Popular downtown café hopes to fill void in city’s music community by hosting all-ages shows.
There has always been something uniquely romantic about coffee shops. If 90s pop culture has taught us anything, it’s that coffee shops are a place of congregation where people from all walks of life can meet on equal ground and bask in a relaxing and often stimulating environment. And let’s not forget the romance. How many movies have featured a coffee shop as a central meeting place for couples or a catalyst for character development? Countless. That’s how many.
But whether you’re a child of the 90s or not, there is no denying the fact that at least to a certain extent, there’s a bit of truth to the myth. Coffee shops play a central role in most urban centres. Besides a place to find our daily fix of caffeine, they’re also a place to pause and enjoy a chapter of a book, get caught up on a little news or to simply spend a few minutes with a good friend.
In Fredericton, Read’s Newsstand & Café has long been a point of congregation for many city residence. And this week, the popular downtown fixture will host what it hopes to be the first in a series of all-ages music events.
Owner Brendan Doyle believes live music can play an important role in the development of his business and the community at large, and sees the introduction of live music as the next logical step in his vision for a business he experienced from all angles.
“I’ve been slowing changing the store to move it away from the convenience store vibe and develop the cafe aspect of the business to better meet customer demand and also to bring the store more in line with the idea of a hip downtown cafe that I have in my mind’s eye,” said Doyle, who bought the business one year ago this month after stints as both counter staff and manager over the past several years.
Doyle credits the city’s ongoing need for an all-ages music venue as part of his motivation behind this decision.
“One of the changes that I was really keen to bring in was live music,” he said. “Now, I like to think and plan before I do something and I want to do it right so I spent about six months talking to different people; musicians, bar owners and staff, and others involved in live music here in town to gauge the interest for another venue, particularly an all-ages venue, and to find out the best ways to offer live music so the performers are satisfied and the audience is happy.”
Working together with local musician Charlie Harding, Doyle plans to host the café’s first performance this week.
“I approached Charlie Harding because I knew he was organizing shows at the Mazerolle Gallery so it was a happy coincidence that he had a backlog of shows booked and was in need of an alternate venue.”
Harding and Doyle will host their first event this Friday with performances by Loveland (Halifax), Sarah Denim (Halifax), Chillteens (Fredericton) and Property// (Fredericton).
“This is the first live music in Read’s Newsstand in half a decade,” said Harding. “Over the past several years Fredericton has been moving through all-ages venues like a hand through water. You never know where the next place is going to be. It’s exciting to look at the prospect of having a new coffee shop venue in the city, especially one like Read’s. Brendan has been making many progressive business decisions that have led to the place feeling energizing and up-to-date. His latest decision to give live shows a chance is very appreciated and is a great service to our growing music community.”
Harding, who performs solo as Property//, will join three other acts for this performance he helped organize.
“Loveland is a cool Halifax group who played at Flourish Festival last year,” he said. “They had the whole after-party crowd LIT! They’ve got a retro synth-funk aesthetic and put out lots of cool energy in their performances. I’m expecting a super hype dance party.”
“I’ve never seen Sarah Denim perform before but I think it will be a very interesting set,” said Harding. “She’s another stellar Halifax artist who leans toward the electro-pop and dance genres with some industrial additives. Beats on bops and very pretty vocals.”
“Chilteens is a down-to-earth, home-grown, indie-pop nightlight couch rest at the end of a long workday,” said Harding. “Oscar Tecu, the chillest teen of them all/project founder has been a strong contributor to the Fredericton DIY music community for several years. His rich guitar licks and charming vocals will have you swaying like a little kelp in a big sea.”
Loveland + Sarah Denim + Chillteens + Property// | November 11, 2016 | Read’s Newsstand & Café | Fredericton | Doors 9 p.m. | Show 9:15 p.m. | $8 | View Event