Sunday, November 18, 2007

Rock 'n Read

Saturday, November 17th, and the place to be was the Legion in Crescent Beach. A combo event, it was the first ever in the Rock 'n Read Series, sponsored by the local Community Arts Council. The evening's headliners were Wyckham Porteous and John Armstrong.

John opened up, reading from his hilarious memoir, Guilty of Everything. This hit the spot with the locals, as many recognized the places and times Armstrong was writing about -- the old 7-Eleven behind the OP Safeway, the chicken factory in Newton, cheap apartments for rent down on the beach. He went on to read from his latest, Wages, and kept us both laughing and shaking our heads -- often in recognition over bad times and bad jobs.

After a short break, Wyckham Porteous stepped to the mic. He commented on the irony of our being in a Canadian Legion Hall this night, as two more Canadian soldiers had just died in Afghanistan. He opened his set with the first cut from 3D, his latest CD, a piece that finds its roots in the current conflict.

The band accompanying him was beyond outrageously good. I'll admit to having a soft spot for great keyboard playing, and this concert was no exception. Simon Kendall, once upon a time of Doug and the Slugs, was nothing short of amazing. Pounding piano keys with his right hand, and playing an electronic keyboard with his left, he made as much great sound as a band on his own.

Altogether, a totally wailin' night. And hey, get a load of these two, Wyck's sisters, Robin and Kitty.

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