Toronto-based Outer Rooms’ upcoming Maritime tour supported by strong friendships and grassroots networking.
Toronto’s Outer Rooms will be making the rounds of the Maritimes this month. The band’s third East Coast tour includes two New Brunswick performances with shows in Sackville and Fredericton.
Outer Rooms visited Fredericton for the first time last fall with an unfortunately timed show at Read’s Newsstand and Café (RIP). Their visit coincided with the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival, the one week of the year when just about every musician is either attending festival shows, volunteering or playing as part of the event.
Despite landing in town during Harvest last fall, the band played their show and made a few friends that night, friendships that have continued to grow and have helped develop a mutual support network for many area musicians that now stretches between Fredericton, Montreal and Toronto.
“Our connection with the Fredericton scene is a bit of a web,” said Outer Rooms’ Sean Fitzpatrick. “It started last year when we needed to book support for our show at Read’s. I gradually started realizing how amazing the New Brunswick scene is. I tend to go deep on the music culture of the cities we’re playing, and through that exploration, I started listening to Cellarghost, Property//, Brookside Mall, Motherhood, Tortue, Beard Springsteen, and so many other great bands and artists.”
Outer Rooms’ 2017 Read’s show was set-up by Charlie Harding (Property// and Cellarghost) who booked shows at the cafe for the past few years and continued to do so even after relocating to Montreal late last year.
“A lot of our connection to the scene is through Brendan MaGee (Brookside Mall) and Charlie Harding,” said Fitzpatrick. “When I was booking support for the Read’s show I came across Preservation by Brookside Mall, and it completely floored me. I knew there was a scheduling conflict so we wouldn’t be able to play together but I emailed Brendan to tell him how much I loved the record and how much it hit me emotionally. We struck up an online conversation for about a year and Brendan became my first honest-to-goodness pen pal. We finally were able to host Brookside Mall when they swung through Toronto this summer, which was super exciting!”
MaGee credits Brookside Mall drummer Josh Steeves for initially helping him connect with Outer Rooms’ music.
“Didn’t know the band at that point, but Josh picked up Even In The Cannon’s Mouth and it was a perennial pick for drives and hangouts for months thereafter,” said MaGee, who admits the album’s closing track VCR is one of his all-time favourites. “I honestly haven’t stopped listening to that track since. The whole record rules, but something about that VCR hook pulls me right into the song. It’s uncanny.”
This past summer while touring through Ontario and Quebec in support of their new self-titled album, MaGee and his Brookside Mall bandmates were able to call upon Fitzpatrick for help in setting up a Toronto stop on the tour.
“Sean offered to put a Toronto show together for Brookside Mall, which was a dream come true,” said MaGee. “We were fast friends, talked a ton before the show, and then stayed up way too late afterwards. It’s great that the digital age hasn’t killed pen pals, because we’ve exchanged all kinds of great bands and stand-ups since. It’s also heartening to be able to shrink this giant continent into communities that can be linked together through music and friendship.”
Outer Rooms play the Capital Complex on Friday September 21 with AKWUAR from Cologne, Germany and Fredericton’s HeatSheet.
“New Brunswick is producing some of the best independent music around right now, made by some of the sweetest people to exist,” said Fitzpatrick. “Having the privilege of hosting or playing with these bands, whether that’s in Fredericton, Toronto or elsewhere, we just feel lucky to have the opportunity to get to know so many cool people and discover a treasure trove of music from another part of Canada.”
Photo: James McMurtrie
AKWUAR + Outer Rooms | Thunder & Lightning – Sackville, NB | September 20 | View Event
AKWUAR + Outer Rooms + HeatSheet | The Capital Complex – Fredericton, NB | September 21 | 10 pm | View Event