Formerly of The River and The Road, multi-instrumentalist Andrew Phelan will visit Jasper on Oct. 22, near the tail end of a month-long cross-Canada tour from the West Coast to Montreal (or vice versa?) and back to Vancouver Island where things will wrap up, as they so often do. Andrew and Craig Gilbert managed to find each other for a few minutes earlier this week and cranked out a preview of the bard’s upcoming show at the Whistle Stop Pub.
Craig: So how long is the tour?
Andrew: This is one of the shorter tours I’ve been on in the last four or five years. This is much better than doing Iqaluit to Charlottetown over two months and having a lot of dead air in the middle. So we’ll be getting to Jasper, that will be the last out-of-B.C. show, near the tail end. We’ll be kind of celebrating almost making it back home at that point.
Craig: Love Montreal. Only spent a couple of days there but everytime I hear the word…
Andrew: Oh, it’s beautiful. We’re playing this little underground venue – in a literal sense, I’m not allowed to tell anybody the address. It’s just one of those places, people just turn up. I love Vancouver, but people don’t dance. People really dance in Montreal.
Craig: Is this the first time you’ve played a place where you’re not allowed to tell anyone where you’re playing?
Andrew: No, that’s kind of old hat for us these days. There were a couple of them; I remember one in Winnipeg called the Red Lobster. We had to load in every time it was quiet because it was a residential area. So we kind of had to have a guy spotting and every time it was quiet we’d run a piece of gear in, then he’d close the door. And then we’d run back out, check for anybody, and run back in and close the door. We’re pretty well-versed in alternative venues these days, to be honest.
Craig: Who are you bringing with you this time?
Andrew: With just me as the band, it’s a trio, so Cole, who played drums with me in The River and The Road, then Peter, who is playing bass in Peach Pit (the other band on the tour) as well. He knows all the parts and we have a lot of fun on stage and it also means we can all drive in one van, which is always nice. Two vans, six guys, one car, makes things pretty easy.
Craig: So what can people expect when they show up at the Whistle Stop?
Andrew: It’s going to be a party, there’s no other way to describe it. It’s going to be two bands who have been on the road together for a month playing shows probably every night and at least every day, doing house shows or busking or doing whatever we can to keep the days full. We’re going to be really happy to be in Jasper. I really love the area, that whole section of the Yellowhead, that part of the country is so gorgeous.
I booked a couple of tours with Peach Pit and tagged along because I just love playing with them, and just driving through on the way back from Edmonton, the last time, the guys were like ‘we have to make sure we settle in for the night and get to meet some people.’ We’re just going to be singing and partying and getting people to dance and drink and maybe a couple of tears at the end if we play our cards right.