on my way over to meet up with folks for this show I got a message on my cellphone that really put me in a sour & despondent mood. lucky for me I'd soon find myself in a cozy beautiful house surrounded by a couple close friends which slowly brought me up again.
liam finney, a solo folk performer opened up the show nearly an hour after it's advertised start time. I often hear people say, "oh, that's just halifax", but really, they're wrong. I've never seen a city that doesn't flake & delay showtimes. it's become normal with house shows. sometimes I don't mind & granted there's a certain atmosphere about those late hours but I'd rather just not wait around for things to happen. regardless, liam finney played a beautiful quiet rootsy set surrounded by a nice, warm audience. he played a bit too long for my attention span & with the overall mood of his sounds, although appropriate for the cold february night, I started to feel a bit sleepy & forgot where I was for awhile. trying to remain polite we pretended to cough while cracking numerous new beers & whispered in each others ears while drinking left over table scored restaurant draft out of a giant pickle jar.
heartwood slacks, a six piece bluegrass/folk band from cape breton followed. although not necessarily my style of music I can really appreciate certain aspects of their sound. for one, their minimalistic drummer, playing only with brushes on a snare, has a lot of talent, keeping his quiet beats interesting while still holding their basic song structures together.
it was also neat to watch their mandolin player, who I could have swore was a punk or metalhead at some point in his life just based on how low he played his instrument. he made being a mandolin player look really cool for once.
I booked a show for audio/rocketry a really long time ago at my house & still to this day I don't think I've met a more sincere person than joe vickers, singer & songwriter of the band. I feel like everyone who comes into contact with audio/rocketry is lucky. I feel especially lucky to have been friends with them for numerous years & even share a short stint on tour with them years back.
regardless if you enjoy their music or not, you can't deny their humility or compassionate demeanor.
along with being incredible people they've also been one of the more prolific bands I can think of, releasing three full length records in the same number of years.
they geared up, tuned up & ran through a set comprised of material from all three of their records. hailing from drumheller & edmonton, I found it especially funny to see the front row of the crowd comprised of almost entirely albertan punks.
they frequently name drop & embody aspects of the prairie landscape in their lyrics & style.
folks got rowdy & spilled beers, climbed on each other's backs & started a tiny mosh pit in the middle of the living room. most importantly, they all sang along which is what I've always loved most & come to expect from audio/rocketry shows.
their song "hallelujah halifax" in particular holds extreme significance for me, for obvious & not so obvious reasons. it reminds me why I live here & has always been a welcoming home song on the way back over the macdonald bridge after long summers travelling or touring.
audio/rocketry will always have ties to the east, whether it be through their lyrics or their faxe 10% themed t-shirts, & they'll always be a band that I show up & dance for.
photos: devon berquist
words : ryley samantha