When we finally made it across the street to the festival I met up with Jessie, one of the festival organizers for a run down of the festival and what I could and couldn't shoot. She was super friendly and awesome. It's always good to see festivals being put on by generous people that are just as excited for the whole event as the rest of the crowd. Before she was whisked away a call on her walkie she set me up with my photographer pass, and I pretty much didn't see her the rest of the festival.
Quickly I jumped into action to shoot a band from my neck of the woods on the Saanich Peninsula, The Archers. I can't get over how much they've grown as a band over the last few years since I first saw them play a free show in Sidney. I'd put some serious money on The Archers being a big contender in next year's Peak Performance Project. Top 5 if not Top 3.
When I finished shooting The Archers I headed back to the Tacofino truck to get myself a veggie burrito. In the time I was gone shooting The Archers I think Ryley had two fish tacos and was eyeing up a third. While we ate our late lunch/dinner we wandered over to the beer garden to watch the rest of The Archers set, and bullshit over a drink.
Before I knew it I was back in the photo pit with one of the two staff photographers for Otalith getting ready to shoot one of my favourite local bands, Northcote. I think in the last year I've had a chance to see Matt Goud perform three times, and every time is a treat. His smokey voice mixed with working class style lyrics gives off the Bruce Springsteen vibe. Mix in a solid, tight band, a harmonic, and you have Northcote.
Matt is one of the nicest people in the Victoria music scene always smiling, coming over to say hi, and greeting people like they are old friends. It must be the prairie sensibility thing that I hear some transplants seem to have. I highly recommend picking up his latest self titled record, Northcote.
The last two times I've seen Kathryn Calder I've wondered when Luke Kozlowki would jump on stage to play drums for a full on Immaculate Machine reunion. I say this because recently Brooke Gallupe has seems to be a full time member of the band, and I could be more excited. Immaculate Machine was one of the bands that was big in the local scene when I first started going to bars and shows years ago. They've long since been a favourite and something Shayne and I wax nostalgia over.
After leaving the pit Kathryn Calder played her new song "New Millennium" which really gets me excited for the prospect of a new album on the horizon. Heck, I'd settle for a 7" single these days. Kathryn Calder is a super talent lady and I look forward to new releases from her in the future.
At this point I'd realized that all the bands I'd seen today were Victoria bands, and would pretty much make up my perfect line-up for a VIC Fest. It says a lot when you are willing to travel to see your favourite local bands and not even realize it. Victoria has some serious talent, I'm glad we are sharing it with the rest of the world.
When Yukon Blonde came on the festival was ready to party, and I can't blame them. The boys in Yukon Blonde always seem to know how to get the crowd moving. I turned around in the photo pit, and wondered where all these people had come from. I didn't care I was enjoying the band as much as they were.
I snuck to the side of the crowd to join my friends for the rest of the show before retiring back to the campsite for beers and attempts to dry our tents. Tomorrow was going to be an even more amazing day.
More photos of the entire Otalith Music Festival are on Flickr.