Two bands with Surrey roots are up first in The Longest Intermission, a new virtual concert “mini-series” featuring local bands recorded live at Ocean Park Community Hall.
Performances by Sleepy Gonzales and Brass Camel were recorded on a recent weekend for “live off the floor” streaming on two dates in May, as part of a Penmar Community Arts Society project involving several partners.
While COVID has shut down live music for more than a year, bands have struggled to make a living but continue to create and release new songs.
“The Longest Intermission gives bands the chance to rehearse in preparation for a return to touring and share it with fans through livestreaming,” explained Dione Costanzo, Penmar’s operations manager.
The goal is to “work with indie and emerging bands to record a live performance and provide them with a video to use as collateral to promote themselves and apply for other performance opportunities, both during and post COVID,” Costanzo added.
“These assets for the bands are the real value from this project.”
Band members were paid for their performances, and tickets to watch the online shows range from free to $15 – depending on what the viewer wants to pay.
The 8 p.m. concerts on May 1 (Brass Camel) and May 8 (Sleepy Gonzales) also offer a chance to interact with the bands. “We are able to stream into communities that the bands are currently unable to tour to, with an opportunity of reaching new audiences,” says a post on Penmar’s Facebook page.
Project partners include the City of Surrey, the Province of B.C., Tradable Bits, Long & McQuade (White Rock), Face The Music and Music Lottery.
Sleepy Gonzales is an Indie band “from a tiny basement in Surrey onto stages around Vancouver,” says a post on the event website. “Their sound could be described as suburban sadness drenched in reverb. Or dreamlike melodies backed by raw, tired energy.” Their show will feature songs from the new “Slow Apocalypse” album.
As for Brass Camel, “imagine Yes had a three-way with George Clinton and Led Zeppelin…in Canada. Out pops Vancouver’s own Brass Camel, a one-of-a-kind quintet that blends 70’s prog, funk, and blues rock into a fresh and original sound.”