Kamloops first stop on Victoria bands’ western tour

Courtney Dickson, Arts & Entertainment Editor Ω

Current Swell and their close friends (and fellow Victorians) Jon and Roy cruised through Kamloops on Sept. 26, the first night of their short tour through B.C. and Alberta.

Lead singer Scott Stanton plays lap slide for an excited audience at Cactus Jacks Nightclub on Sept. 26. Mason Buettner (The Omega)

Lead singer Scott Stanton plays lap slide for an excited audience at Cactus Jacks Nightclub on Sept. 26. Mason Buettner/The Omega

The evening started off a little slow, as a local Kamloops group Nouveau tried to entertain early arrivals with their folky bluegrass sound. One of them tried to make a joke by storming off the stage, but returned shortly after with a harmonica. The crowd was unresponsive and didn’t seem to get it. Though Nouveau was not as energizing as fans might’ve hoped, at least there was that one really drunk guy tearing up the dance floor, which made for some kind of entertainment nonetheless.

Jon and Roy graced fans with their talents following the Kamloops locals. The only word to describe that trio is “Victoria.” From their sound, to their style, to their calm demeanour on-stage, they fit the Victoria hippie stereotype perfectly.

They had never played in Kamloops before, so they were eager to play some new songs for the audience.

For those unaware of the relationship Jon and Roy shares with Current Swell, the two have played together a number of times and are quite vocal about their friendship, something lead vocalist Jon Middleton alluded to several times that night.

Victoria's musical darlings Jon and Roy kept the crowd happy while fans waited for the headlining act to take the stage. Mason Buettner/The Omega

Victoria’s musical darlings Jon and Roy kept the crowd happy while fans waited for the headlining act to take the stage. Mason Buettner/The Omega

“They’re our best friends in the whole world,” Middleton said shortly before Current Swell’s trombone player, Dave St. Jean, accompanied them on-stage for their spunky track “Let it Go.”

Not surprisingly, as Current Swell took the stage, the previously-empty venue filled right up.

As the most fiery act of the night, they managed to play some of their more popular stuff, including the carefree “Young and Able.” Because the group is working on a new album that they hope to be finished by December, the audience heard a couple of new songs, including “Man of Maps,” which they performed live for the first time ever.

There were a few hiccups along the way, but nothing the guys couldn’t recover from. A little bit of feedback caused issues for the group, but they made a joke of it by asking “sound-guy Greg” what happened, afterwards thanking him for his efforts. They were also a little out of tune on one song, but they acknowledged it, laughed it off and carried on.

St. Jean seemingly stole the show and his trombone solos were always welcomed by the crowd. In fact, he disappeared from the stage briefly and the audience realized he was suddenly amongst the crowd, busting out some tunes in the middle of the dance floor.

After the encore, the band wasn’t quite done with their pesky remarks, as they poked fun at Cactus Jacks by saying they had to leave so the bar could play some rave music for the regulars.

Current Swell put on an incredibly energetic performance for an enthusiastic crowd that was happy to be there. They have a lot of work ahead of them over the next few months, but here’s hoping they have time to stop by Kamloops again soon.