Tonight, I perform in Vancouver, British Columbia at Seven Dining Lounge. However, one does not simply wake up and go play a show. There is an abundance of background steps that occur before you hit the stage. This is especially true for Western Jaguar. Firstly, once a show has been set up, I determine how I would like to perform the show. I do not have a full band I work with so I need to figure out how I would like to perform at each gig. For tonight’s gig, I knew I had to get Robert Sweeney. Robert is the main man I get to play rhythm guitar because he seems to make those long open chords sing. With Robert on board, I had to set up the backing tracks for the evening. When it is just Robert I performing, I set up a loop pedal and load in bass and drum tracks from the recordings of each track. At the gig, Robert and I perform the additional part over top. It originally came from an idea I had to make my performance entirely loop based, but that dream dropped away quickly due to the complexity of some of my tracks such as Year of the Flood.
After I load the tracks into the loop pedal and establish appropriate levels on each, the practicing begins. Robert and I get together about once per week to run through our set and during that time we experiment with a lot of different solos, fills and transitions between tracks. We work to make the show as dynamic, complex and cinematic as possible (this went too far last year when I almost broke off the head of my guitar by smashing it on a cymbal repeatedly, oops). Of course, this is held within reason as we do make sure the sound and quality of the sound is the top priority.
A special edition to this gig is the addition of a projector video to accompany each track. The artist we are performing with, Canzino has acquired one so Robert and I have spend many hours putting together a video collection to be the backdrop for our performance. This is something new to the Western Jaguar show and I am actually a little excited about it. I think it adds an extra dimension to what’s before the attendee. We’ll see how well it goes over. Here’s hoping it’s well received.
Now I know a lot of you are not from around Vancouver. Well, back in September of 2014,Western Jaguar performed an intimate show in the basement of a church. This show was approximately my 10th in a 4 month period. However, before this particular performance I came to realize I had a surprising scarcity of videos of my performances! As mentioned, I know a lot of the people who listen to my music live outside the Fraser Valley, British Columbia and even Canada. With this in mind, I asked Robert if he had a camera capable of recording a quality video to share with those who could not physically make a show. Though the lighting was nowhere near perfect and the audio still did not come through pristinely crisp, Western Jaguar @ The Church at the very least provides a glimpse into one of the live setups I use when performing with Western Jaguar.
Please enjoy this performance of Council, the newest single from the upcoming album Wayfarer.
And for those in the Vancouver area, see you at tonight’s show
Your Artist in Residence,
/ Western Jaguar