On Thursday, September 11 the pilot episode of Live at the Old Fire Hall took place with Brian Rosen & The WhatNow.
Live at the Old Fire Hall is a project started by Andrew Zwicker, Zeb Hansell and James Klemmensen with audio and video recording of live music.
Brian Rosen & The WhatNow played at the Old Fire Hall just before it closed, four years ago when the band was new. “It is a great venue. We are glad to be back,” said Brian Rosen.
The band played reggae influenced music and Brian Rosen expresses how important Bob Marley has been for his musical career.
After a few songs, Zwicker joined the band on stage to ask them some questions to add depth to the live performance.
“I’m in nature most of the time,” explained Rosen when Zwicker asks where the inspiration to sing about the environment comes from.
Rosen’s songs touched topics like love, nature, growth, environment and kindness. He wants to “raise awareness” to issues he finds important.
The band occasionally plays at protest rallies and have a few songs written specifically for those; for example, about the pipeline and oil issues.
Oil is a sensitive topic for Rosen after the oil spill in Slocan Valley last year. The oil went into Lemon Creek just outside Rosen’s house. As he saw the product of the spill he decided to write a song about it.
A happier number was his song “Love to Grow,” about his now nine-year-old daughter when she was in the womb. “She loves it,” shared Rosen when he talked about his daughter.
Zwicker joined the stage one last time after a few more songs and surprised both the band and the audience with a new feature for the show.
“Under the Covers” will finish the live acts at Live at the Old Fire Hall. The band gets to pick a song made by other musicians, explain why they made that choice and play the cover to wrap their show up.
Brian Rosen & The WhatNow’s choice naturally fell on Bob Marley. A number that was greatly appreciated by the audience and made the word “encore” ring out in the Old Fire Hall after the performance.
The band did not just play one more time but also a whole second set.
During the night the profit from the bar was collected to bring back Rossland Radio Co-op.
“$150 was raised in support of getting Rossland Radio back on the air,” said Fletcher Quince of Rossland Social Club.
Marty Unger of Rossland Radio Co-op described that they hope to get Rossland Radio back on air but need to know that they have the community’s support.
“To run a successful radio station we need consistency and local support. We need to see the local motivation to make it happen,” explained Unger.
He sees the radio to be visitor friendly in the future with a simple system, running by itself and with fund raising to get live shows to Rossland.
Big events like Rossland Winter Carnival and the Rubberhead Enduro Contest are events Unger hopes that Rossland Radio Co-op can be a part of and bring in live acts for.
With the support from the Old Fire Hall and the community, the fire is sparked for the Rossland Radio Co-op again.
“We are passionate about music, we listen to music in every genre and we want to promote local talents,” added Unger.
There is no set date for when the radio channel will be up and running again.
Rossland Radio Co-op wants to put the right system together and make sure they have what it takes, the right volunteers and local support to make it happen.
In a few weeks Live at the Old Fire Hall’s website www.liveattheoldfirehall.com will be launched with more information and material from the artists.
The idea is to bring in more artists and bands. “Hopefully bigger and bigger acts,” said Zwicker. “We want to spread the word about the great live shows in Rossland in a great venue.”
Their idea is similar to Seattle’s radio station KEXP and they hope to bring more artists to Rossland and showcase Rossland on its best side.
The pilot episode was a success with a happy audience and the guys at Live at the Old Fire Hall are going over their material to see how it all worked out with their recordings.
Zwicker finished up by adding, “Shred Kelly would be a dream booking”.
There are interesting things happening in the newly reopened The Old Fire Hall and maybe one of the largest Kootenay bands will show up in the future.