Show Overview: Flight of Fall Festival - Stan @ The Company House (Night #1)

DISCLAIMER - due to a multitude of issues with 2 out of 3cameras -  Videos in this post come courtesy of the Berserker Lion Youtube page and were shot by Jeff Knox & David Fulde

The Company House - December 3rd 2011
12:30 – 1:30 Chris Martin & The Troubleshooters
11:30 – 12:15 Moonshine Ramblers
10:45 – 11:15 Mike Humble
10:00 – 10:30 David R Elliot

A newcomer in the Halifax festival scene, Flight of the Fall is off to a solid start. Friday night at The Company House showcased a wide array of acts, from singer songwriter, to folk protest, to party country, to straight up swing band. And, somehow, it all worked. I don’t know how, I just can’t explain it, but somehow everything came together. Was it the venue and it’s diverse array of patrons? Or was it a masterfully picked lineup? Whichever of those two options it was, it was fun.

Taking the stage first was David R. Elliot, a singer/songwriter in the vein of Steve Earle. Playing guitar and singing in a way that immediately reminded me of Earle, I was intrigued straight out the gate. David had some great lines and some above average guitar composition. My favourite song of his set was December, an achingly sweet ballad about winter and the harshness that can come along with it. As with most opening acts, David’s set wasn’t all that well attended, but with his song writing ability and creative guitar work, be sure to check him out at a coffee house near you.

“Ok, well, since you guys are such an attentive audience, which I was hoping for, I’m going to sing a song about death.” And so began Mumble’s set. Mumble, A.K.A. Mike Humble, was in town to represent the Feels Good music community and, as per usual, represent he did. Singing slow, poignant, funny songs, Mumble was definitely playing to the right crowd, blending folk, protest, and humor, he deftly played the role of an old school folk singer. Fracking? Berated. Death? Handled. Bumblebees? Approved. Mumble did a great job of getting people thinking, smiling and reminiscing. See him; you’ll leave feeling warmer then you did when you walked in.

Cowboy plaid, unshorn faces, soulful voices. Moonshine Ramblers loudly and unceremoniously took to the stage. After two solo acoustic acts, the Ramblers were a shock to the system, unleashing their brand of Zydeco Rock on the, at this point much larger, CoHo crowd. Nary a note missed, nary a banjo triplet left behind, the lads were fairly unrelenting; highlight of the night? The song that reminded me of a downhome rendition of Golddigger by Kanye West. I don’t know how I heard it, but I did. And I hope you do too. For realz, y’all. Mixed in with all the funtimes, Moonshine Ramblers managed to break down into doom country territory. Slow, mean, and dark, these parts of the set were a welcome change and only made me love the Ramblers more.

Last, but definitely not least, Chris Martin and the Troubleshooters.
After coming in from the cold of a December night, literally the last thing I expected to see onstage was a swing band, complete with zoot suits, slicked back hair and many, many different brass coloured instruments. My swing band knowledge is poor, at best, but from what I know (Brian Setzer, Squirrel Nut Zippers) these guys stood up as a solid band in the genre. There’s a certain pageantry of swing music that I can help but love. Wouldn’t YOU love to dress up and sing, loudly, about girls, cars, and, I don’t know…fucking? I know I would, and these guys have the balls to do it. The dancefloor was jammed, so you know they’re doing something right. If you want to sweat, dance, and smile, this is the band to see.

Yea, so, as I said, pretty diverse bill, but a fun night had by all. Everything ran smoothly, and my first trip to The Company House can officially be branded as a success. Congrats to Flight of the Fall and Berserker Lion for a great first night!

- Stan Béland


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