Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Event Review: Baby Harry Electric Owl Jan 12/12

Baby Harry & Guests @ Electric Owl
January 12, 2012
Baby Harry Callaway has been ploughing the fields of BC's pub and club land since moving from the US a few years back. His original musical style varies from Hendrix, Prince and a bit of Lenny Kravitz for good measure. As a guitarist Baby Harry brings a similar style to the aforementioned, he's certainly not a "shredder", rather relying on his fx, which is uniquely disguised on stage.

Baby Harry has a rather unique stage presence, giving it 100% and then some. Baby Harry is as visually stimulating as he is audibly, using interesting combinations of suits, bow ties and hats to come off as a kind of 60's MC with a loud guitar. Adding BH's style is his choice of guitars, rather than using the standard Fender or Gibson, BH prefers a Hagstrom semi-hollow or a recently defunct East Vancouver Sparrow Telecaster. On this gig BH used a Mesa Amp and speaker set.

Also playing with Baby Harry in support was Don Alder, Vancouver's most underrated guitar player. Don's technical issues let him down, having your acoustic pick up fall inside your guitar is never a plus. Tonye Aganabe came across with a modern day Chapman-esque vibe, which got the audience feeling groove; a personal highlight being Tonye's dedication to the late Randy Ponzio.

The Electric Owl has barely been open a year. Located in the recently rebuilt 928 Main Street, it brings a new vibe to the block occupied by the Ivanhoe and Cobalt. The concrete floor gives it more of a colder feeling than most places, wooden dance floors are the only way to go. Drink prices are reasonable, sound was good but the downstairs lav was out of paper and had some other parts in need of repair. On the plus side this certainly a live music venue, I don't recall seeing any flat-screen tv's in the place. They have live music during the week and dj's on the weekend, which is problematic and needs fixing.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Welcome to East Van Soul Club

Welcome to East Van Soul Club

EVSC was started in 2005 as a result of a meeting with Wigan Casino founding DJ Russ Winstanley. Russ and I are from the same town, I grew up buying imported 45's from Russ' Rock and Soul Shop on Hallgate. In 2002 Russ was the DJ at my high school reunion. Russ signed a copy of his book "Soul Survivors - The Wigan Casino Story" and Volume 2 of the CD compilation; at the time I though Northern Soul was a thing of the past. We got chatting and some years later the East Van Soul Club was created. 

What is Northern Soul ?

Initially, EVSC was started to work in conjunction with my band "Mr M & The All Nighters" which to any Wigan Casino fan is an inside joke. The band went through many incarnations from 2005 to 2011, over 50 musicians and singers went through the revolving door of Mr M. Finally, in November 2011 I had had enough and it was time to move on musically, however the East Van Soul Club lives on.

In 2008 I got hooked on "Second Life" this opened the door to some online dj'ing. I even played at a Second Life versions of the Manchester's Twisted Wheel and Wigan Casino. This went on to progress in to East Van Soul Club Radio, an online radio show that airs live every Monday 10am-1pm Vancouver time or 6-9pm Wigan time.

In March 2011 DJ's Jonny Grayston and Jarrod O'Dell asked about using the name East Van Soul Club. I gave them permission to do so and registered the name under creative commons. Jarrod and Jonny had just started at the Waldorf, a few months later they moved to the Biltmore and continue to have a successful event there on the second Friday of the month.

With Mr M & The All Nighters gigs were always presented by "East Van Soul Club". With the demise of the band East Van Soul Club presented its first stand alone live event December 23rd 2011, at the Media Club. DJ David Love Jones and bands "Return of the Stern" and "High Society" got East Van Soul Club off to a rousing start.

2012 will see East Van Soul Club presenting live events at the Railway, Media Club, Electric Owl and other fine establishments in Vancouver.

Welcome and please keep coming back for music reviews, event reviews, book reviews and everything to do with soul related music.

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