By Brandon Hoffman –

We kicked off the 2017 Safety Meeting concert series with sold out double-night performances by Kym Gouchie and Marin Patenaude with her band The Follow Through. I am thoroughly stoked with how the whirlwind weekend came together. All the music was outstanding, and on Saturday we managed to sneak an afternoon workshop in with Kym and a dozen lucky participants. So here we go again, head first into another Safety Meeting season!

For the second episode, we will dial the energy up a few notches with Kelowna’s Andrew Judah. I had a phone interview with Andrew to talk about his sound, inspiration, and live set-up. In his words, the two-piece band plays “progressive indie pop rock,” sort of reminiscent of Radiohead or Arcade Fire, with hints of Sufjan Stevens. It’s quite hard to wrap your head around how such a huge sound can come from just two people.

“We have a lot of electronics on stage, but we also try and keep a lot of traditional band elements,” says Judah.“So there are guitars and drums, but everything gets run through effects processors and loopers, and we try and make as much of it live as possible. So there’s percussion, there’s vocal effects, there’s all kinds of manipulation happening. It’s a lot of fun, and a lot can go wrong,” he laughs.

Andrew Judah absolutely tore the roof of ArtsWells this summer, so I’m very excited to have them on the line-up January 27. Opening the night is one of my all time favorite Cariboo singer-songwriters, Rowan Dolighan. We started chatting about having him open a Safety Meeting a few months ago, and since then we have put together a sweet back-up band including Lyndon Froese, Molly Lamb, Brent Morton, and yours truly.

Episode three of the series on February 10 features one of my favorite new East Van super groups, The Staggers and Jaggs. I had them up over the summer for our Sunday Biscuits series at the Bean Counter. They play music that sounds like it should be coming from a smokey back-alley speakeasy, or a gypsy caravan. Beautiful original songs, with great harmonies, and an eclectic mix of instrumentation. Opening that show is the pride of Robson Valley, Samson’s Delilah. The band will be playing a more minimal version of medieval shred-folk, playing as a three-piece (vocals, guitar, and violin).

Next up to bat are Cariboo favorites Wooden Horsemen, with Malcolm Jack (singer of Dada Plan) opening the night. This will be the only other double-nighter of the series this year, on March 3 and 4. The Horsemen have been taking their highly accessible, highly danceable blues-rock sound in a sweet new direction. Check out their Facebook page to see a summer’s worth of nostalgia-soaked music videos for their new material. It’s been really cool to see this band (headed by Steve Beddall) shift and morph in the few years it has existed. This new direction keeps the high-energy dance-inducing rhythms going, but with a warmer, fuzzier feel.

Malcolm Jack was the psychedelic VHS shaman at the helm of Dada Plan when they closed down last year’s Safety Meeting concert series. He’ll be back for March 3 and 4 with a collection of tunes from an extremely different repertoire. This guy is a phenomenal songwriter and lyricist.

More info to come. In the mean time make sure you join our Facebook group to stay up to date with the series at

Safety Meeting 2017

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