Above: 📷 Cheryl Folland
By Arts Editor Cheryl Folland
I could tell by the sass flying back and forth during soundcheck, that this was going to be an amazing show. Banter flying across the stage and, at times, into the audience, displayed the intense connections to their music. The Clanns, an Irish Rock group, had a sound reminiscent of other Canadian greats. Listening to their cover of “Ordinary Day” by Great Big Sea, I closed my eyes and was transported back to my teen years, spent jumping around at music festivals, revelling in the shared heritage of my blood and the music.
Their music is heavily influenced by other Celtic artists, such as Flogging Molly and The Pogues. With a reputation for spirited and engaging shows, the crowd at The Nanaimo Bar could not sit still. The Clanns is comprised of Scotty Guy (guitar and vocals), Al Black Davidson (drums and vocals), Terry Parker (bass and vocals), Len Imbery (accordion and vocals), and Angela (fiddle and vocals). Each bandmate danced and laughed while expertly displaying their skill.
I was blown away by the level of musicianship and freedom each artist possessed. Cheers and clapping erupted from several audience members during each song. Couples rose from their seats and danced to cheeky love tunes, the local RCMP stayed a moment longer than their normal check, clapping along, and there was not a sad face in the house.
From high energy originals like “Lucky Bastard” and “Man of the Hour”, to staple Irish classics like “The Night Pat Murphy Died”, the music transformed The Nanaimo Bar into an Irish Pub for a night. I look forward to much more from this group, and think they are one to keep an eye on moving forward.
For more on The Clanns, including performance dates, visit theclanns.com.