BY YVETTE ROGERS
The Upstairs is a neighborhood bar, tucked away in the North End of Sydney, within earshot of the infamous Tar Ponds, located above the French Club. The unassuming building houses the comfortable and intimate venue, which I must say, is one of the nicest sounding rooms in the city.
This weekend, there will be three shows happening, covering a wide variety of musical tastes.
Friday evening there is an early show starting at 7pm with Keith Mullins, Amy Sampson, and Flo Sampson as the “Nanny Ley Family Band”, as well as ECMA nominees Caledonia. Caledonia are a fun-loving rock band, they are enjoyed by folks of all ages. Keith Mullins is normally found behind the drum kit, as one of the most acclaimed percussionists in Atlantic Canada, but will be singing and playing his original tunes at this show. His voice is incredibly smooth, and it’s a treat to have him perform in this role. Amy Sampson is Cape Breton’s best kept secret. Although her voice is enviable, she often backs up and harmonizes for other acts, and was one of the key ingredients in Ashego a few years back. For those of you who have not experienced Flo Sampson, she is the mother of Grammy-winning Gordie Sampson, and a joy to behold. If you know her, you are already looking forward to this show. We are lovingly calling this event a Flo-case.
A second show, beginning at 10:30, brings country flavours mixed with modern folkie rock flavours to the stage. Young River, Andrew Hunter & The Gatherers, JD Clarke, Mike Trask, and Aaron MacDonald are on the bill. If you come to both shows you can get a deal on the cover charges.
Saturday night, beginning at 10 is the EC’ZE’MA Garage Punk No-Case. The lineup is filled with local favorites from around the maritimes, Liquid Vapours, Myles Deck & the Fuzz, Bloodhouse, The Strawmen, and Bad Vibrations. If you like to rock out to bands with impressive musicality to go with their intensity, this is the show for you.
See you at “the club!”