Queen is one of the few legends of popular music who will not be performing in St. John’s this spring.
Alex Pierson ventures through time and space.
Corner Brook: No Vertigo?
Bad news for Corner Brook bands, and fans of those bands.
The new venue Vertigo has shut its doors for good. That makes three in as many years: Casual Jack’s, D’Attic, and now Vertigo… Sure what’s a band to do now?
So to answer your question “Where the hell can I go to see original, live music when I’m out there?” Let’s see… you’ve got the Grenfell campus haunt The Backlot, and Whelan’s Gate—but the Gate is an Irish bar, so most of the shows happening there are of the folk and Irish variety—and most of the other venues (Night Sounds, Union Station, etc.) are gonna have cover bands or canned dance music. So if that’s what you’re looking for, you’re laughing.
If not, you’re pretty much SOL.
What with the ECMAs coming next year, and bands coming off the boat all the time, there is a serious and growing need for venues, says musician/promoter/vinyl guru Neil Targett, of Starred Opposite, Korgsican Bros, and Kuroda fame.
“Whelan’s Gate is where we’re doing the C’Mon show next month, but that’s a bit of a different situation because they’re a band who’ve been here enough times that they have a following, and the bar knows it will do well that night.”
There’s definitely hope on the horizon, claims Neil, but I am sworn to secrecy… you’ll just have to wait.
Sound Symposium, Taylor-made
Ok, so in checking out the Sound Symposium lineup on their website—www.soundsymposium.com—I notice at the top of the list of performers is John Taylor.
I nearly choked on my coffee.
“Could it be?! The legendary bass player for Duran Duran and Power Station is playing the Sound Symposium?!”
But alas, wrong John Taylor.
This John Taylor happens to be one of Europe’s biggest jazz musicians and composers. The guy has made over 80 records, and has played with everyone, including one of my favourite jazz drummers, Peter Erskine. Despite being unbelieveably prolific, John is known for keeping a strong artistic sense throughout his work. His style is technically flawless but is very unique. And his sense of rhythm is jawdropping.
Mr. Taylor is but one of the reams of artists descending on our fair city for the 14th Sound Symposium. Other invited-guest-sound-innovators include mad percussionist Mark Duggan, sound installation artist Tanja Hemm, and the much-anticipated return of the Georgian group ZARI.
The Sound Symposium is gonna happen this July 3rd to 13th, and we plan to be all over it here at The Scope, so stay tuned!
Leonard Norman Cohen/”Watch out Dylan!”
After 9 years of the wildly successful Feast of Cohen shows, the long-anticipated meeting between Leonard Cohen and St. John’s is finally happening this May.
Vicki Hynes, when asked about it, is beside herself, over the moon even.
“Well, it wasn’t a total surprise… I have been in touch with his manager over the years, and Leonard has expressed interest in coming several times… he is fascinated by the strong following that he has here,” she says.
You don’t have to look hard to find some other serious NL-Cohen connections. Just ask Sean Panting about the elevator story, or Joel Hynes about his role in the Arnold Bennett film Messiah from Montreal.
Mr. Cohen will play here three nights—May 26, 27, and 28—in the modest-sized Holy Heart Auditorium. And Vicki will be there the first night, front and center.
Leonard Cohen is seemingly unstoppable these days—he was just ushered into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Jeff Buckley cover of his song ‘Hallelujah’ reached number one on the iTunes chart earlier this month, and he has a brand new album due out this year.
This will be his first tour in more than 15 years. Headlining spots at the Glastonbury, Big Chill, and Montreux Jazz Festivals are also on the books for this tour, which is rumoured to be his last. However, if the interest shown here is any indication—people standing in line for 18+ hours, three shows sold out in 25 minutes, tickets going for $1000 a pair on eBay—this tour will very successful.
And if May wasn’t exciting enough, Mile One has booked Bob Dylan for that week (!), playing Mile One on the 24rd of May—his 67th birthday.
You can bet people will be talking about this for years and years to come…
Old man #1 “(embellishing wildly)…do you remember that time Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan and Queen were in town at the same time?… Now THAT was a PARTY…”
Old man #2 “What’s that? ..Oh, you know I have gas… (wheeze)… no need to bring it up all the time…”
Old man #1 “Oh, phooey!”