Catching a big band live is a rare enough thing these days but finding two sharing the same stage is unheard of.
However, this Saturday afternoon that’s exactly what’s going to happen at the Royal Coachman Pub. Campbell River’s own Strathcona Little Big Band has played at the pub on the occasional Monday night to packed houses every time.
This Saturday afternoon things are turned up significantly as the Coachman welcomes not one but two complete big bands. The Little Big Band has invited Courtney’s, Georgia Straight Big Band to come up and sample some North Island hospitality. Billed as a Battle of the Big Bands, there will be no losers and the audience stands to be the real winner.
The Georgia Straight Big Band builds on musical roots that go all the way back to the days of the Campa Big Band and has been playing in the Comox Valley for almost ten years developing a loyal following of devotees.
Campbell River’s own Little Big Band, also no stranger to the stage, has been together for close to four years playing weddings, engagements at Spirit Square, the Coachman and the Willows as well as regular appearances at the Elks in Courtney.
Both bands feature vocalists and are made up of local musicians from Nanaimo to Campbell River playing a wide range of musical styles ranging from early swing standards to more contemporary offerings.
An unlikely location because of the unusual layout of the pub as a performance venue, acoustics have been a pleasant surprise for both patrons and musicians alike when the band has performed in the past. However, due to the size of the bands, up to 17 musicians in each, space is limited so be sure to come early to get a good seat.
The bands will be setting up following the lunch rush with the first set kicking off sometime between 1 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. and the second around 3 p.m.
Admission is by donation.