- By: Gerry-Jenn Wilson
One of the main reasons why Vancouver gets it's title "NO FUN CITY" is from the lack of available and affordable venues for new upcoming bands & talent to perform at. Losing Wendy 13's "Well Oiled LIVE MUSIC Machine @ The Cobalt" , (RIP) was a tragedy to Vancouver's indie music scene/ arts community. Then there has been the ongoing demise of other venues such as Dix on Dix, Pub 340, The Brandiz, etc, etc. On the brighter side of the shit stick....Underground "Booze Cans", "Juke Joints", & "Speakeasies" are popping up as an alternative. This has encouraged local musicians, bands, artists and promoters to form tighter alliances to ensure that everybody gets a fair shake, and that the music scene will thrive & stay alive regardless of the opposing "powers that be" ! THE LAB on 1127 E. HASTINGS is one of Vancouver's best kept secrets for the preservation of local pop culture! If nothing else, its a place where cool cats, hipsters and your "not so average" atomic dogs can mingle with the "in" crowd & get their "Ya~Ya's" out on a Bukowski barfly budget!!... "Through rain, sleet, wind, and snow, nothing stopped the SOULSTORM show at THE LAB!"... On an unusually snowy Saturday night, Feb. 26th, 2011, The SOULSTORM was coming down heavy in the heart of EAST VAN.! Check it out!!... Hailing from some subterranean "Ragin' Cajun Ghost Town"...( this side of "KIZMYAZ") ...The "Suave & De~boner" LES BARONS posse stepped out of their "2nd hand time machine" decked in black velvet top~hats & tuxedo tails to kick start the first set of THE LAB'S "NIGHT OF THE SOULSTORM!!" ...The mysterious pale-faced singer known only as "XU" was a doppelganger for The Damned's frontman, "Dave Vanian",(.. providing that Mr. Vanian was also cloned with P.T. Barnum & E.T.!) ... "Underground Vancouver" Videographer, Paul Trudel a.k.a. "Pablo "T" cast a phantasmagoric spell on the audience playing with his majikal "Farfisa" keyboard (...cranked to a haunting #11!). PABLO "T" warned everyone rocking out on the dance floor that the camera is always rolling!!!!. Spanking new to the LES BARON hoo~doo crew on bass guitar is Dr.Tim, who apparently put in some time playing with guitar blues legend Kim Simmons in "SAVOY BROWN" ! Yet another newcomer to the LES BARONS crew is Tony Bardach. Tony's "Mutton Chop Guitar Stylings" rocked the LES BARON set until his "Modern Soldier Moustache" came unfurled!!! (~ WHOA~!)...F.Y.I.: "Big Daddy Bardach" is hands down one of "THE HARDEST" working musicians this side of the I-5!! Aside from calling THE LAB his very own "3 Ring Circus", Tony Bardach also moonlights with "The Pointed Sticks", "Slowpoke & The Smoke", and "The Lil Guitar Army"!! Tony rocked THE LAB'S SOULSTORM SHOW into a flurry, while LES BARON'S drummer "Kermit Von Munster" kept a rocked & loaded "GUN CLUB" style "SEX BEAT" standing upright behind the kitty!!! When LES BARONS broke into "THE ROLLING STONE'S" tune "WAITING ON A FRIEND" the time warp was in max. overdrive as the majik mushrooms started to kick in!!!... Next up were Vancouver's Kings of "DOO WAP SLOP" , "SLOWPOKE & THE SMOKE". It is worth noting that their debut CD / 2 RECORD ALBUM entitled "TONITE TWO DOLLARS" & "POOR SIDE OF TOWN" is "ALL THAT... AND A CRAZY 8~PACK OF~ CANADIAN HIGH ~TEST~!" Drummer extraordinaire "BRAD LAMBERT", ( who also moonlights with JP5 and THE FORD PIER BAND) plays a custom upright , one piece "COCKTAIL KIT" equipped with 3 microphones attached to goosenecks that the SLOWPOKE trio sing & swing through in perfect DOO WAP harmony!... Imagine if you will three sharp dressed hombres named Tony, Brad & Eric, on the street corner wearing "Al Pacino circa SCARFACE era " 3 ~ peice, pin stripped gangster suites huddled around a flaming oil drum crooning "I Only Have Eyes For You", "Cisco Kid", or GOLDEN EARRING'S "Radar Love" ..THAT my friend is what you call "DOO WAP SLOP!!"...After getting his walking papers from an ex. girlfriend, THE POKE'S smoking vocalist / guitarist, TONY BARDACH was inspired to record their 11 song debut CD/ 2 ALBUM RECORD in hopes of winning back her heart. In the end, Tony's romantic ploy may have backfired, but he & his band mates came through shining like a freshly polished 24 KARAT BLING RING with "ALL HITS & NO MRS.!" on "TONITE TWO DOLLARS" & "THE POOR SIDE OF TOWN" .... "110 PERCENT PUNK GLOBE APPROVED!!!!"... SLOWPOKE & THE SMOKE'S unforgettable set at THE LAB got everyone with a pulse "SHAKING ALL OVER!"...
For those of you who have yet to take a ride with "THE FORD PIER VENGEANCE TRIO"...LOOK-OUT! ...FORD PIER'S souped~up seven octave vocal range always keeps an audience in constant suspense! ... You can expect anything from " JEFFERY LEE PEIRCE", "TINY TIM" or "JOEY RAMONE" to channel through "FANTASTIC FORD'S UPPER BLOWHOLE!!"...Mystery man FORD is " the man, the myth, the multi-instrumentalist , who can be found playing a mean guitar while jumping super high! Ford also plays bass guitar, french horn and sources say ukulele to boot... (when he is in the mood!)... FORD PIER is arguably one of the most under appreciated virtuosos in the nation!!! GEOFF BERNER, of Vancouver's BEATROUTE magazine describes FORD PIER'S latest record release called "NO VINYL IN STORE" like this: " I would definitely pick any Ford Pier record as something that you could just get into and never stop getting into because there are about a thousand good ideas in each moment! I'm in awe of Ford Pier!"
THE FORD PIER BAND'S set at THE LAB left the crowd drooling & me "FLICKING MY BIC" lighter for more!...
AND NOW...(Drum Roll please...) The moment that we've all been waiting for!.... The debut of PIGGY! Screaming siren, MS. ALEXA BARDACH ( of the late great VICTORIAN PORK), busted out of the piggy pen like a "Droogie" from CLOCKWORK ORANGE as she slithered around the stage like an EAST VAMP reptile clad in banshee black, wearing a white mask crooning ...."I WANT TO BE YOUR LOVER!!!" The lovely LISAFURR LLOYD looked good enough to eat in her "PIGGY TAILS!" MS. LISAFURR kept the rhythmic train a rolling all night long with her rock solid bass stylings alongside drummer CAPTAIN CRAIG, who turned the crowd into bacon bits with his BOSS HOSS BEATS!
Vancouver promoter/ musician DOUG SMITH was lending a "96 TEARS" meets "INNA GADDA DA EAST VAN." texture to the talent trough playing his Farfisa Keyboard like it was 1969!!
Shaking what his Mama gave him like a "Punk Rock Prince", rumproastin' RON REYES was looking like a BABE in his handsome pink "DIOS LOS MUERTES" shirt and black wrap around "REYES-BANS!!"..RON'S guitar playing proves that he is no one trick PIGGY!!!...For more rebel rousing...keep your pork chops on #11 & be prepared to catch "PIGGY FEVER!" ...oink 'em if ya got 'em
Video by: The Fabulous Ms. Ligaya
Live photos by: The Floydian Device and Jennifer Dodds