PuSh Blog

Very Fond of Tigers – A Curatorial Statement by Tim Carlson

January 26, 2016

Fond of Tigers
Photo courtesy of the artist

I don’t recall when I first heard Fond of Tigers. Maybe when I was working in the entertainment department at the Vancouver Sun and they had a Vancouver International Jazz Festival gig or maybe when the late-great Granville St. underground jazz venue 1067 (run by FoT founder/guitarist/songwriter Stephen Lyons) was still going.

Doesn’t matter. The band was on my radar. Then I got to know Stephen through his work playing drums on Rick Maddocks’ wonderful shows The Meal and Cabalcor at Club PuSh in recent years.

I was excited to see FoT play its first gig in a couple years at the Biltmore Cabaret in late 2014. I left gobsmacked. It was my favourite show of the year out of, I don’t know, dozens of shows here, Toronto and New York, in hole-in-the-wall venues, mid-range soft seaters and arenas. The band starts and a wild ride progresses. I’m largely uninterested in an artist recreating their latest album onstage. I want some adventure. Full-on rock played by some of the country’s best musicians in any genre: horn player JP Carter, violinist Jesse Zubot, drummer Skye Brooks, guitarist Paul Rigby … to name a few of the eight.

Fond of Tigers is, I think, a perfect PuSh kind of act. As part of the Club PuSh curation team, the band rose to the top of my list of theatre, performance and musical acts. That’s one of the great things about curating for the Club — there’s no hierarchy of genre. What will cook in a club environment? What will thrive at our new venue, the Fox Cabaret? … This band.

Over the past week, I’ve gotten to know Colin Garcia a little bit by email. He’s a filmmaker from Louisville, Kentucky, who has made Fond of Tigers music a central part of his work and we’ll be presenting his shorts and excerpt of a new piece filmed in Vancouver last summer when FoT was recording its forthcoming album (which you’ll hear at Club PuSh). I asked Colin a few questions about his interest in the band for a blog on the Conspiracy site and here’s how I knew we had a lot in common:

“I discovered Fond of Tigers on a lark. The first time I visited Vancouver back in 2007, I went to Zulu Records [link] with the intention of leaving there with an album by a local act that wasn’t the New Pornographers (I say that endearingly). Having just been released that year, I settled on FoT’s Release the Saviour, a decision based purely on the album art alone.. Strangely, I used to do that a lot when buying music. The band’s energy and shear sonic breadth captured me right away; it was familiar yet totally unlike anything I had ever heard. … There’s a palpable tension and suspense woven throughout the music that I absolutely adore, probably because I’m so wound up all the time.”

It’s been almost a year and a half since Fond of Tigers has played a club gig. They have new music to share. It’s going to sell out.

If you’re going to monumental with Godspeed You! Black Emperor, there’s plenty of time to get down to the Fox by showtime.

C’mon down. Get wound up.

Tim Carlson
Artistic Producer
Theatre Conspiracy

Get wound up to Fond of Tigers on Thursday, January 28 (late show), 2016, at Club PuSh at The Fox Cabaret. Book tickets on your PuSh Pass, Youth Passport or as single tickets online.