By Kate Butler @butler2
Here’s the third article in Kate Butler’s series Temporary Venues, exploring the Fredericton all-ages scene between 1997-2006. In this feature, Chris Jackson and Sean Campbell share some thoughts on their involvement with the collectives, Pals of Other Performers and Deleted Scene.
In the late 90’s, the Fredericton all-ages scene suffered through its ups and downs. A lack of consistent venues and a continuous shift in promoters is an all too familiar story.
Around this time, a group of like-minded individuals including Chris Jackson, Tanya Duffy and Greg Webber created a collective called Pals of Other Performers.
“Pals of other Performers was just the first incarnation where we just said look, there’s people doing this on a small scale everywhere. Let’s get in touch and use each other’s strengths to promote,” remembers Chris Jackson. “There was a place in the Fredericton Mall called Cafeccino which was kind of a home base for all of us and where Pals was first kind of thought of. We all had different interests along with a strong DIY ethic and we knew no one else was going to do it. Pals and Deleted Scene were always based on that collective ideal.”
Through an evolution of the collective and a growing need to have a place on the World Wide Web, Pals of Other Performers added member Sean Campbell and later came to be known as Deleted Scene.
“Pals of Other Performers brought me on to do the web design,” said Campbell. “We had show postings and a forum and then from there we changed it for a kind of rebrand, which turned into Deleted Scene. We tried to have as many New Brunswick bands on the site as possible. Each band had their own page with their music on it. This is what we had in the pre-Myspace days.”
“Later on as Deleted Scene, we put out a compilation CD with a bunch of NB bands on it. It caught the attention of Matt Wells, the former singer of Bucket Truck, who came and interviewed us for MuchEast along with a bunch of the bands featured on the album,” he said.
Both Jackson and Campbell can credit a person or band for showing them the ropes of the scene which kept them both coming back to shows again and again.
Jackson credits his all-ages experiences to a pal who exposed him to the local scene early on. “I had a friend, Jon Wood, who was older than me. He was my first friend who found out about Nirvana. From there we were always seeking out new music. What kids today don’t realize is that we couldn’t download any album we wanted. I remember I could only afford to buy an album like every two weeks. You had to seek out the music you liked. That is how we consumed music.”
Campbell, a self-taught drummer, credits all-ages shows for his drumming education. “I kept going back to shows because I was playing drums and my interest was punk rock/skate rock drumming and the only way I could have a visual lesson on that was to go to shows and see punk drummers play. Those shows were my drum lessons.”
Memories are different for each person and we all have one show or band that continues to have an impact on either our musical taste or is a story we tell over and over again.
For Jackson, that life changing experience can be traced back to California punk band Good Riddance. “In ‘95 or ‘96 Good Riddance came to Fredericton and they were my favourite band of all. That was a huge show for me and definitely my favourite. I remember Bad Luck # 13 from Moncton played that show too and they were so good and incredible I thought they were from the states.”
The Smallman Records bands had a huge impact on shaping the New Brunswick music scene around this time and Campbell has epic memories of their times in the city. “Choke came through on their Story to Every Moral tour in ‘02 and Deleted Scene put the show on. I think Choke stayed with Matt Bowie’s parents for like a week during that tour. Those guys were older than us and we looked up to them. The same with Moneen. We cooked them a ham dinner when they came through on tour. That’s what it was like back then, it was a community.”
All through this series I have been inquiring with individuals who previously hosted and promoted all-ages shows, what kind of wisdom or advice they can give those looking to carry on the all ages scene.
“First off, borrow as much money as you can because you probably won’t make any money doing it,” said Jackson. “Do it because you love it, do it because you know a handful of people will be into it.”
“Have a plan, and have a good time,” added Campbell. “That’s what it’s all about.”
Chris Jackson remains a supporter of local music and is educating our future generation on what good music is through his role at First Nation Literacy. His dream is to win the lottery and open a viable all-ages venue.
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