written by: Charlotte M
When we talk about all the things that make Guelph great, Hillside is always near the top of the list. The longstanding festival started as a community organized initiative in 1984 and has remained an integral part of Guelph’s heartbeat
This year marks the 10th anniversary of Hillside Inside, the annual 3 day festival that happens every February. Hillside Inside brings us a lineup of past Hillside performers and up-and-coming acts. And as always, Hillside has not disappointed. Let’s preview what we’ll be seeing February 9 – 12.
BROS: Thursday, February 9 @ 8pm, Peter Clark Hall, University of Guelph
BROS is the new project from Ewan and Shamus Currie, front man and keyboardist, respectively, for platinum-selling Canadian band The Sheepdogs. Although they are indeed brothers, the name was chosen with tongue firmly planted in cheek, a reflection of the 10-song self-titled debut album daringly expanding their sonic range in unexpected and playful ways. Read on here
Steve Poltz: Friday, February 10 @ 8pm, Mitchell Hall, St. George’s Church
To suggest that Steve Poltz isn’t normal is about as safe a statement as one could make. His live shows have captivated audiences far and wide with a mix of singing, storytelling, shredding, and the occasional spoken word rants which have been known to incite riots. He can take an audience from laughter to tears and back again within the same song. Steve Poltz transcends the word “talented.”
Murder Murder: Friday, February 10 @ 8pm, Mitchell Hall, St. George’s Church
Northern Ontario’s Murder Murder are a six-piece string band with suitcase percussion who create a unique blend of bluegrass and outlaw country. Their virtuosic musicianship and evocative songwriting are backed by a wealth of original and traditional murder ballads.
Le Trouble: Saturday, February 11 @ 3:30pm, Royal Electric
Montreal-based five-piece Le Trouble is made up of twenty percent jamming and eighty percent hanging out. Le Trouble are five introverts who just happen to love making wellcrafted pop music, but instead of reaching for the top of the charts, they write for themselves. Read on here
Heat: Saturday, February 11 @ 8pm, Mitchell Hall, St. Georges Church
One only needs to take a quick glance at the bands that Montreal quartet Heat have been compared with to get a firm grasp on the visceral, wholesome noise they produce. From the brash pop of Echo and the Bunnymen to the post-punk leanings of Psychedelic furs, this is a band that proudly take their place in the great alt-rock lineage, delivering rousing, thrilling anthems for the disenfranchised. Initially starting as “as an excuse to get together and drink”, Heat have grown in to something far more significant – and new record “Overnight” offers their most notable work to-date. Read on here
Lido Pimienta: Saturday, February 11 @ 8pm, Mitchell Hall, St. Georges Church
Lido Pimienta (b.1986) is a Colombian born, Toronto-based interdisciplinary artist/curator and musician. She has performed, exhibited, and curated around the world since 2002. Her work explores the politics of gender, race, motherhood, identity and the construct of the Canadian landscape in the Latin American Diaspora and vernacular. Pimienta, also known as “Colombian darling” and “Soundsister” is known for experimenting with electronic beats, analog synths and Afro-Colombian rhythms packaging everything with her out-of-this-world chanting. The release of her first album Color LP, opened the gate for several collaborations with artists in Canada and around the world, making her one of the most prolific song-writer, lyricist and an improv virtuosos of her generation.
DJ Shub: Saturday, February 11 @ 8pm, Mitchell Hall, St. Georges Church
It is told in the creation legend of a DJ called Shub that a great Council was held along the muddy banks of the mighty Grand River in which the influences of Q-Bert, Mix Master Mike, A- Trak, and Craze held sway. For one reason or another, that nobody remembers, all of the musical heavyweights from the Mohawk, Oneida, Cayuga, Seneca, Onondaga and Tuscarora also joined this Council and humbly offered teachings, harmonies, drum patterns, leads, and drops to this young man in their own good ways. Read on here
Begonia: A very special brunch and concert happening at Miijidaa, Sunday, February 12 @ 11:30am
On one end of the spectrum there are varieties of the Begonia which can be a dark, grievous, rough around the edges. And on the other end, a petite and elegant flower. In between, the plant attempts to harmonize its two poles, forming an array of varieties that each borrow from the delicate and the unseemly. It is in this same vein that Begonia (Alexa Dirks) finds herself, trying to find a balance. Read on here
The Blurry Pickers: Sunday, February 12 @ 3:30pm, Royal Electric
Raised in the hidden hills and hollers of Southern ON, Canada, the Blurry Pickers are a family of friends who formed a band around their mutual love of music. Somewhere between where Jerry Garcia meets Bill Monroe, the Blurry Pickers have developed a sound that crosses borders but rests nowhere. Lauded for their catchy melodies and songwriting, old-timey and soulful lyrics, their dynamic will pull you in and their songs will keep you there. Read on here
True to Hillside’s roots, there are many opportunities to support the community and join in over the weekend. The Girls and Guitars Songwriters Course culminates with a performance at various downtown locations, Saturday February 11 at 11am – 2pm. And Hillside wouldn’t be Hillside without drumming; you can practice your skills at the Hand Drumming Workshop taking place at Planet Bean, Sunday February 12 at 10am. You can also support up-and-coming talent at the Youth Music showcase, also happening at Planet Bean Saturday February 11 at 11am.
We would end this blog post with “see you on the Island”, a standard Hillside saying referring to the location for Hillside’s summer festival at Guelph Lake, but that would be a pretty chilly time in February. Alternatively, Hillside Inside is happening in various Guelph locations and venues. So, see you at Hillside (Inside)!
For more information: http://hillsidefestival.ca