For Victoria music fans, it wouldn’t be Christmas without the Jon & Roy Holiday Special.
“It’s nice. Initially we did it when we started to take our music career more seriously,” says Jon Middleton, the homegrown half of the group which includes drummer Roy Vizer and bassist Louis Sadava. “We had a manager and released our second album and we thought we should do something with it other than just play Steamers.”
With winter a slow time for live shows, they thought a holiday concert featuring other bands would be a good fit for Victoria audiences. “We definitely enjoy it. We’ve had different bands come up, various bands over the years, some have gone on to big success.”
Middleton says there’s a good vibe in the Alex Gooldin Hall where the Victoria show is held.
In the past they have also done a holiday special in Vancouver, but will forgo it this year for a show at the Commodore opening for Current Swell. Duncan fans, though, will get their own show at the Cowichan Theatre on Dec. 12.
In the mix for the show are locals Vince Vaccaro and Carmanah, and Vancouver bands Luca Fogale and Old Man Canyon.
“We’ve got Old Man Canyon, who are doing quite well and good friends of ours Carmanah, Laura Mitic plays fiddle with us quite a bit, and someone I’ve not heard live, but is really doing well, Luca Fogale,” says Middleton.
The audience can expect a mix of tunes, including the laid back vibe Jon & Roy are known for.
“Lots of the music I play and write is very soothing to me personally,” Middleton says. “It feels good to write that kind of music. Of course, it’s a reflection of myself, a means of escape – well it used to be.
“I have an excitable mind I find (songwriting) to be a bit of a soothing counterpoint.
“My mind is a wild beast. I suppose to tame it is my ultimate ambition. “
After 10 years in the business Middleton has gained confidence and feels more at home with himself.
“Ten years ago we had no concept what it would be like now. I look back and I think we were too wrapped up in our own worlds to even think about that. I’m happy how everything turned out.”
Home for the holidays
Middleton celebrates a traditional English Christmas complete with turkey dinner, paper hats, trifle and Christmas cake.
“Christmas morning is special now especially since my brother has two young kids. I enjoy hanging out with them. There are moments they’re exactly like we used to be.”