As a city, Moncton has always boasted a diverse musical base, comprised of rock, jazz, and country music drawing from both English and French roots. Moncton’s musical cultural stew comes together Friday night in what will arguably be one of the finest displays of talent in the city, taking place at Plan B Lounge on St. George Street.
Les Paiens, celebrating their 15th anniversary, are performing alongside outlaw country band The Divorcees while the folk-influenced Fair Trade Commission, a new quintet comprised of singer-songwriters Phil Flowers, Marco Rocca, Matt Gillis, Marc Landry and Pascal Raîche-Nogue will make their debut live performance.
Speaking from his home in Moncton, Phil Flowers says that his newest project came together shortly after this past year’s East Coast Music Awards.
“After the East Coast Music Awards this year, I was somewhat between bands and found myself trying to figure out what to do next,” Flowers says. “I identified with Marco somewhat because we were both heavily influenced by punk rock when we were younger and have since moved onto a more folk-oriented sound. In my head, it made a lot of sense that we would make music together so we approached Marc, Matt and Pascal and thus, Fair Trade Commission was born.”
While neither Les Paiens or The Divorcees are short on noteworthy items themselves (the latter being the winner of four Music New Brunswick Awards this past October), The Times & Transcript took the opportunity to ask Les Paiens drummer Jean Surette about another big event just around the corner.
We are talking about Christmas, of course. Whether they care to admit it or not, everyone hopes to find a special something under the Christmas tree on the morning of Dec. 25. It turns out that Surette is not an exception to this rule, even though he is modest about his expectations.
“My family always limits ourselves to a very small budget for gifts,” Surette says. “So I’m expecting something cool yet practical, like an elephant. Joking aside, I never hope for anything, but am always pleasantly surprised how my wife knows exactly what to get me.”
Of course, recalling Christmas holidays past is a common occurrence for many around the holiday season. We took the opportunity to ask Surette about some of his favourite memories from Christmas past.
“Every year, there was a Christmas party held by one of five or six families that were close to ours,” Surette says. “The party location would vary from year to year but what was consistent was the fact that there were kids of all ages, amazing food and movies that probably were not appropriate for my age. And of course, Pere Noel would always show up with gifts for everyone.”
Joking that all he wants for this Christmas is some sleep, The Divorcees’ Alex Madsen says that while the season continues holding much significance for him, his perspective on the season has changed, as he has gotten older.
“I find Christmas is now more about giving and more about family,” Madsen says. “When I was younger, as is the case with many, the holidays were more about materialistic things. I think my perspective has definitely changed for the best.”
Get into the holiday spirit with Les Paiens, Fair Trade Commission and The Divorcees at Plan B Friday.
Article published in the December 21, 2012 edition of the Times & Transcript