Saturday, March 15, 2014
Calgary Folk Club Review 03 14 13
Calgary Folk Club
March 14, 2013
The Arrogant Worms,
West My Friend
Calgary Folk Club Review,
March 14, 2013
The Arrogant Worms, with West My Friend
The rumours are just not true - The Calgary Folk Club is NOT sold out for every performance. But the club sure was for this one last night, featuring Canadian folk icons The Arrogant Worms, with newcomers (and award-nominated) West My Friend. The house was packed with appreciative fans, and I don't think a one of them left disappointed...
Victoria-based quartet West My Friend launched the festivities, along with their new CD "When The Ink Dries". Featuring Eden Oliver on guitar, flute and vocals, Alex Rempel (mandolin, vocals), Jeff Poynter (accordion, vocals), and bassist/vocalist Adam Bailey, the group showcased all that's great right now in modern folk.
While suggesting during their between-song banter that they were perhaps the serious, sombre counterpoint to the Worms, there were still moments of subdued humour, with their opening song about an ethno-botanist. As they suggested, not a lot of bands can say that about their songwriting inspirations...
But it was in the subdued and the serious that West My Friend really sparkled - the top-notch "Go Straight Away", the personal "Thin Hope", as well as "Ode To Sylvia Plath". As good as those were, "Tic-a-Toc" may have been the best of the bunch - a fine, robust bit of folk there!
After being brought back to the stage for an encore, the crowd was rewarded with rich harmonies in an A cappella performance.
To learn more or find out about buying their music, check out their website...
What can you say about The Arrogant Worms? Canadian folk icons? Fellows Of Funny? Darn Good Performers??
Whatever your leaning, last night's two sets did not leave anyone wanting - music from their own new CD "Space" fit as comfortably as any of their back catalogue, of which much was performed to laughter, cheers, and/or moments of inappropriate singing along. The ease these gentleman have on stage after all the many, many years shows - in a good way!
Blending ample (OK, extensive) humour into fun melodies, The Arrogant Worms have won over audiences for 20+ years - but like others in this genre (Moxy Fruvous and The Heebee-jeebees just to name a couple), there's plenty of vocal and musical talent to back up the silly. Which is why they continue to slay listeners with hilarious tracks like "The Guy Who's Always Out Of Tune", "Uncle Lou", and "Jesus' Brother Bob".
The laughter and the catalogue were relentless last night. "Yoga Pants", "A Manly Song", and "When Canada Rules The World" are terrific additions to their library from that new album. "Rocks And Trees", "Celine Dion", and their "hit" "The Last Saskatchewan Pirate" were all crowd favourites. Not to mention the chastising that same crowd receiving for not following instructions for "The Mounted Animal Nature Trail". I suspect we did exactly what we were supposed to, after all...the laughter sure seemed to indicate that.
While the Worms have undergone personnel changes over the years, this combination with Mike McCormick (guitar and vocals), Chris Patterson (bass and vocals), and Trevor Strong (Vocals. Occasionally guitar. But mostly vocals...) is a well-oiled machine of merriment and mirth.
If you've never seem them perform, they are at their best on a stage with an audience to bait and cajole.
However, you could do yourself (and the boys) a favour, by stopping by their website to find out more, and maybe order an album or two - there's lots to choose from!
There's only two more shows this season, and next year is now on sale - so another reminder - stop by The Calgary Folk Club yourself. Quit missing out!