Since the early 1990s, Tom Fidgen has been one of the founding fathers of the Cape Breton indie music scene. His work in Sunfish bridged the underground scene with the radio scene, while his later CDs prove to be some of the best work from a Cape Breton raised artist.
It’s no secret that I am a big fan. My first daughter is named after a Sunfish song. But his return to Sydney this Saturday is exciting for a plethora of reasons. Fidgen will be debuting his new album A Boy Called Fish for his hometown crowd. The CD, released in January, features new tracks for the first time since 2002’s Beyond Before. From the pieces I have heard, it will be sure to please anyone familiar with his sound. Also, it marks Tom’s return to performance after a number of years of sabbatical. For someone who would sit in a dusty old bar every night to watch him sing, this may be the most important part.
Tom will be at The Upstairs Club Saturday night, doors open at 9pm and advance tickets are available at The Cape Breton Curiosity Shop on Charlotte Street for $8.
Also this week, local bluegrass trio Crowdis Bridge will be celebrating St. Paddy’s Day at O’Reilly’s Lounge at the Quality Inn. I had the pleasure of checking these guys out at The Upstairs Club not so long ago and thoroughly enjoyed a great mix of traditional bluegrass tunes and original material. If it weren’t for what was mentioned above, this would be my can’t miss pick of the week.
Over at Governors, Carleton Stone Drives the Big Wheel will be back in town with Halifax’s The Town Heroes on Friday night, while Saturday will feature Pioneer Video with Breagh MacKinnon and Collette Deveaux. Pioneer Video is from the West Coast (of Cape Breton), a trio of young musicians all attending St. F.X. in Antigonish influenced by indie rock bands like Wintersleep and Arcade Fire. For more on Breagh MacKinnon, who will be showcasing at the 2011 ECMAs in Charlottetown next month, check out her album review earlier this week.
I had the chance to hit The Upstairs Club last week to see Caper Radio‘s comedy showcase featuring Dylan Rhymer. I sang Rhymer’s praises last week, but I was pleasantly surprised at the humour present by the undercard. Local performers Ash Young and James FW Thompson have grown leaps and bounds since their last performances and were consistently funny throughout. Halifax’s Jeremy Doucette was quite funny as well, but had the misfortune of following local funnyman Stefan MacNeil. In such a short time, MacNeil has developed into one of the better comics I have seen live. His material is fresh, his delivery is outstanding, and he has such a likable personality on stage that it is hard not to be rooting for him.
Ian Black, the MC for the evening, was hilarious in his role between performers. Quite witty, Black had me in stitches each time he came up to the mic. He was very close to stealing the show, if not for a spot on set by Rhymer. Rhymer spent the better part of an hour on stage, pulling material both new and old for the crowd. Perhaps a little less focused than I expected, his material is well developed and has a universal quality without feeling rehashed. Make sure to check out Caper Radio’s next comedy show, April 14th at The Upstairs Club.
TRACK OF THE WEEK: The Yarnells‘ “All I Need”. Caper Radio recently released some videos from their show at St. George’s Church featuring The Yarnells and the debuting Heartwood Slacks. The videos, shot by MI Productions and recorded by smallSTUDIOS, are in beautiful high definition with a multi-camera set up and are well-worth checking out. This tune, one of five posted from the band, is the standout, a beautifully crafted song with exceptional lyrics and a hook that gets me every time.