Despite her day job as a bureaucrat, A. Laramey is a writer, and spends too much time on the internet. You can read more of her writing here.
For several years the Shenkman Arts Centre has been running its Après Dark series, a series dedicated to showcasing emerging, local musicians. I was lucky enough to attend the most recent event, a show by The Goodluck Assembly featuring Laurent Bourque.
Taking place in the very cool looking lounge setup of Shenkman’s Richcraft Theatre — complete with couches and a bar — the show drew a surprisingly diverse crowd.
Laurent’s easy going and humourous manner made him instantly likeable, and as he began playing it was clear he was also a talented musician. Playing a set that borrowed heavily from his upcoming new album “Pieces of Your Past”, Bourque drew in the audience with his acoustic guitar and his voice, providing vocals on songs like “Never That Far Away” that were so nuanced and clear that for a few minutes I wondered whether it was a recording. As he introduced the audience to his song “Living in a Movie,” he joked that he’s often disappointed that life isn’t like a romantic comedy. It might not be, but Laurent has definitely provided a beautiful soundtrack to real life in these songs.
In between sets came one of the best parts of the evening, interviews with Laurent Bourque and The Goodluck Assembly. We heard what moments they were most proud of during the recording of their respective albums, and that The Goodluck Assembly came up with their band name from assembling a barbeque.
With a great story to lead us into their set, The Goodluck Assembly ramped things up with much more electric guitar and drums, really pulling out the rock feel. The first song of their set, “Save This Love” used some amazing beats that made me think it would be the perfect train song. These guys know how to use their instruments to their advantage. They have songs like “Volcanoes” that you want to listen to while driving and songs like “26th Century” that bring a vision of a very dark future.
The lead singer has an amazing somewhat falsetto voice, although it was occasionally drowned out by the fabulous guitar playing. The favourite song of the night for me, my friend and the crowd was “Warrior” which was easy to pick up and tap your toes to, and one that brought in the keyboards.
We had a band who was just as excited to be playing at Shenkman as we were to hear them. Apparently they’d been looking forward to the show for six months.
In the end, The Goodluck Assembly ended with the strength of drums played by Mike and Bruce, the beats of which were dark but motivating. It made me wish they’d gotten an encore.