2009 CFMH Fundrive

This Sunday, CFMH 107.3FM will begin their 2010 Spring Fundrive. News of their event reminded me to do some diggin' through the CultureHub archives to unearth these two video gems (above) from last year's Fundrive. The performances of Pat Lepoidevin and the Country Wangs were recorded at, the now former, Akhord Pub one year ago. It was the closing day of Fundrive. Earlier in the day, a lively group of CFMH volunteers could be found at the base of the City Market selling raffle tickets and giving away CFMH propaganda in the form of stickers, buttons and posters.

“It came together pretty well,” recalls Station Manager Brian Cleveland, one year later. “Fundrive usually creeps up on us, but that time we were prepared. We had lots of activities planned. It was all thanks to our volunteers, really. People like Darlene Partridge and Amanda Ryall really took charge with the planning.”

The wrap party at Akhord featured Pat LePoidevin, Natural Lines of Division and the Country Wangs, the latter being an acoustic make-up of port city rockers The Tasty Wangs.

“We originally only booked NLD and the Tasty Wangs. Then one day I got a call, or maybe Darlene did, from LePoidevin's manager. Pat was living in Sackville and his manager was involved with the campus station there so he must heard about the show through the station or our Facebook group,” Cleveland tells us.

When the Tasty Wangs heard they would be playing with acoustic acts, they made a last minute decision to play acoustically themselves. It was quite a transition from their usual punk rock, though sometimes bluegrassy, sound. If that wasn't enough pressure, they only had one week to prepare.

“Some songs were easier [to adapt] than others,” drummer Sean Boyer told me over Skype. “We have a couple of songs like Bull Shit Bluegrass and Waxie's Dargle which is a traditional Irish song. They were pretty easy to bring over. Going acoustic wasn't hard, but how to give it a country flavour was for a couple of songs like Strange Duck.”

The Wangs had never played acoustically before, nor did they since. When asked if they would ever again, Boyer revealed the grim news that time is running short.

“Greg is moving this summer to BC permanently. Before he leaves, we were talking about getting together to record a session of it. Just a living room with one nice mic in the middle to capture it live off the floor, even with any mistakes.”

Boyer said that him and guitarist Mike Thorley have talked about another band once Greg moves, but no plans yet. Regardless, you can see Boyer in a number of other bands such as Hospital Grade and his own project Regans Rayguns.

This concert is special for a lot of reasons. First of all, it was free! Second of all, it was Pat LePoidevin's first and only performance in Saint John. He is now living on the other side of the country and probably won't be back for a while. Third, how often do you get to see a punk rock band play their songs with a banjo, ukelele and acoustic guitar? Fourth, Akhord Pub and BBQ Records were nice enough to share the night with CFMH. BBQ Records had already booked a show that night. Because CFMH only had acoustic acts, they were allowed to play earlier, before BBQ Records' show. Typically, concerts were not allowed to begin before 10PM at Akhord due to noise complaints from the tenants above.

This was the first show to incorporate the “Fireside stage.” In addition to the cozier size which required only a very modest PA, it allowed for quicker transitions between acts since the next performer could setup on the main stage as the Fireside show went on. It was the perfect solution for an ongoing issue which haunted this venue.

This night was also special because CFMH gave us permission to do our first live webcast. We archived in HD and streamed live video online, all while simulcasting on their airwaves. Thanks for the trust guys!

All of this wouldn't have happened if CFMH hadn't taken the initiative to show their supporters some love. CFMH is just as much a key member of the Saint John music community as the artists, the promoters, the venues, the records stores, and the patrons. Support Campus Radio Saint John so they can continue to support Saint John music, and provide public access to the airwaves. Cheers to CFMH!

For more information about CFMH, how you can get involved or if you want to donate, go to www.CFMH.ca