Friday, June 03, 2011

save the hall

Today's soundtrack:
"Black Water" by Timbre Timbre
"Ride This Out" by Imaginary Cities
"Waffle Iron" by Yukon Blond
"Pick Me Up Baby" by Kyp Harness

Last night, Miguel, Kristin and I went to the Raise the Roof Benefit at the Hew Scott Hall in Anstruther. The Hall is usually a main venue during Fence Records' annual Homegame music festival, but this year the Hall was in such poor shape that it was unusable. Monies have been allotted repair the Hew Scott Hall, but not nearly enough to complete the job. If you're a local or interested, there's information and an online petition here. What's more, having missed Homegame this year (in fairness, when the tickets were on sale last year, Miguel hadn't even interviewed at St. Andrews yet), it was my first chance to see King Creosote live.

The doors opened at 8pm and the Hall was packed. Nearly everyone (except us, being foreign and not used BYOB for indoor concerts) had packed food and drinks. Having walked to see the goats past Caiplie early in the day, Kristin and I were just excited to be able to sit down on the floor for a bit, although a beer would've been perfect.

First up were Cynthia Gentle and the Truetones. Their blues covers of "I Need a Dollar" and "Way Down in the Hole" were outstanding. Miguel now feels an overwhelming desire to rewatch all five seasons of The Wire and I'm happy to indulge. The bassist, who Kristin recognized as a librarian from Special Collections up in St. Andrews, is apparently Canadian. I instantly regretted not wearing my Canucks tshirt.

Next were two local, younger acts: a singer-songwriter whose name I've forgotten and I neglected to get a photo of (apologies), and Black Power. The singer-songwriter and his accompanying drummer performed a few slower, acoustic tunes. His cover of Jack Johnson's "Waiting on You" was good, but I much preferred his own songs. Black Power, out of the Waid Academy (local high school), came out with masks of various African-American recording artists. I think it's an in-joke I don't quite understand. They worked a bit of an Arcade Fire vibe, with the guitarist clearly working a Johnny Greenwood experimental angle. The standout here was the drummer... as well as the fact that they were clearly thoroughly enjoying their time up on stage.

Then it was onto King Creosote and (I'm assuming) members of the Fence Collective. I recognized "Homeboy," but not being a local, I didn't know any of the other songs. Gummi Bako was providing supporting vocals, but his rendition of "Little Man" (the alternate title is just too long to type here) had Miguel bopping around. The love song that Gummi Bako and King Creosote sang to each other (sort of), which I don't know the name of but have spent the morning looking for, has been an earworm for around 9 hours now. I'm currently downloading every King Creosote song I can find on iTunes. My first foray into Scottish hipsterness. Hipstericity?

Lastly, Onthefly were up and were a complete departure from everything else we'd heard (blues, indie rock, and folk). Sure, there was no Moby hairlight, but it was solid electronic music. But by this point in the night (already over 3 hours of music) we'd reached our saturation point. Miguel was quick to remind us that in Madrid, 1130pm is when you get ready to go out for the night.

The last time I'd been to a show this full of community was back in the 1990s at a benefit put on by some local high school bands (Faded Muse, anyone?) at the Lantzville Town Hall for the Kosovar Refugees. No proper stadium or theatre can approximate that sense of community. We've lost so many of our halls in Canada. Shows are confined to pubs and bars, which is fine and all, but it doesn't offer the kind of mentoring opportunities for the younger, underage musicians that filled the middle of last night's concert. It also means that musicians have to move away from the smaller towns if they want to play to a crowd. Who is really left in Nanaimo trying to make music? Everyone has packed off to Vancouver where the venues are. It'd be dreadful to see that happen here as well.


In other Scottish Acclimatization news, I'm still looking for more beer tasting ideas. Innis and Gunn is high up on the list, but I came across this thistle beer at the Co-op yesterday and was rather curious about it. Thistle beer: yea or nae?

1 comment:

  1. Dito (the trying to find music online that is). Perhaps you could ask on his website/forum/fence thingy, or the Anstruther town group or the event thing on facebook? I'm curious too...