I have had a strong love for the Canadian band Barenaked Ladies since I was in High School thanks to my boyfriend at the time. And me and BNL, well, we’ve been through a lot. I’ve been a fan of the band through their keyboardist, Kevin Hearn, getting diagnosed and ultimately beating Leukaemia, and I was a fan when the band had a bit of a line up change and longtime co-frontman Steven Page left the band in was it 2010? 2009? I can’t quite remember. And I won’t go into the details over the break (you can google for it if you really need to know), but in the end, it left me being very angry and upset with Steve. For a while, I wouldn’t even listen to any song that Steve sang lead on (which at the time was over 50% of the repertoire!). The split hurt the fanbase, and people really were divided over it. But over the past 5+ years, Iv’e gotten over my anger and I’ve understood that the break-up was something that had to happen. The band is still going strong, and I still love them to pieces, and Steve has been able to explore being an independent musician on his own without a band behind him. Sure, he still is “former Barenaked Ladies co-frontman”, but he’s definitely carved out a niche of his own, touring mostly around the area he lives in (NE USA and Canada).
This week, Steven has been on holiday in the UK with his family and started getting tweets from UK fans “wouldn’t it be nice if you played here?” So he decided to do a pop up concert. It was announced vaguely on Twitter at first. Just “would anyone be interested in coming to see me at a park on Saturday?” The response on his twitter poll was overwhelmingly YES.
Here we go: I'll just happen to be hanging out with a guitar in Regent's Park/Park Square West this Saturday 1pm.https://t.co/XxViLfxn8L
— steven page (@stevenpage) August 10, 2016
Regent’s Park is Huge! And the pinned place on his tweet goes to a private garden….so….now what? I headed into the park and posted a photo of the map of the park on the BNL UK group on facebook and one person found me….then two more….then two more…and soon we were a small group of people wandering around!
On my way now – let's meet at the southeastern corner of Regent's Park. If you're there early, could someone find us a nice spot?
— steven page (@stevenpage) August 13, 2016
so we all headed to the SE corner where we ran into more peopl and we soon increased our numbers and Liam sent a tweet to Steve to tell him where we were, and I had one more idea. Someone had brought along a Canadian flag and we managed between tying it to their push chair and my selfie stick to have it on display and I tweeted this pic out to Steve so he could find us:
We soon gathered a sizeable crowd (maybe 40-50?) and then Steve arrived, borrowed a guitar, and started off with a BNL classic – It’s All Been Done. At one point, he went into the opening strains of Jane.
In case you ever wondered where the URL for my blog came from, it’s from this song. ‘The girl works at the store sweet Jane St Clair’. My middle name is Jane, so using Becca Jane St Clair was perfect and so this song has always had incredible meaning to me and every time I hear it live I get goosebumps.
We were soon treated to nearly 2 hours of old favourite BNL hits and songs off his own albums. He even was joined randomly by a passing busker on his accordion, though we did have to chase him off after he tried to demand Steve play other songs and then tried to get us to give him money. Err….No. Just get out. And Steve played the opening strains to “Thanks That Was Fun” as the guy was walking away. I don’t think he even realised who he was playing with or that Steve wasn’t a busker with a crowd.
It was an absolutely amazing experience to be in such an intimate setting with one of my favourite musicians. A lot of us who had been on one of the Ships & Dip shows likened it to being on S&D in one of the smaller on-board venues. After, Steve stuck around to talk, sign autographs, and take photos with his fans, including Hamish!
Thank for an amazing day, Steve. Hope you come back for a proper tour soon, and don’t forget to come to Lincoln!
Watch the video I took including It’s All in Done, What A Good Boy, Upside Down, Break Your Heart, Call & Answer, and Brian Wilson.
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