It's all about the simple things.
Take a venue and turn it into a make-shift recording studio. Add a band, an audience, and a couple of kegs of free beer. Give them an hour to collaborate on a song and then record it.
Simple. Except it’s a bit more complicated than that.
Jeff and Zach (The Human Statues) came in with a song they'd just written for their next album. Two hours before the event, they met their bass player with a simple plan; have their first run through of the song together, finalize the lyrics, and work out the audience parts - percussion, harmony, and a marimba solo.
For a non-musician this kind of laundry list seems impossible. Jeff, Zach, and the rest of the musical talent on site didn’t sweat a bead.
The audience arrived and despite enduring the biting cold and then immediately being forced to have their photos taken, quickly abandoned any caution and got stuck in. They were given the simplest of instruments – bass drums made of garbage tubs, snare drums with a skin of packing tape, and shakers made of old beer cans and beans. Instead of drum sticks they had wooden spoons. The marimba, well that was actually a marimba. Thanks to Sangito from Kutapira for that one.
To oil the greasy cogs of collaboration, beer was donated by Andrew at Russell Brewing who graciously delivered two kegs of their finest to the venue door. That old door belonged to a new venue, the Vancouver Urban Winery, who were busy filling their first batch of barrels only hours before the event started. And we wouldn’t have made any sound at all if it wasn’t for Rob at Side One donating his audio gear, his truck, and his muscular frame to humping gear in and out of the venue.
There were a million reasons why this wouldn’t have worked. It’s hard to mic a room of 100 people, and it’s hard for any artist to work with that many new band members. It’s hard for all those people to focus on the task and let go of the fear of failing. It’s also hard for a venue manager to give us their space for free, and for a beer rep to give away the refreshments.
Except it’s much less complicated than that. In the end, it’s just a bunch of people who gave their time, skill, and effort for something very simple – a group of strangers getting together to play a song.
Band: The Human Statues (thehumanstatues.com/)
Backup Vocals, Back up Percussion and Guest Marimba Players: Philip Abernethy, Damien Assonitis, Robin Avery, Traci Bast, Sangito Bigelow, Adam Blasberg, Jen Bradley, Sara Bradshaw, Kristi Bridgwater, Kaleigh Brown, Natashia Chandra, Maya Chang, Adam Charania, Juliana Christiansen, Camille Christiansen, Jordan Christiansen, Paul Clark, Corinne Colledge, Chris Couto, Jake Czerpak, Johanna Dalgleish, Callan Davey, Dianna David, Devon de Balasi Brown, Jonathan Dy, Lenny Ford, Sajith Gunawardena, Chad Galloway, Megan Gower, Duncan Greig, Roselle Heally, Brian Hendricks, Sandy Hendricks, Shelley Hilliard, Thea Hoogstraten, Candice Kabantsov, Miguel Kabantsov, Blair Kaplan, Brennen Kelly, Jessie Kergan, Mike Kerklaan, Sarah Kim, Erika Koenig-Workman, Rebecca Lam, Keenan Lawlor, Daniela Lee, Schuyberg Lindberg, Christine MacKay, Norah Macy, Roger Mahler, Shai Mate, Estelle Matheson, Kylie Mattu, Kal Mattu, Ian McKay, Jenny Mendoza, Todd Mitchell, David Mongar, Randy Morris, Susie Mulvana, Rae Nicole, Lexa Naicu, Tania Ostman, Michael Paul, Tanya Petersen, Monica Pham, Andrew Phelan, Morgan Roberts, Dean Philp, Erin Padma-Root, Natasha Rostom, George Rothenberger, Nick Schelle, Shana Selwyn, Rebecca Shoichet, Fleur Smit-Anseeuw, Maria Stanciulescu, Barron Sullivan, Jessica Thomson, James Thomson, Barb Tomasic, Holly Truchan, Victoria Watson, Wayne Webb, Jordan Wiebe, Chace Wong, Ovey Yeung, Charity Zapanta.
And a special mention for Ali Roberts, who through the magic of Facetime joined in the fun from England's jewel of the north, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne.
Editing: Greg Gillespie (passengerone.com)
Rich Smith (youngexecutivemusic.com)
Guest Photographer: Jonathan Dy (behance.net/jonathandy)
The rest of the PGI Team:
Adam Schelle and Kev Holloway (adamandkev.com)
Erin Bishop (filosophi.com)
Teak Sato (teaksato.com)
Mark Parrott (markparrott.com)
Curtis Michael Davie (curtisdavey.com)
Corinne Colledge (filosophi.com)
Special Thanks for contributions that made the night taste, look, and sound better:
Andrew at Russell Brewing Company for the two delicious Kegs. (russellbeer.com)
Tara at The Vancouver Urban Winery for the incredible space (vancouverurbanwinery.com/)
Rob Hamilton from Sideone for the sound gear. (sideone.ca)
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