The Calgary Stampede and many other musical events around town brought in a lot of fundraising dollars for those in need after the 2013 flood, with many bands donating their time and talent to entertain and raise much-needed money for the victims. The Michael Wood Band was no exception.
The indie rockers from Victoria, British Columbia, took their place onstage at the Cowboys tent on July 7 to help raise money for the Red Cross as well as open for the award-nominated band Buckcherry.
Lead singer and guitarist, Michael Wood, was impressed by Calgarians' desire to support one another.
"The whole thing was really great, it felt like everyone was coming together to help each other out around town," said Wood. "Being part of the Buckcherry flood relief show was an amazing experience, and probably the biggest show we've played to date."
Alex Campbell, the band's drummer, explained that towards the end of June the band had a layover in Calgary on their way back from a gig in Halifax. They had a good view of the surrounding areas and could see the damage everywhere – farmers' fields riddled with puddles, rivers that had cut new edges in the river bank, flooded golf courses as well as the incredible images of the damage displayed on the news.
"When we returned to Calgary for the Stampede, you could hardly tell that such immense damage had taken place so recently," said Campbell. "The city still bustled with life, the Stampede was well attended and the shows were still packed and that positive and determined attitude really showed up at the concert – people were happy, the crowd was enthusiastic and very supportive of all the bands that took the stage that day."
"It was a great event to be part of, we were very grateful to have the opportunity to support flood relief by playing music. It's a good day when doing what you love can be used to help those in need," Campbell added.
Guitarist Josh Weed agreed with Wood and Campbell about Calgary's never-ending strength.
"Everyone was in high spirits, and the atmosphere was fun to be in," Weed said. "They did a wonderful job of pulling together to help with flood relief, the whole city goes wild during Stampede and this year was no different, hell or high water."
STARTING AT THE STAMPEDE
The Michael Wood Band is no stranger to Calgary and they're often here for shows. Campbell explained that ever since the band started up two years ago, they've been getting more requests to play.
"When we started as a band, we were at the Stampede and ended up getting a lot of connections and had a network going and just expanded out from there," Campbell said.
Bassist Jon Burgundy said that "Calgary has a really good music scene compared to Vancouver and Victoria and there are more opportunities to play.
"One of the coolest things about starting to get recognized is being able to do things like charity fundraisers or benefit shows. For all of us it's a cool thing to do is to give back and be able to do what we love to do and, in return, help others," he added.
The band played a total of five shows over Stampede and will be back in Calgary in September to play at Mount Royal University for frosh week with more shows to follow.
THE ENERGY ON THE STAGE
The Michael Wood Band has a certain energy they bring to the stage that is contagious. With a mix of cover songs and originals, this indie rock band is fun to watch and listen to.
Photo by Hannah CawseyThe Michael Wood Band has a certain energy they bring to the stage that is contagious. With a mix of cover songs and originals, this indie rock band is fun to watch and listen to.
A typical show includes covers of The Killers, MGMT, Black Keys and Adele as well as songs from their first album.
"We really try and cater what songs we play to the crowd," said Burgundy. "When we're in Calgary we play a little bit more rock and roll and some oldie classics versus playing in Victoria and Vancouver where things seem to be a little more indie rock."
But the set list always depends on the venue according to Campbell.
"We do a mix of covers and originals, we're starting to incorporate more original tunes as well as do covers that are more specific to our sound," Campbell said. "It depends on how long the gig is, longer gigs will have more covers and for showcases we'll have more originals."
Since the band was created, they have recorded their first album, Occupy This, which covers topics from political themes to light-hearted teenage rebellion.
"It ranges from [songs] like 'Should We Be Afraid,' [which is] about all the stuff that's happening over in Egypt," said Burgundy. "Then it gets to the light- hearted side with 'I'll Just Go To Bed' about just doing whatever you wanted."
And another album is currently being discussed.
"We're writing all the time and our plan is to hopefully get into the studio and record a single soon, like within a month," said Wood. "'We're looking to start recording our next album in September."
Besides recording their next album, the Michael Wood Band has been busy opening for other big names besides Buckcherry, such as '80s rock bands Prism and Platinum Blonde, as well as pop-punk four-piece Faber Drive.
Beside opening for other bands, the Michael Wood Band plays across Canada all year round, playing shows in such cities as Victoria, Edmonton, Calgary, Regina, Saskatoon, Toronto and Halifax.
For the rest of the summer, the band has shows throughout British Columbia, including some all ages shows which allows a different dynamic for the band compared to playing in bars.
"The cool thing about playing outdoor shows is that all of them are all ages. For the past eight months we haven't been playing any, " said Burgundy. "It's pretty cool to have a bunch of little kids dancing. They're much more laid back and [it's] a fun atmosphere."
We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, which last year invested $157 million to bring the arts to Canadians throughout the country.
Nous remercions le Conseil des arts du Canada de son soutien. L’an dernier, le Conseil a investi 157 millions de dollars pour mettre de l’art dans la vie des Canadiennes et des Canadiens de tout le pays.
