The Campfire Liars Club Pan Chancho Bakery August 23 2012
The Pan Chancho Bakery and Café played host to the yearly installment of the Campfire Liars Club.
For two years running now I haven’t missed this show after what I heard went on during their first installment of the show. When the messages went out saying that the back Patio will sell out they were not joking as I barely got a seat at the last table, and that is only ten minutes after the doors were open. This show is probably one of the friendliest shows that I have ever been to; if there were seats open at any of the tables they were given to people who were still arriving to the show then after a round of introductions everyone would begin to chatter amongst themselves. It was nice to see how many Kingston musicians were in attendance for the show as well, I was even at a table in front of Rob Baker from the Hip.
The Campfire Liars Club started off the night with a round of introductions to the audience and a quick run through how their show runs. A new addition and change to their set tonight was each member were going to perform a cover tonight, Normally the cover song is left to the last round and may only consist of one or two songs.
Starting off the first round of songs tonight was Jim Tidman. Introducing his song as a new song which was just recorded not too long ago he went to “Broken Stick”. Alongside Jim or rather standing mostly hidden in the background was his brother playing the Harmonica, Also joining in on the song was Joe Carscallen on slide. “Broken Stick” was a perfect example on how Country music is one of the main influences when it comes to his song writing. During the song Greg and Jeff left the song alone and Paul joined in with light string picking. During Jeff’s song he played a upbeat song compared to his other songs that he usually plays. Joe put down his slide guitar and picked up his mandolin which added a great sound element to the song. Paul quickly joined in on the songs as it didn’t take him very long to figure out the chord progression to the song. The audience reception to the song was very strong as Jeff finished his first song of the night. Now came time for the first cover of the night which seemed to catch everyone off guard at first, as they didn’t think that they were going to be into the covers so quickly. Paul’s choice slowed things down with his choice of John Prine “Hello In There”. There was a light applause when Paul announced the song that he was going to be playing. Joe was the only one to join in on this song by playing the Slide guitar which was cleverly played and the volume was perfectly adjacent to that of the acoustic. For the last thirty or so seconds of the song the faint sound of the harmonica could be heard in the background. For Greg’s first song of the night he decided to perform a newly recorded song as well. There is something about Greg’s vocals which makes him stand out in the group. It seems to be a blend of country and alternative and a couple of more genres thrown in there but for me they stand out the most. After a little bit of going back and forth on the key that he was going to play in he decided or rather was told to play the song in the key which they just recorded the song in. Everyone joined in on Greg’s song by adding in chord progressions and string picking. I have always found it interesting by having four acoustic guitars playing all at once you do not really notice the fact that there is no drums or bass being played at all yet the sound of the guitars is more than enough for your ears.
This night was probably one of the funniest shows that I have watched so far. Even the jokes were quite a bit raunchier than normal pretty much with all the credit going to Greg Ball this night. As they said before about Greg you just need to crank him up a little bit to get him going and it seemed to work this night. I was a little bit surprised that he was able to pull off some of the jokes that he was with the audience and still keep them laughing. Jim seemed to be one of the main targets tonight as he was playing with a cast over his leg for his broken ankle but it didn’t stop the guys from making other various reasons why he was in a cast “Gout” being one of the main reasons.
The first set was a just a drop in the bucket for what was about to come in the second set. After “loosening” up a bit more during the break the joking around in between songs only got better as the night progressed.
The show tonight played out a little different than the usual shows that I have watched the guys play, especially with the personal cover song selection. We also got to hear a couple of songs which are probably going to make an appearance on their next album that seems to be in the works.Paul, Greg, Jim and Jeff each played one of their songs which make an appearance each show including my favourite songs from Jim called “Shovel and a Bird” but also can go by the name of “The Miner’s Song”. Paul played the song which he wrote about his experience when he lost the hearing in his right ear which always seems to be a crowd favourite. One cover song which really stood out tonight was their cover of The Soggy Bottom Boys “Man Of Constant Sorrow” there was a little bit of juggling going on through the song but leaving that all behind it was the twang that everyone had to put into their vocals which made the song such a hit for everyone. This song showed us one of the main reasons why their shows are more about the entertainment in live music then stressing on everything to do with a live show. To finish out the night with their encore song tonight which now seems to be in classic form for the Pan Chancho shows they finished off with “The Weight”