Visiting Cape Breton in the early stages of a month long, cross-Canada tour, the UK’s legendary Oysterband will bring their signature blend of folk instrumentation, rock dynamics and sharp songwriting to the Membertou Trade and Convention Centre Friday, April 9.
Starting as an amateur ceilidh band, the Oysterband’s career has grown exponentially over the past 30 years to include tours of 35 countries across Europe, Asia and North America and the release of 12 acclaimed studio albums.
The passion and energy of the band’s live performances has become legendary. Refined group harmonies seduce the audience into singing along with the band’s high energy anthems and delicate ballads, while traditional instrumentation–including violin, bouzouki, concertina, saxophone, bassoon, Uilleann pipes, flutes and drums– ensures the crowd remains on its feet.
The band formed purely as a dance band, at first with the name coming from the group’s early association with the coastal town of Whitstable in East Kent, known for the quality of its oysters. Their first album was Jack’s Alive, released in 1978. In the nineties the band adopted a more overtly political stance, recording the harder The Shouting End of Life and collaborating with famed agit-prop group Chumbawumba to record the track “Farewell to the Crown”, released as the b-side of Chumbawumba’s global phenomenon “Tubthumping”.
Newfoundland’s Great Big Sea had a smash hit by covering Oysetrband’s “When I’m Up (I Can’t Get Down)” on their CD Play in 1997 and the two bands have toured together and remained friends ever since.
Oysterband celebrated their 30th anniversary in 2009 by putting out an album of acoustic rearrangements of 14 of their favourite songs, called The Oxford Girl & Other Stories. Originally this was meant as a fan-club item only, but has become a word-of-mouth success deserving, they felt, of a wider release.
“…a great British institution.” – R2
“…tremendous, joyous, remarkable…the cream of their genre.” – Rolling Stone
“… a thrilling outfit” – fRoots
Friday April 9th, at the Membertou Trade and Convention Centre. Doors open at 7pm, show begins at 8:30pm. Cabaret seating tickets are $25 for those 19 and over. Tickets on sale at the MTCC box office or by calling 539-2300. Box office hours are 10am – 6pm Monday to Friday.