An Englishman in Toronto

An Englishman in Toronto

John Young from Lifesigns flew over to Toronto to say hi! He brought a couple of friends with him. There was Astrid Young , who joke that they were the fluffers opening for John. Astrid played the 12 string, which she kept on tuning between sets, because she cared. Her partner in crime was Saskie Tomkins on Violin, Viola and a very bizarre looking instrument called a Nyckelharpa. This is the Sweden’s nation instrument. The ladies style had a folk sound to them but brought it forward with a stronger edge to it. Some of their set included original pieces called, “Matinee”, “Lily”, and “$150”. Astrid and John Young meet over 30 years ago and have been fellows musician mates since then. The song that caught my ear was a spacey folk song called, “Uncle Spaceship”. This one really took you on a journey.

Here are some images from the performance:

If you want to check out more of Astrid’s music, simply go to…

The time had come to bring the man out to entertain the intimate crowd at The Burdock. He politely asked if he could tell stories between songs. This was reciprocated with a resounding YES! He started telling us about his life growing up as a choirboy that is until he heard of a new band coming to fruition called, Led Zeppelin. He soon became the black sheep in the choir. He went into some of his older material and pulled out, “Closer”, as well as dipping into his old band, Cathedral.

What I enjoyed about John Young was that he has that classic progressive rock voice. Even when he was playing, you can hear faint remnants of other prog bands floating in the ether. I caught whiffs of Genesis, ELP, Sound of Contact, and even snippets of Ozric Tentacles.

He even told us about a happy childhood with his family and the bravery of his Aunt during the war as she saved many children. This song simply has to be a tribute song to these people is called, “When I was young”. During this song you could feel John projecting his openness and easy going spirit. As he got deeper into his musical stories you can feel that he was lucky enough to work with other excellent talent throughout his career.

I won’t go into them because they are many and can be very drawn out. He did mention names like Fish, Uli Roth, John Wetton, Scorpions and even Carl Palmer and even Bonnie Tyler, just to name a few. Being in such an intimate setting like the Burdock, you can sense the love John has for music, whether it be a festival or a small bar where he get to make new friends and share his music. If anything comes out of this, I urge you to find and buy Lifesigns, especially if you love Progressive Rock, this should be added to your collection.

Here are some images from the Performance:

To find Lifesigns as wells as other great music go to…

To see an intimate performance at Bloor and Dufferin Street , here is the Burdocks website…

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