This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending Amelia Curran‘s sold-out performance at the Nickelodeon Music Club in Calgary. If you haven’t heard of Amelia before, she is a Juno Award winning Canadian Singer-songwriter from St. John’s, Newfoundland.
Amelia’s music can be described as indie-folk, or alternative-country. She incorporates story telling over finger-picked acoustic guitar. Accompanying her on the accordion and providing vocal harmonies was Catherine Allen, another St. John’s native.
The Nickelodeon Music Club is based out of the Crescent Heights Community hall. It seats 193 people, most of which are season ticket holders. It is run by volunteers and has a true community feel to it. The audience was a welcoming and polite group of true music fans. The stage, albeit small, and room made for an intimate experience. The venue was well organized and the acoustics and sound were excellent.
Edmonton based Scott Cook opened the night with a 40 minute acoustic set. His pleasing baritone voice is well suited to his country-folk crooning. He told stories of camping with his buddies in the prairies, and sang of playing in bars to much less receptive crowds than the Nickelodeon. He will be having his CD release in Calgary at the Ironwood on May 9th.
After a brief intermission, Amelia Curran took to the stage with her acoustic guitar. Her awkward, yet endearing stage presence quickly became charming as the night went on. Between each song, Amelia would tell personal stories to the audience. Her stories were about how her songs were written, her roots as a Newfoundlander, why she doesn’t have an accent, her family, and the battle for a Guinness World Record. Her banter with Catherine Allen, who sang back up vocals, was reminiscent of David Letterman and Paul Shaffer. A couple geeky references to Dr. Who and Monty Python fell short on the audience, but I definitely appreciated them.
The night wrapped up quickly at the end of the set. Amelia had to catch a midnight flight back east so she could present an award.
As a newcomer to the Calgary Music scene, I feel that Calgary folk clubs are a bit of a hidden treasure. If you are a fan of Folk Music, check out http://calfolk.ca/groups/clubs.htm to see if there are any shows in your area. You won’t regret it!
For a taste of Amelia Currans live performace, you can watch her perform the song “The Mistress” on CBC’s QTV.
Listen to her track “Years” from her album Spectators.
You can also check out this live acoustic video of Scott Cook’s “High and Lonesome again“.
On Friday, Vicki Volt and I made our way to Mount Royal University’s bar The Hub to catch King Dylan’s CD release show in support of “Looking For the Sun”. This is King Dylan’s fourth solo album and takes us to subjects a little deeper than his previous releases. His first single and video off the album is “Blind Man”.
On stage his delivery of Alternative Hip Hop/Pop is full of boundless energy. Lead singer of Broken Ride, Graham Furber, joined him onstage to keep the entire room bouncing along to the fun filled set. We wish him well as he sets off for Canada Music Week and hope his album is a huge success!
Openers Septembryo played a new song they dubbed “great for working out to” which I super loved. I can’t wait to harass the guys for a copy of the track.
And a new discovery for me was the band Penny Fortune. The Hip Hop Rock duo blew me away.
Check out the video for “Blind Man!” (and yes that’s him painting)
We recently discovered a new female fronted indie rock band from Calgary named The Implicate Order. After a quick listen to their 7 track album ‘Hollow Process’ on bandcamp, we were all hooked. Their music is reminiscent of early No Doubt alt rock feel, mixed with Paramore style vocals.
They sound great on the record, and even better live. The guys and I were able to make it out to their recent gig at Lord Nelson’s Pub on 8th ave. The show was high energy, and filled with intricate playing and headbanging breakdowns. It’s impossible not to groove on the dance floor while they rock out.
The band consists of mega hot vocalist and rhythm guitarist Christina Lacowicz, guitarist Gene Lachica, bass player Tyler Allard and drummer Josh Nadeau.
[WARNING: This article contains loud guitar and racy subject matter that may cause readers to start car chases or develop severe Kinemortophobia.]
Cobra Ramone is full of rock and roll badassery. She proves that girls can rock as hard as boys and look sexy doing it. On stage she is joined by Big Daddy Deachman (drums) and Trevor Snakedust (hammond B3) for dirty guitar driven blues-rock and vocals that any singer would be envious of.
Currently based out of Vancouver, Canada, Cobra is recording new music and touring all over North America. Make sure you go see her and the boys when they visit your city! For updates on shows and other band debauchery follow them on twitter.
Her latest record is a self-titled face-melting 10-track chronicle about the apocalypse, zombies and ‘boys-are-dicks’ type songs that can be previewed and purchased at http://cobraramone.com/
Calgary is home to many great musicians. A great way to keep track of other local acts, venues, and stores in the Calgary area is MusicYYC.ca. Run by Colleen Krueger, MusicYYC acts as a directory, showcasing many different artists, their bios, artwork, and where you can find and buy their music.
Check out their site and send some traffic their way. If you are a local band looking to be listed on their directory, check out their submit page.