October 27th, 2017
Indie Dan (Tait)
East Van’s High Society have been trekking around BC’s music scene for 7 years or so, and they brought their bombastic performance into a quiet room at Fernando’s Wednesday night.
Regardless of the modest crowd these veterans let it all hang out for an hour, blending their jazz tunes with rock, soul and a pinch of hip hop.
High Society is unabashedly East-Van; their look, their sound, their philosophy, and their song content. Eclectic and electric, this four piece is the kind of band that pulls your cheeks back into a smile. They’re loose on stage, transforming the 3 to 4 minute songs on their albums into 6 to 8 minute opuses with stops, breakdowns, and a harmonica-playing drummer. They could be compared to The Grateful Dead, with a little less LSD and lot more sass.
The quartet consists of the sensational Chelsea D.E. Johnson on guitar and vocals, the eccentric genius Adam Farnsworth on the Nord Keyboard and vocals, Hip-Hop teddy bear Kenan Sungur on drums and vocals, and the brilliant Ashton Sweet on Baritone Sax (and a mix of other brass and woodwinds.)
The band is on the road again touring their brand new EP Wells 2017. They released it at the legendary Arts Wells Festival this past summer, and are touring to get it into CD players across the province. After leaving Kelowna, they will depart to Wells, Prince George, and Quesnel for the weekend before they return to play the final show of their October residency at The WISE Hall in Vancouver. The first weekend in November finds them at The Woodstove Festival in Cumberland, BC.
It seems like this band is perpetually touring, which is fast becoming the only way to survive in the industry these days. It’s a tough world to sell records in, and this crew has adapted well.
All members are part of multiple musical projects – each are involved in at least two, and multi-instrumentalist Ashton Sweet is part of 6. These musicians are some of the hardest working musicians on the scene and no strangers to road-life, performing all over BC with their various projects year round.
The band is currently looking forward to the release of their next music video, paired with the new EP. Wells 2017 is a strong sophomore release from the group, each song packed to the teeth with their funky jams, and peppered with consciouslyrics about life in the city. Highlights from the EP include the Motown-sounding So Damn Hard about a life of relentless struggle, as well as When The Internet Dies, a slightly spacey forward thinking piece sung by Farnsworth.
You can find them on SoundCloud, but to get their music in your pocket you need to go and experience this band live. Get out to see them at a hall, a festival, or a bar, but be sure to bring your dancing shoes and an extra ten bucks to bring the new EP Wells 2017 home with you.