The Great Escape 2012: Canada House – Part 2

As of Thursday, Brighton will be overflowing with muso types as the town hosts its annual musical love-in, The Great Escape. Bands will be performing in whatever space they can find big enough to fit them, fans from all over the world will flock to find new music, and we’re fairly sure that a hefty amount of beers will be consumed too. We’ll be there and Canada House will be there too, for the first time. Presenting the cream of Canada’s musical crop, our good friends from Canadian Blast as well as various of their partners will showcase the newest and most exciting talent currently being heard by our Canadian neighbours. Read on to find out more about some of the bands playing, and to hear a playlist of the exciting sounds to come.

To read part one of our Canada House artist preview, click just here.

Hot Panda

Thurs 10 May: ‘Western Canadian Showcase’ presented by Alberta Music and SaskMusic @ The Blind Tiger Club, 12:45 – 13:15PM

Who are you and where are you from?

We are Hot Panda and we are from Edmonton, AB. We now live in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

What is the most memorable show you have played?

We played a show to children in Olympia, Washington. It was wonderful, we had a room filled with children dancing to our music. We played very quiet and changed a bunch of lyrics to make things more kid friendly. Our song ‘Fuck Shit Up’ became A song about wanting to mess up your room called ‘Mess Things Up’. Kids are way cooler than drunk adults.

What can we expect from your show?

Lots of energy! We will bring the party and maybe even take our clothes if tipped properly. Actually Heath would be the only person to do that. But if you’ve seen that guy naked, you’ve seen it all…

What plans do you have for the rest of the year?

Touring Europe in the Spring, Western North America in the Summer, then Eastern North America and Europe again in the fall. We’re then planing to sleep for all of 2013.

One song by a Canadian artist you wish you had written

I wish I’d written ‘You Oughta Know’ By Alanis Morrissette. Only without having to go though a break up with Dave Coulier.

Ben Caplan and The Casual Smokers

Fri 11 May: ‘Bangers and Mosh’ presented by Music Nova Scotia @ The Blind Tiger Club, 14:00 – 14:30PM

Who are you and where are you from?
I’m just a crazy kid with a dream based in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Please tell us a little about your latest release
The album, called In the Time of the Great Remembering, came out in Canada in October 2011. It’s not yet “officially” released in the UK, whatever that means. The album was written over a few years, and features my songs arranged for guitar, piano, violin, clarinet, saxophone, upright bass and drums. The songs and sounds are eclectic and sometimes hectic.

What is the most memorable show you have played?
I played at the top of the CN tower, the third tallest building in the world, for the kick off party for Canadian Music Week. That was pretty crazy.

What can we expect from your show?
I rounded up three of the best musicians I know to back me up. We are going to play our asses off, and unleash some madness. Be prepared to get swept in.

What plans do you have for 2012?
A lot of touring. As I write these words I have been on tour in support of my release for about 7 months almost non-stop. That touring schedule continues with more dates in Canada, the US, and around Europe. I’ll be back on this side of the Ocean in September and October 2012 with final details being confirmed for dates in the UK, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Italy, and Germany.

One song by a Canadian artist you wish you had written or played on?
‘Everybody Knows’ by Leonard Cohen.

Alexandre Désilets

Sat 12 May: ‘M on the Road’ presented by M for Montreal @ The Blind Tiger Club, 12:30PM – 13:00PM

Who are you and where are you from?
Alexandre Désilets from Montréal, Canada.

Please tell us a little about your latest release.
La Garde, released in 2010, is my second album (after Escalader l’ivresse, 2008). For this album I worked again with the renowned Jean Massicotte. I worked on the melodies first, creating home demos. After which, I wrote the lyrics with my friend Mathieu Leclerc. These were carefully tailored to the music and were based on a scrapbook I did with Ariane Charbonneau. We basically took various photographs on which we drew. This definitely helped us to visually set a musical mood and to create a world of our own. The fact that we wrote the lyrics after, based on the melodies, completely changed the creative process and the outcome of this album. Musically, I wanted to create a more luminous, grounded album, inhabited by driving grooves and catchy melodies.

What is the most memorable show you have played?
Back in March, I was invited to tour Taiwan & China as part of the “Mars en folie” francophone festival. Our last show was definitely the most memorable as we were finishing touring and emotions were running high. The public was really attentive, participative and very giving. I’ll remember this incredible experience for a very long time.

What can we expect from your show?
On stage I’m accompanied by Maxime Drouin on drums, François Lessard on bass, Dan Baillargeon on electric guitar & Jérôme Hébert on acoustic guitar. My voice is my instrument and together we deliver a powerful pop-rock show, balancing verve and sensitivity, offering a grounded yet weightless performance.

My lyrics are known to be intricate and inspired from the visual arts. But bottom line it doesn’t matter if one’s not familiar with French or all its nuances; it’s about the melody, transcending real emotion and delivering an unforgettable show!

What plans do you have for 2012?
My plans for 2012 consist, first and foremost, in writing lyrics and composing new music for my third album! Can’t wait!

One song by a Canadian artist you wish you had written or played on:

‘Don’t Let It Bring You Down’ by Neil Young.