With all the live music I managed to experience in one weekend, I can see why they called it Nova Scotia Music ‘Week’.
Sunday evening, before heading to the Gala Awards show, I went to the Mersey House again to see Cape Breton born, now Halifax based Silvergun perform. The Mersey House was my most frequented venue of the weekend. I wasn’t surprised when they won the Music Nova Scotia award for Venue of the Year, winning over nominees including The Seahorse Tavern, Gus’ Pub and the Attic. Drum! opened the night with a powerful and eclectic blend of cultures’ beats and dances. Jill Barber did the most memorable entrance when she did the quickest microphone height adjustment while her band played her intro. She got herself all sorted just in the nick of time to not miss her cue to start singing. It was endearing. Amelia Curran sang in honor of Remembrance Day. Jordan Croucher and Classified brought the house down with “Feelin’ Fine”. Scott MacMillan and Brian Doyle on guitars and Leanne Aucoin on fiddle performed a toe-tapping tribute to Cape Breton fiddling that had me wishing there was space up front for a square dance. The Jimmy Swift Band’s instrumental performance was spectacular but unfortunately there was sound trouble and I could barely hear their vocals. Chris Mitchell was featured in a jazzy tribute to Doug Riley. And In-Flight Safety was wicked as always. The show closed off with one more shot of Drum! with the award’s show host, Jeremiah Sparks, getting the beat started.
Joel Plaskett cleaned up that night in winnings. Other winners of the night included Jill Barber, Rose Cousins and David Myles to name a few. For a few moments there I felt like I was at the East Coast Music Awards. The Astor Theatre is a much smaller venue than what usually holds the ECMAs, but it was great because it ensured that no seat was a nose bleed section seat. This awards show is a hidden gem in the Canadian music industry and I feel so lucky that I was able to take it in.
After the Awards show finished everyone in Liverpool (and I am pretty sure I am right in using the word “everyone” because the drive through town was through absolute darkness) headed back to White Point again for after-party part two. I took in performances by Brett Ryan and his band as well as Alert the Medic up in the showroom. Then I headed back down in the main foyer and lounge to be in the middle of the schmoozin’ and boozin’. I wish I could have been a fly on the wall over by Joel Plaskett and Rose Cousins when I caught them deep in conversation. Some jamming started up in the lounge with some keyboards, guitars, fiddle and vocals. The party was going all night but the 3 hours sleep I was running on since arriving to Liverpool slowed me down and I was out of White Point early. And by early, I mean 4:00 a.m.
The weekend was spectacular. Liverpool rocks and I love Nova Scotia music.
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