10 years ago, I was on a train going from Vancouver to Toronto with 10-ish rock ‘n’ roll bands, CBC Radio 3, mixed media documentary film crew and other free radicals + I was on board as Svengali-like guru ;) / advisor. And finally, the documentary is coming out in chapter/band parts…, ergo:
An ensemble is solving puzzles: metaphorical about how to play in different circumstances, logistical about how to deal with power outages, and practical like this puzzle has 500 pieces and three waterfalls. Yet, The Belle Game solves all the problems with courage and grace while shifting styles and eras – is this 50 years ago or 50 in future?
Starting with trackside sparklers at a “water stop” at an undisclosed location then segueing into unabashed joy playing with balloons, streamers and shine in the packed “activity car”… as Canada rolls past in endless twilight, the band builds layers like an art school thesis submitted for professors Eno and Bowie.
The band candidly discusses their apprehensions and concerns yet all the trepidation evaporates once they pick up instruments and launch into song – you’ll feel the emotion of “yes i will wait up for you”. Later, they squeeze into the caboose car, along with oboe and bassoon from Sidney York, and a clapalong crowd for a intimate performance to bookend their transcendent offerings.
Together, vocalists Andrea Lo and Katrina Jones (also keys), guitarists Adam Nanji and Alex Andrew – plus Marcus Abramzik on bass and drummer Rob Chursinoff – find ways to solve the puzzles: sing differently, change instruments, and switch approaches to find the infinite possibilities in constraints.
So, c’mon and oll through the “S curves” on this train adventure from Vancouver to Toronto complete with a cadre of bands, fans, documenters, and other free radicals in part 3 of Tracks on Tracks, more to come, more is past.
by daveo for Green Couch