Summer time!! And we've got some awesome dates lined up for you, and us, and all your hombres! Looking forward to seeing you this summer, so make sure you catch us at one of these dates! - Mike
COCA - Canadian Organization of Campus Activities, Halifax N.S. Friday - June 21
Oasis Night Club in Halifax, N.S. - June 22nd With special guests My Living Will, and Brite-VU
The Roxy Cabaret in Vancouver - BC June 27
ArtBeat Chemainus BC - Friday, June 28 (All Ages)
Port Coquitlam Canada Day Monday - July 1st
Opening for Platinum Blonde, Mary Winspear Sidney, BC July 2
26th annual Oyo Stampede Party Calgary, AB - Friday, July 5
The Libertine Lounge, Calgary AB - Monday, July 8th
Broken City, Calgary, AB - Wednesday, July 10
Voodoo Lounge-Calgary, AB - July 12 - Tickets at the door
Summer In The Square, Centennial Square Victoria - Friday, July 19 (All Ages)
St. Andrews Anglican Church, July 27. Tickets $10
Party in the Park. Chilliwack, BC. August 2
Music In The Park at Riverside Park, Kamloops, B.C. - Thursday, August 8, (All Ages)
Big John Bates at Doc Willoughby's Downtown Pub, Kelowna - Friday, August 9th Tickets at the door
Parks Alive! Kelowna Music in the Park - Saturday, August 10th (All Ages)
Music in the Park at the Southwood Community Association, Calgary, AB - Thursday, August 22 (All Ages)
"Summer at the Peak", Sun Peaks Resort, Kamloops, BC - Friday, August 23
International Pop Overthrow Music Festival at The Railway Club, Vancouver BC - August 28th to 30st (TBA)
Lucky Bar, Victoria - Saturday, August 31
The Saanich Fair - Sunday, September 1st (All Ages)
Michael Wood Band has been selected to play at the HMP Records Cross Canada Tour Show Case at the V-Lounge in Victoria, BC. June 3 2013 5 PM. Tickets available from the band or Eileen at 250 886 5209.
Michael Wood Band has been selected to play a show case at the Toothy Moose Night Club In Halifax Nova Scotia on June 21 2013 at the COCA National Conference.
The Michael Wood Band has been selected to play a show case at the Vancouver Island Music Busness Conference in Courtenay BC. on May 18 2013. Whistle Stop Pub. 9 PM
The Michael Wood Band has benn nominated for two Vancouver Island Music Awards. http://islandmusicawards.wordpress.com/
In Toronto for Canadian Music Week, The Michael Wood Band is playing at the Legendary Horseshoe Tavern on Queen Street March 18 2013. 10:15 pm.
The Michael Wood Band song "Take Me Away"
was selected as a semi-finalists for the 2013 International Songwriting Competition, from 20,000 entries from 119 countries worldwide!
Michael Wood Band taking the stage at Sun Peaks for Aussie Day
January 25, 2013 By Rikki MacCuish
I’m sitting in a busy coffee shop with 21-year-old John Lennon look-alike Josh Weed when the namesake member of Michael Wood Band shows up, fashionably late as I’m told is customary. He’s just come from a class on The Beatles at University of Victoria and it’s immediately apparent that below their young and jovial exteriors these two are serious music men.
Michael Wood Band is from the Victoria area, and after releasing their debut album Occupy This in 2012 they’re off to a fast start. All band members are under the age of 22 and have already played over 30 shows since their album debuted, including the Calgary Stampede.
Next up on the tour roster Michael Wood Band heads to Sun Peaks to play at The Club on January 26, which coincides with Australia Day. I took the liberty of explaining the extent of Australia Day at Sun Peaks Resort to Wood and band-mate Josh Weed, after which Wood shared a story about a sample encounter during a show in Victoria.
“I used to have a regular gig at this café and the best time I ever had playing there was when these three Australian guys came and they were really stoked that I played an Australian song,” says Wood. “They got rowdier and rowdier until finally all three of them finally got kicked out.”
Sound like a familiar scene? Ensure that you make it to and through the Michael Wood Band’s show and you’ll see why this band is turning heads around the world. Wood and Weed both say that they have a European following and that they hope to get out that way to do a tour at some point as well.
Occupy This is an astoundingly good album. The fab four, comprised of Weed and Wood on vocals and guitars, Jon Baergen on bass and vocals and Alex Campbell on drums and vocals, have produced a modern-sounding rock album with catchy lyrics and hooks. Weed and Wood, both big Mother Mother fans, have ideas for their next release, which they say is currently in the works.
“I’d like to get a heavier, more analogue and roots-y sound to our next album; heavier but not darker,” says Wood, adding that they would like to release their Hendrix-inspired cover of “All Along the Watchtower.” Weed would like to up the tempo a bit to make it better for dancing.
And despite the politically-charged title of their album, both band members shy away from too much political advocacy, saying that it can take away from the music itself when not preached to the right crowd. Regardless there are hints of angst and socio-political awareness on the album, such as in “Should We Be Afraid” which is about the Arab Spring movement that took place in Egypt. Currently Wood is immersed in philosophy classes at the University of Victoria and Weed is a self-professed science and scepticism nerd, so time may tell where that will lead their music but for now it provides a firm basis and mature understanding of critical observance required for solid songwriting.
Give them a listen at: themichaelwoodband.bandcamp.com
About Rikki MacCuish
Rikki is a frequent concert-goer who always has one ear to the ground and the other to the speaker. Always looking out for new and innovative artists, she loves everything Indie and keeps a close eye on what’s going on in music locally and internationally.
MWB is getting ready for the Start of their western Canadian Tour. 20 dates starting in Victoria January 14th and ending at Canadian Music Week in Toronto March 25th. More dates being added every week. Looking forward to seeing you at our shows
A fresh alternative rock sound mixing classic elements with the edginess and bite of modern concepts. The Michael Wood B and is rock for the new age.
"Shockingly fresh, well written songs with great delivery. Infectious grooves that bring to mind The Police, Kings Of Leon and Red Hot Chilli Peppers with undertones of Hendrix, the Ramones and Tom Petty. I had to listen to the music from start to finish...then press repeat." Aaron Bethune, Play It Loud Music
The New 99.1 FM CKXS posted on Michael Wood Band's Wall
"Huge congratulations to our 2 XS New Artists of the Month, The Michael Wood Band and The Swills! You'll hear a lot more of these guys in coming months on 99.1 CKXS
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