors. And Dara and I in fact were mistaken for Newfoundlanders by the girls behind us!
Round about 8:30, the show got underway! It was a single set show, and very tight and fast–not entirely without banter, but less rambly than some shows I’ve been to. I didn’t get any pictures since we were outdoors in the dark, and I’m not good at getting shots under those conditions. Dara did however get several nice shots, which you can find at her flickr page over here.
Alan in particular was rocking his bearded look, as he often does when he’s about to do another stint on Republic of Doyle or is just coming off of one:
“Paddy Murphy” was the first big bit of amusing banter. Séan did the intro with “Alan got a little bit drunk / and Bob got a little wet! As long as a bottle was passed around, Murray Foster was feeling…” Then he trailed off meaningfully, getting the audience to roar “GAY!” This took a couple tries, in fact–and Séan got a huge cheer by adding, “We’re not in Russia, it’s OKAY!”
And I am chagrined to note that I TOTALLY missed that Bob sauntered over and laid one on Murray at that point because I was frantically typing notes into my phone. DARA, however, caught it and suitably lost it laughing! “Paddy Murphy” also, according to Kate, had our first indicator that the B’ys were dropping hints about where they’d be after the show–since they referenced the Railway!
ETA: I am informed that it was actually Séan who went over to smooch Murray. Either way: HA!
It was after “Beat the Drum” that Alan went into a lament about jet lag, remarking, “I myself woke up at 5:15!” Dara, at that point, yelled “SO DID WE!” And trust me when I say that Dara is in a position to understand that usually, when a musician sees an hour that stupidly early, it’s from the other direction.
Alan added that he went for a run in Stanley Park, where he ran into Séan–and Séan said that he loved Stanley Park, and that everybody is beautiful there. Even Alan. LOL. He then went off into an improv on “New Moon”, and Alan informed the audience that they did in fact have the day off tomorrow, with the unforgiving checkout time of noon. Another big indicator that “yes, we will in fact be on the loose after the show”.
I must also specifically call out “Safe Upon the Shore” for DEAR GOD DEATH BY HARMONY. We didn’t get “General Taylor” or “River Driver” this time, but whenever they unleash “Safe Upon the Shore”, I’m OKAY WITH THAT. This time around they nailed it beautifully and I kept having to brace for the impact of the choruses. They were shiver-inducingly glorious. That said, Dara and I still kept giggling and going “BRAAAAAAAAAAINS” at one another given that this whole song is about a corpse.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: “Scolding Wife” is huge fun, and Dara and I had fun with our arms around one another singing this. I in particular let out with “Ahh, she’d sell me to the devil for a glass or two of VODKA!”
“I’m a Rover” was the point in the concert where Alan let out his funniest bits during the whole show–by looking up at the biggest and most notable ride within view of the stage, one of those ones that’s a great big whirling arm with two cars on either end. Alan took a look at that thing and told the audience it’d just then occurred to him that JAYSUS THERE ARE ACTUAL HUMAN BEINGS IN THAT! And that it was kind of freaking him out!
This song also got a wry little mention of Bob in the last verse as well: “we both shook hands and embraced his fiddle!” Muaha. It’s okay to love your fiddle. You might not however want to LOVE your fiddle. >:D
Leading into “Sea of No Cares” (the slow version, which is how they’ve been doing the song at the last several shows I’ve attended), Alan made cracks about their first show in Vancouver being back in 1956. Which always makes me giggle, since it totally reminds me of Elvis making jokes about HIS first shows being in 1912. And after SoNC, Alan joked further about the west coast always surprising the band since “people go in the ocean recreationally here!” At which point Séan joked that that isn’t ALL they do recreationally here.
After that they pretty much charged through the rest of the set non-stop. And I was stunned, STUNNED I TELL YOU, that we didn’t actually get “Excursion Around the Bay”! But I did love hearing “Wave Over Wave” again, and in particular pointing out to Dara how Murray’s been breaking out a bouzouki for this song. And I liked pointing out to her as well that both Alan and Bob had their own bouzoukis for “Live This Life”. Because all things are made better with bouzoukis, including Great Big Sea encores.
After the show Dara and I sadly had to bow out of the attempt to head to the Railway, since Geri and Rob were our ride and they weren’t up for it. But we did fetch tasty Siegels bagels on the way back to Burnaby, and we drank cider, and that was a lovely close to the evening! I’m told that the B’ys did in fact show up at the Railway, and so next time I hit a GBS show in Vancouver, there will have to be a bit more judicious planning for possible post-show shenanigans. (Because I need me a pic of me and Alan and Jean-Claude the mammoth. I DO! >:D)
Further edits will happen to this post if anybody points me at publicly linkable pictures or videos!
