Midnight Shine

CBC Plaza


Northern Ontario’s Midnight Shine played a solid rock show this lunch time at the CBC Plaza, Vancouver. The set included their latest hit a Cree/English version of Neil Young’s Heart of Gold.

Midnight Shine are in town to attend this weekend’s Vancouver Folk Music Festival.  Hailing from Northern Ontario the band came together almost as a happy accident.  As Adrian Sutherland tells it, he was invited to open for Trooper in a show in Timmins but needed to find a band to back him up.  The band that was only supposed to be around for one good show, is, eight years later still going from strength to strength to strength.

Before hitting the main stage at the VFMF on Friday night the band checked in to the CBC Plaza in Vancouver for what, I think, has been the heaviest show so far. Adrian’s voice backed by some metal-like shredding from guitarist Zach Tomatuk, were backed by bassist Stan Louttit, and the bands newest recruit, drummer, Charnelle Menow.

The roots rockers have a very broad appeal, with songs that range from ballads to full on ragers, the lyrics are just as strong as the music during largely from the bands collective experience living in the far north. Their latest claim to fame is a cover of Neil Young’s Heart of Gold which mixes English and Cree lyrics. It was this song that the band closed this afternoon’s set with to rapturous applause.

Although I will miss their show on Friday evening, I look forward to seeing with at the festival when they take stage on Saturday with Alberta’s Copperhead, and Celeigh Cardinal. There is still time to pick up tickets, but you will have to be there early as they are scheduled to play at 10am.

If you can’t make it to the festival this weekend, then you can pick up music by the band at the usual outlets. The band have three albums under their belt, the self-titled Midnight Shine, Northern Man, and the latest High Road.

As well as playing damn good music the band are active in bringing attention to issues faced by people living in our northern communities.  Adrian Sutherland relayed his own personal experience of having three generations of his family, including his kids, growing up without access to clean drinking water. This is something that most of Canada takes for granted.

Midnight Shine are Adrian Sutherland, Zach Tomatuk, Stan Louttit and Charnelle Menow.

You can follow them at https://midnightshineonline.com/

Gallery: Stewart Johnstone

Brit Floyd

Queen Elizabeth Theatre


Brit Floyd returned to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on Sunday night for a 40th celebration of Pink Floyd’s The Wall. It was a superb show with many other classics included.

It seems incredible to me that The Wall is now 40 years old. I am old enough to remember the controversy that the video that Another Brick in the Wall Part 2 provoked in the UK..I am not sure what the issue with kids and meatgrinders is 😊. I am also of exactly the right age to remember kids walking around in the schoolyard chanting out the chorus – good times indeed.

Continue reading “REVIEW: Brit Floyd – 40 Years of The Wall Tour – Queen Elizabeth Theatre Vancouver”

Lonesome Town Painters - CBC Plaza, Vancouver - July 16th, 2019

Lonesome Town Painters

CBC Plaza


Trains, heartbreak and cheating, just a normal day on the stage for the Lonesome Town Painters, one of Vancouver’s favourite Bluegrass bands.

Another entertaining show by BC’s favourite Bluegrass outfit The Lonesome Town Painters kept the sunbaked tapping their feet to a bunch of happy songs about sad stories this lunchtime. Continue reading “GALLERY: Lonesome Town Painters – CBC Plaza, Vancouver – 16th July, 2019”

Joe Trio

CBC Plaza


There is nothing average about these Joe’s. The Joe Trio brought there eclectic musical tastes to the CBC Plaza on Monday with a treat for everyone.

Today’s Musical Nooner was not all it might have seemed. Audience members who had not heard Joe Trio may have been fooled into thinking they were going to be sitting down to an hour of classical music. Whilst we were treated to some classics, we certainly got way more than that from this humourous trio. Continue reading “GALLERY: Joe Trio – CBC Plaza, Vancouver – July 15th, 2019”


CBC Plaza


Solid rockin’ guitars, heartfelt vocals, and a Nashville vibe – Trailerhawk kicked of a western Canadian tour at the CBC plaza this afternoon.

It may be a surprise to some that the Trailerhawk, whose southern sounding blend of Americana and rock n’ roll, actually hail from north of the 49th. What should come as no surprise is how good this band is. Their pedigree is up there with the best, with members of the band hailing from such Canadian greats as Matthew Good, Sons of Freedom, Grapes of Wrath, Ginger and Sunday Morning.

Continue reading “GALLERY: Trailerhawk – CBC Plaza, Vancouver – 12th July 2019”

Rare Americans 

CBC Plaza


Rare Americans brought a fast paced pop-punk experience to the CBC Plaza on Thursday, energizing the crowd, and gaining new fans in the process.

For a band that has only been around since August of 2018, Rare Americans sure have packed a lot into their short existence. Formed by brothers Jared and James Priester and guitarist Lubo Ivan, the band have already recorded one album, and have a tour of the UK under their collective belts (kicking off in my birthplace, Leicester, of all places).

Continue reading “GALLERY: Rare Americans – CBC Plaza, July 11th, 2019”


CBC Plaza


Latin beats banished the rain clouds for a while this afternoon, as Vancouver salsa legends Mazacote performed at the CBC Plaza.

The power of Latin rhythm was enough to blow the rain away at least temporarily as Salsa powerhouse Mazacote took to the stage at the CBC Plaza on Wednesday.

Continue reading “GALLERY: Mazacote – CBC Plaza, Vancouver – July 10th 2019”


CBC Plaza


Check out our gallery from the latest of CBC’s Musical Nooners – Tariq..

Having grown up in rural Quebec listening to a healthy dose of Bollywood soundtracks, Tariq Hussain did a 180 in high school, picking up the guitar and writing songs in the mold of Cat Stevens and Neil Young

Fast forward to the end to the 90’s, and Tariq had released two full-length albums, Splat, and earned himself a Juno nomination for “Best New Solo Artist.” for the album The Basement Songs.  

Tariq’s latest offering is Telegrams, his fifth full-length album and on this latest album, the songs feel a bit like short stories, hence the title—three-and-a-half minute snippets of fictional lives – based of of his love for short fiction.

As well as performing with his own band, Tariq is also guitarist for the Vancouver based band, Brasstronaut, with whom he has toured extensively through Canada and Europe since 2009



Photos: Stewart Johnstone

The Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer with Dawn Pemberton

CBC Plaza


Two Vancouver favourites combined for a soul and blues filled lunchtime treat at the CBC Plaza Vancouver today.

Dawn Pemberton and The Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer walk on to the stage sounds like the start to a grizzly joke..however for those in the know, this is a cause for great excitement. Individually they are great acts, but this afternoon we got the opportunity to see them performing together in the first of the 2019 CBC Musical Nooners. Continue reading “Dawn Pemberton and The Harpoonist and The Axe Murderer”

Judas Priest

Abbotsford Centre

British Heavy Metal stalwarts and the Metal God himself, Rob Halford graced the stage at the Abbotsford Centre on Monday night as part of the Firepower tour.

I think it is fair to say that Judas Priest are one of the bands that set the course of my musical tastes with the release of British Steel back in 1980. Never did I think I would be seeing them half way around the world almost 40 years later. 

Continue reading “Judas Priest – Abbotsford Centre – June 17th, 2019”