Rachmaninoff-ing with Brendan McLeod

  • Sid Williams Theatre 442 Cliffe Avenue Courtenay, BC Canada

Sarah will be joining Brendan McLeod for a special collaboration of Rachmaninoff and spoken word.

The double bill features spoken word artist Brendan McLeod who will perform in the first half and be joined by band mates the Fugitives for the second half.

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“I’m psyched for this show because I have been touring for 10 years now with myself and the Fugitives, and I’ve never done the two the same night,” McLeod says.

A novelist, playwright, musician, and poet, Brendan McLeod performs literature in many different guises. He is a former Canadian SLAM poetry champion (2004) and World SLAM runner-up (2005). His first novel was long-listed for the 2008 Re:Lit Award for fiction.

As a poet and a storyteller, McLeod has performed over 400 shows in the past 5 years. The Toronto-based writer and musician recently appeared as the Poet of Honour at the 2015 Victoria Spoken Word Festival and received the same distinction at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word in 2012. A former chair of Spoken Word Canada dubbed him “one of the most dynamic and intelligent performance poets on the globe.”

The Fugitives are an indie folk collective fronted by McLeod and fellow songwriter Adrian Glynn, who’s other artistic pursuit is acting. He received rave reviews for a recent role in a Vancouver production of Chelsea Hotel, a play based on the songs and poems of Leonard Cohen.

Their band is eclectic, boasting prominent former members like Mark Berube and CR Avery, and a current rotating cast of supporters that includes violin-looping prodigy Hannah Epperson, multi-instrumentalist Steve Charles, and renowned actor Benjamin Elliot, alongside a host of multi-instrumentalists whose styles range from bluegrass to jazz.

This diversity has carried over to their records and live performances. Their first full-length album received a Canadian Folk Music Award nomination for “pushing the boundaries” of contemporary roots music, and their follow-up was praised for being “eclectic and exciting” (See) , “poignant” (Uptown), and “infectious” (CBC). They’ve gone on to sell out shows at venues as diverse as the Vienna Literary Festival, the Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival, and the Vancouver Jazz Festival, while maintaining a frequent spot on the Canadian folk festival circuit. As McLeod puts it, “We’re like Broken Social Scene. But acoustic, and way less famous.”

Weaving genres within one another, the Fugitives’ folk flavour channels modern day bluegrass and “acoustic pop delivering Great Big Sea-worthy chants, twinkling romantic vignettes, and pub-thumping singles. There’s a lot to love.”

The Georgia Straight called them “wildly talented” and the Winnipeg Free Press published a glowing review, in which they write “what’s not to love about this incredibly entertaining troupe of poetic musicians who play eclectic instruments and sing, clap, and stomp their way through an absolutely riveting set of what can only be described as poignant performance art…ignites the stage with razor-sharp tunes utilizing overlapping poetic dialogue, duets, solos and ensemble work… this gifted group of multifaceted performers is a must-see.”