Not much more to report about the Harrison Hot Springs trip, but I do have enough to do a quick followup post!
I’d said in the previous post that there’d been an accident at the festival. Over on Facebook, Dejah threw me a link on a local paper’s website about the accident. The Agassiz-Harrison Observer reported that a family of four was involved, and that while there were some injuries and the father needed surgery, mostly everybody was more or less okay. Two vehicles were involved, and the driver of the SUV was arrested. (Dara and I and those with us at the second De Temps Antan show wound up seeing that SUV later, just after the concert. It was pretty badly banged up.)
After the DTA show on Sunday night, Dara and I took it pretty easy. We scampered over to one of the shops to get fudge (mmmmm fudge), and then saw the boys of the band, Dejah, Ginny, and Gary heading to dinner. Amused jokes were made about not stalking the band we SWEAR. And though everybody yelled farewells to us (I noted the good M. Brunet in particular yelling over in our direction), we left them to it since we wanted to hide in our B&B room for a while. And I had important pic-posting business to attend to!
We did later emerge for dinner of our own, though, and had Thai food on a restaurant balcony overlooking the lake. Our waiter turned out to be a bass player as well and Dara chatted with him a bit about the jam session we’d been informed would be happening at the lounge next door later that night. Dara did wind up hitting that jam session for a little bit, though I opted to take one last round of advantage of the jacuzzi in our room.
The next morning, we got up in a leisurely fashion, got our stuff all packed and ready to go, and headed west to Vancouver! On the way, heading along TC-1, I spotted a road sign that deeply amused us in our capacity as massive Elfquest fangirls.
(I mean, Clearbrook must live somewhere, right? Maybe this is the exit that leads to the Wolfrider Holt!)
After that, we went over a toll bridge we’d been warned about and which we hoped would be clever enough to note that we were an American license plate, not a Canadian one, since we’d been told it worked by snapping photos of licenses and billing the drivers. We don’t know yet if we’ll get a bill from British Columbia, but guess we’ll find out! I did like one of the pics I got going over the bridge, though.
Our agenda in Vancouver was a couple of quick surgical strikes on places we wanted to get to, and the first of these was the Laser Cutter Cafe in Vancouver’s Chinatown. Because tea. And LASERS!
We had a pleasant chat with the guys in there, including a guy named Adrian who was selling his digital carving art via the cafe. And while we didn’t actually carve anything, it was cool to see the machines the guys had available and the various and sundry little things on shelves that had come out of them. I particularly liked the little Jiji from Kiki’s Delivery Service.
Dara even got to talk up her music a bit and one of the guys piped “Shout At the Desert” over the cafe’s sound system. To wit: awesome.
And just to be thorough we did in fact also have tea! Which was very welcome, given that we hadn’t had any tea at all in Harrison. Our room at the B&B had included some bag tea in the stock of breakfast foods we’d been provided–but none of it was stuff we’d wanted to drink, actually!
We left kind of earlier than we wanted to, since the place was pretty cool–but we didn’t want to run our parking meter out, and we did actually have to get back on the road in order to get home in time for dinner.
Not to mention that we needed lunch, and it was critical, critical we tell you, to stop at Siegels Bagels for our obligatory few dozen bagels to bring home. Because yum.
And our last stop was at the mall that Dara likes to call Chibi Akihabara, but which is actually called Yaohan. She wanted to pop in there on general principles but also to see if she could find a replacement holder for her passport. She did not. What was kind of lollertastic though was that I found a cute new case for my phone!
I was pretty happy with that case, because it was cute but not TOO cute, and also form-fitting without adding bulk to the device. My previous case had that going on, too, but the molded plastic over the Sleep/Wake button seemed like it interfered with the button’s functionality. (Which may or may not have actually been the button wearing out on me–I don’t know! I had to replace the phone today!) I like this case better also though because it gives better open access to the top and bottom of the phone.
Only when we were aiming to get on the highway at last and head home did we realize that we had ERRED: i.e., we’d forgotten to visit a Timmy’s! Forgive us, Canada, for we did not actually indulge in Timbits! We’ll be making up for this next time we set foot in your lovely country, we promise!
