What do you get when you combine a singer songwriter from Newfoundland, a giant of an Albertan drummer, a fiddling BC beauty, and a very cool Japanese Canadian bass player? Well, naturally, you get Cod Gone Wild.
Welcomed into the house like old friends, Cod Gone Wild put on a show that brought the room together like a close knit east coast family sharing a pint right in the heart of St. Johns’ George Street. Playing everything from traditionals like “Drunken Sailor” & “Farewell to Nova Scotia”, to the Irish favourite, “Galway Girl,” the set list was pure Celtic fun. The true standouts however were the band’s originals, including “Sociable,” a tune that would have any audience singing (and drinking) along within seconds.
Long time supporters and visitors of Serenity Performing Arts Centre, this Okanagan based band is truly beloved by all of Serenity’s “regulars,” who keep coming back again and again to be entertained by the band’s lively modern celtic sound and big hearted personalities.
Besides their enormous talent, the chemistry between this band on stage is off the charts. Leading the charge are lead vocalists Andrew Mercer on guitar and Anjuli Otter on fiddle & mandolin. What a pair. With these two front and center, you are either left in awe of their musicality, or hunched over in stitches from their hilarious exchanges. Their banter between songs (or even in the middle of some) is a throw back to watching Lucy & Ricky on an episode of “I Love Lucy,” except they aren’t married and Andrew isn’t Cuban, he’s a Newfoundlander, which for Canadians is even funnier. Add in the flawlessely timed and delivered one liners from Chad “Rhino” Carter on drums, which are strengthened by the forever grinning (and toasting) Roy Kawano on bass, and you have a group of musicians who are true performers.
Stage presence aside, the instrumental prowess exceeded by this quartet is a real treat. Not only does Anjuli have a lovely voice and ease of ability with the mandolin, her mastery of the fiddle is world class, literally. Having played in numerous BC Orchestras, she was most recently a member of the Symphony Orchestra India (SOI), before she returned to her hometown of Vernon and was immediately recruited by the band who were in the midst of restructuring. As for the men, Roy leaves the impression he could play anything on the bass at the drop of a hat, while the appropriately named “Rhino” on percussion and vocals is a key focal point during certain songs that provides just the right amount of variety. All of the band’s players come together in large part due to Andrew Mercer on lead vocals & acoustic guitar. Andrew’s songwriting and stories of growing up in Newfoundland provide the authenticity their music requires to make it truly experiential.
The band’s big announcement of the night was the news they are beginning pre-production of their second full length album next week. Independent in every sense of the word, Cod Gone Wild will record their album in a rented home they plan to transform into a recording studio, and will handle every aspect of the process themselves from the album art to distribution. With Andrew holding a degree in business, and “Rhino” being a graphic artist, they not only create the music, but are the brains behind the business.
Having been together in their current form for 3 years, the new album will surely reflect the growth they have experienced as a band, and showcase their developed sense of unity. Cod Gone Wild has most definitely found their niche within the BC music scene, and are now making strong and serious inroads across Canada, including a 14 show large venue tour pre-booked in Alberta for early 2015.
Booked solid months in advance throughout their own Okanagan valley for private and corporate functions alike, you should count yourself lucky to come across this lively band at an event nearest you.
One place you can be sure to catch them is at Serenity’s 1st Annual Harvest Music Festival, a 3 day event taking place September 5-7, 2014. Not only will Cod Gone Wild be a headlining act, they will be doing lights and sound for the artists all weekend long. Early bird passes (including free camping on-site for all 3 days) are on sale now through firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cod Gone Wild performed at Serenity Performing Arts Centre on November 8, 2013.
To purchase their debut album, “The Traveler”, and find out about upcoming tour dates, visit their website at http://www.codgonewild.com
You can also follow them on facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cod-Gone-Wild/339474838923 and twitter @CodGoneWild.