Tag Archives: The Paperboys

Review: The Paperboys at the New Moon Folk Club

Imagine you are picking some of your best friends up the airport. They’ve just flown in from an international adventure and you haven’t seen them for some time. Before the car doors have been slammed the conversation is already in full-swing. They are telling you stories of shows they saw and food they ate. Once you arrive at their home they’ve convinced you that they need to stay awake in order to re-set their internal clocks so you follow them inside and the stories continue to flow. Someone apparently was on the phone on the ride from the airport and more friends quickly arrive at the door. Soon a celebration of your friends’ return is underway. Souvenirs and stories from their trip are  passed around while the atmosphere and discussion dissolve into a jet-lagged induced, hilariously loopy party.

You might ask why I’d ask you to imagine such a scenario. Well to me it is the best way to put you in the correct mindset for attempting to describe what happened when The Paperboys descended at the New Moon Folk Club. The show was a sell-out and the queue to get inside snaked up and down the lobby a few times before it continued out into the dark, snowy parking lot. Everyone was eager to hear The Paperboys who had just flown in from Dublin, as part of their 25th anniversary tour—what songs from the back catalogue would we get to hear?

IMG_3637Once The Paperboys took the stage it was time for the stories to start flowing: Geoff Kelly’s imaginary food baby? Apparently courtesy of Greggs’ Cornish pasties, and sausage rolls; St. Basil’s Cultural Center? Double the size of any of the small folk club venues they played in the UK and Ireland. Just like the imaginary scenario I described you were never sure if at one moment the band would all collapse from exhaustion. They never did succumb to their need for sleep, always keeping the energy level cranked—and they played until 11 o’clock which would be 6 am in the UK!

The atmosphere was a party and then some. I have never seen so many people dancing at an Edmonton folk club. Ever. Both sides of the stage had people out of their seats, twirling and bopping along to the constantly evolving musical selections blasting from the stage. We sang along with “California” at the top of our lungs and then The Paperboys started pulling in extra performers, Calvin Vollrath traded off fiddle duties for a song or two with Kalissa Landa, Jeremiah McDade offered some saxophone solos and Remi Noel joined in on trombone.

At the end of the night you were exhausted but invigorated. It was a fantastic night that like The Paperboys’ music itself defies all attempts to describe it…so imagine an evening of stories and songs bouncing from topic to topic seamlessly as only the best of friends can manage.

The next show at the New Moon Folk Club is the Dead South and is also sold-out, so start planning for 2018 and get your tickets early to the shows in the new year. Also new is New Moon crowd-sourcing local musicians for the First Set—if you know of a local artist who would benefit from playing the first set at a New Moon show email their information to FirstSetnmfc[at]gmail.com.

Review: The Paperboys at Horizon Stage

Last night The Paperboys completed a set of three Alberta performance dates at the Horizon Stage in Spruce Grove. The Paperboys’ performance was as polished as one of their many albums, but make no mistake polished doesn’t mean disconnected. Although the set-up for the Horizon Stage doesn’t readily allow for patrons to stand up and dance (without blocking their neighbours) from the first chord that The Paperboys struck serious seat-dancing, foot stomping and hand clapping occurred. With the final song of the night  the audience’s enthusiasm could no longer be contained and suddenly we were on our feet partaking in an audience wide dance party.

The Paperboys have been playing together (in various incarnations) for 20+ years and drew from that wealth of repertoire when compiling their set list, mixing older tunes such as “She Said” with newer ones off the album At Peace With One’s Ghosts like “City of Chains“. On “She Said” the individual members of the band showcased their musical talents with a series of solos, and with “California” had the sold out audience of the Horizon Stage singing along.

Twenty odd years is a longtime to remain a band—people move and become involved in other projects— so in the course of The Paperboys existence they have had to come up with creative ways of working. Geoff Kelly explained that due to the geographical separation of some of the band members homes  (Seattle, Victoria, Vancouver etc.) that much of their songwriting is accomplished on the road, and offered “The Baron’s Jig” as an example of one such tune written in on the road in the south of Germany. Another was the album Road to Ellenside which was recorded by The Paperboys while they stayed in a house, named Ellenside, in the north of England. The Paperboys’ sound is irresistibly infectious blending many genres into something new, and I for one am grateful that they manage the time to squeeze in the writing of new songs while on the road.

The Horizon Stage has more folk acts in the upcoming months including: Séan McCann on November 19th.