Last but not least it’s worth mentioning that on the whole trip, on the way up and on the way back as well, Dara and I worked to get caught up on the Doctor Who Podcast! We’re big fans and quite enjoyed a marathon of listening to the podcast crew on the road. We’ll be doing more on our next road trip, to Clallam Bay, this coming weekend. Stand by for that report, O Internets!
AND! I was charmed to see that the Twitter account for Tourism Harrison, @harrisontourism, actually found my mention this morning of the posting I’d been doing. They quite liked my writeup! Which is all lovely, given that we enjoyed ourselves in Harrison immensely. And we will be coming back!
This being Part 2, and the biggest part by far, of my and solarbird‘s Grand Four Day Weekend of Marriage and Music!
Though that said, it was also actually one of the simplest days of the entire weekend. Here’s the thing, O Internets: if you’ve read Elfquest, you’ll know what I mean when I say that Dara and I got as close as you can get in real life to Recognition, and we went from 0 to lifemates in pretty much no time flat. For us, there’s no particular difference between that and being legally married. This entire affair therefore was a lot more about just reinforcing the legal status as far as Canada (and hopefully soon by extension, the state of Washington) was concerned, as opposed to any real change in status between us as far as we are concerned.
So I hope I won’t disappoint any of you all when I say that this was the most relaxed and groovy wedding ceremony ever! We didn’t dress up, and we didn’t exchange rings–though we probably would have done the latter if Dara didn’t have an issue with rings that keeps her from wearing them (she gets a mild claustrophobia reaction off of them).
As you know, O Internets, I was extremely eager for my first Le Vent Du Nord show. I’ve been getting ridiculous amounts of glee out of listening to their albums and watching their YouTube videos, and of course, I had the challenge laid down by fellow Le Vent fan Susan that in her considered opinion, Le Vent gives much better concerts than Great Big Sea! Which, of course, is a mighty challenge indeed to issue to this passionate Great Big Sea fangirl. And so, the question of the hour is: how did Le Vent do?
Let’s put it this way. I ain’t saying I’m throwing over The Doyle for Simon Beaudry, when it comes down to Most Favored Bouzouki Player Who Isn’t Dara–but I will say it’s a damn fine thing that I have room in my heart for all manner of joyous music. And love my B’ys as I do, they better be bringing their A game when they go back on tour next year, because the show Le Vent put on for us in Vancouver shot straight up to stratospheric levels of awesome, and it will be extremely hard to top.
I hadn’t been to a GBS show that tiny since they stopped playing the Showbox in Seattle, and the level of energy they let loose was every bit the rival of those earlier GBS shows. Le Vent might not have the same sheer physicality that the B’ys do; they don’t bounce around the stage the same way at all. But that’s every bit of quite all right, because all the energy they didn’t spend bouncing came right out their instruments. They were charming and funny, especially Réjean Brunet. Simon’s singing is a direct threat to the structural integrity of my knees. Olivier Demers does amazing things with his fiddle, especially given the amazing things he does at the same time with his feet. And Nicolas Boulerice? That man commands a room with his voice, and when he unleashed a solo that caused Dara to use the phrase “bitchin’ metal hurdy-gurdy solo”, he was channelling lightning.
But that’s just the picoreview! This being a patented Anna the Piper In-Depth Concert Squeefest, let me get into the details!
For those of you who have not already seen this breaking across Facebook, Google+, or Twitter tonight, solarbird and I would like to announce that on March 2nd, we will be getting a Canadian marriage license!
We were already planning this before today’s Washington state law signed by Governor Christine Gregoire. In fact, we are planning this as part of a Grand Four-Day Weekend of Marriage and Music, starting off with seeing these handsome boys perform on the night of March 1st! On March 2nd, Dara and I (and two other friends of ours who I will not identify publicly so as to respect their privacy, but who will be joining us for a dual ceremony) will be taking the appropriate steps to get legally married in Canada! On March 3rd, we will have yet more music as we attend Festival du Bois!
Mad props to gerimaple who has very kindly agreed to put Dara and me up for the weekend!
I have been asked as well if Dara and I are planning anything with the new law being passed in Washington state. To this, I note that to the best of our knowledge, if we are legally married in Canada, then that will count in the state of Washington–assuming that the law is not shot down in November. So for now we will be focusing on Canadian marriage fun, and getting in a boatload of awesome Quebecois music to go with it. :D
And! And! And! This being my and Dara’s 25th year of being together, there’s a whole extra layer of anniversarial awesomeness to celebrate here as well! So if you’re so inclined, raise a jar on March 2nd and think of us!