Victoria’s Lemon Tree rehearsal and recording studio is yielding such a fresh crop of local talent that it’s planning to launch a music festival in the summer of 2013 to showcase it all.
“I want to really push local talent,” says producer Colin Piazza. “Headliners sell tickets, but people will still come if you have a stage that showcases 30 local bands.”
And if all goes well, he hopes it will grow. “We want to think long term and make it into something profitable because if you can make a little money you can create sustainability for the business.”
To kick things off, Piazza has organized a five-date concert series to show off some of the hottest bands that call Lemon Tree home. Starting Friday, May 11, the Intrepid Theatre Club (1609 Blanshard) will host a series of all-ages shows, featuring North Town as a headliner and two other local bands. Shows are $10 and tickets are only available in advance (Lyle’s Place).
The May 11 show will include Bully Boy and The Grasstracks; May 18 will feature the Ghostbirds and Echo Trio; June 8 brings Empire Monday and Frequently Asked Questions; June 15 has Danton Jay and Six City Breakers; and June 22 features Piazza’s band National Tape and Cynical Cypher.
“The bands will all be playing showcase sets with North Town in the middle slot and the two supporting bands on either side,” says Piazza. “And it’s an all-ages event,” he says. “It’s such a great, family friendly venue that anyone can come and feel comfortable in.”
Since it opened on Cook Street (above Logan’s Pub) in 2009, Lemon Tree has hosted some of Victoria’s top talent for recording and rehearsal including Current Swell, Steph MacPherson, Mindil Beach Markets, Mike Edel, Quoia, Open Relationship and Ivan Doroschuk (Men Without Hats).
The studio is available for drop-in and reserved rehearsal times, tour prep, pre-production and more.
“There’s no ego here,” says Piazza, engineer, producer and owner. “Everyone just has fun. You can find every kind of music rehearsing here that you can imagine: folk, hip hop, rock, tons of indie and even some country.”
And the space is available at an affordable rate. “It’s hard for up-and-coming bands. Here, you’re getting the studio experience and atmosphere. I was tired of playing in dingy rooms and I thought it would be nice to have a dedicated space to work in without spending $600 a day.” M
Lemon Tree Concert Series
Featuring North Town
May 11 and 18, June 8, 15 and 22 at 8 pm
Intrepid Theatre Club
at Lyle’s Place