The Casbah 306 King Street West
Last year, it worked out that I celebrated my birthday with some of my favourite musicians at Casbah. I wanted the party to be at another show this year and now that I’m venturing into booking them, I thought I would put one together. Making it even better, I worked with Brodie at Casbah to turn it into a fundraiser for a local food bank – I chose to donate to the one at Welcome Inn Community Centre.
I reached out to friends and bands I’ve met in my travels, and was stoked to have the amazing lineup of Kirby, Dawn and Marra, Quails In The Nest, Redanda, and The Great Machine.
Of course, it’s not a party without balloons! Thanks to my friend Luisa for helping me bring them to the venue and set up. As per usual, we showed up fashionably early – and fashionable – in matching (unplanned!) dresses.
I was happy to see friends Aron of Young Rival behind the bar and Danielle of Xo.Ex.Oh’s working the door. Rhee and Michelle were in the house too , and of course Brodie – love the Casbah team!
Kirby was up first – funnily enough, this was my third birthday involving his sweet tunes. He played last year when I celebrated my birthday in the Lounge, and a few years ago I celebrated at Che where he and bunch of others were playing. So Kirby is officially in my birthday playlist!
The venue was filling in, but everyone was very chill and attentive, taking in Kirby’s set. We were treated to a new song I hadn’t heard yet, which I captured a clip of in my video. It was great having Kirby’s vibe and talent brought to the night. Always a pleasure.
I was really excited to have Dawn and Marra be part of the night. They brought a force of girl power to the evening and I love seeing strong female musicians. It had been months since I’ve seen them play – earlier this year they were in Vancouver working on their album and the new songs sounded awesome. I’m so impressed by their musicality. Their harmonies are so great and they are solid multi-instrumentalists.
A highlight was hearing their cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Cecilia.” I hear the classic tune all the time at work and think of them every time!
New friends of mine, Quails In The Nest, were up next. Mikey and Nicholas are awesome and I’m glad to have met them this year. Their folk sounds kicked the volume up a notch and it was a good way to transition into the full bands (nice booking job on my part, if I do say so, myself!).
I love their laid-back style – great vibes. They may be laid-back musically, but not when it comes to hustling and getting their tunes out there! Quails are hard working dudes (Nicholas plays for the talented Brooke Nicholls as well). They’re always booking shows and holding it down on social media. I look forward to hearing more from them!
My boys Redanda kept the night groovin’. They were one of the first bands that popped into my head when I wanted to throw a party. They brought lots of friends to the show, and one was even celebrating his birthday too (tequila was in order!). It was also drummer Curtis’ birthday a week later. Party all around!
It was perfect timing with Redanda because they were set to release two new songs the following Monday, right on my actual birthday. So I enjoyed jamming to “Foosball” and “Grind Away” as part of my birthday playlist.
Last but not least, who better to bring down the house than The Great Machine? I was pumped to have Greg, Jon, and Jonny on board. They killed it! They impressed me right from the first time I saw them live – so much energy and they’re a blast to watch.
The night was difficult to capture, being so dark in there, but you can get a taste of their set in my video. If you haven’t yet, Great Machine are a band you need to experience live!
Shout outs to members of The Human Orchestra for popping by and giving me a copy of their EP as a gift! Check them out on the 27th at Homegrown (Dawn and Marra are also on the bill!). Human Orchestra also play Casbah on May 10th with Quails In The Nest – and I believe the bands learned about each other at my show.
That’s another thing I love about putting together shows, is bringing artists together who I’m a fan of, and also introducing some to each other. It’s so much fun booking a diverse lineup and then just sitting back and watching everyone do their thing!
Thank you again to Brodie and The Casbah team for hosting, and thanks so much to all of the artists for performing and for being so enthusiastic about the night. It meant a lot! Of course, thanks to all who came out! It made me really happy to see everyone and know we were able to do this for a great cause. In the end, $220 was raised for Welcome Inn’s food bank.
Perhaps I now have a birthday tradition to look forward to? Until next year!