Monday, June 9, 2014
Music the Way it's
Meant to Be
Mann and her Fairly Odd Folk band make fans in Chilliwack
Mann sings at the Acoustic Emporium last Friday. Below, local solo act Ted
Kim of Dear Father opened with a solid set.
Lauren Mann and the Fairly Odd Folk hit Chilliwack Friday, they weren't sure
what to expect, but were pleasantly surprised to find the great space of the
Acoustic Emporium set up, and fans waiting at the door. Opening for them was
solo artist Ted Kim of Dear Father.
Mann and her band, were recently chosen top act across the country in CBC
Searchlight contest which showcases up and coming artists. They beat out
4000 others to do it. Since winning, attention to the band is far and wide
now. People want to see and hear what makes them that good.
between CDs, the Brooks, Alberta band hired a publicist who sent some of
their material to CBC.
The band, which consists of Lauren Mann
(Lead vocals, piano, ukulele), Jay Christman (drums, guitar),
Jessica Christman (bass, additional keys, BGV’s), Josh Akin
(electric/acoustic guitar), Zoltan Szoges (additional keys,
percussion, glockenspiel), and Hammer Clark (front of house tech)
didn't disappoint. Mann's vocals were clear and sweet throughout her
original material as she moved fluidly between a ukele and piano.
At one point during the show, Mann's husband Zoltan Szobes, who
plays auxiliary percussion and keyboards, engaged in audience
participation and tossed tambourines into the crowd. Then, he pulled
out a big bass drum and passed sticks around.
Talking with the Voice before the show, Szobes said this
particular road trip is short, but over the last year, the band has
played in every major Canadian city and will be playing another 12
shows by August.
"We start our full Canadian tour on July 19th," he said.
After Chilliwack they played Kelowna.
Next up is a showcase slot at the CBC Music Festival at Deer Lake
Park in Burnaby on Saturday June 14. Then on June 20th they play at
"The Works" Arts and Music Festival in Edmonton. Then they get a
week off before flying to Ottawa to play at the Canada Day
celebrations. After that, they bounce back west to Calgary on July
Vandevert serves specialty coffee at the Emporium. Below,
Zoltan Szobes plays the keyboards.
"We're playing the Stampede breakfast.
Then we've got at a festival called Harvest Sun Winnipeg area, and
than in Thunder Bay in front of about 4,000 people," says Szobes.
"We've been really fortunate since winning the CBC Searchlight
contest we've had a lot of these opportunities come in."
Szobes said the band went to Denmark in their first year of touring.
It was a bit of a different there for them because they were doing
some work in boarding schools and teaching students about Canada.
He says publicity from CBC has been wonderful. Winning this year's
Searchlight came about after they re-released their latest CD under
their own label called Wanderer Records.
been pretty wild. With all the attention, it's bit overwhelming," he
said. "Every single gig we have people coming out to the show who
say they found us on CBC or through the contacts for the band there,
and every show we've played it gets better. It's been really
encouraging to see new people finding our music."
"We've written about 16 songs in the past year. We started writing
in January 2013 and we're still working on new material," he
explains. "We are going to be recording in March 2015, so we will be
releasing a new record next year.
Szobes praises the Acoustic Emporium for what they're doing.
"Its a beautiful space and really nice guys. They've got top notch
sound gear and lights. I think it's an amazing place to have in
Chilliwack and a great opportunity for an emerging level of artists.
It's cool to see what an area produces locally."
The band also likes to give back. Last year, they donated 10 per
cent of merchandize sales to an organization called Charity Water, a
non-profit that brings clean, safe drinking water to people in
"This year we haven't decided what we are doing, but we do make
contributions to various charities. If we can show that as starving
musicians, we can do it then to help impact the world in a positive
Show organizers Vern Tompke Luke Vandevert run the Acoustic
Emporium. Tompke is the pastor at Vineyard Church which occupies the
Tompke says that bringing in big names like Mann, helps local
musicians broaden their scope when they are paired up in shows.
"We're local people. People that worked hard to develop their craft.
We also want to pair them up with people who've been doing it
For instance, two weeks ago, the much lauded Ma Petite played at the
Tompke let the audience know during a set break that they were
closing the venue for the summer.
"But don't worry, we're coming back, we just don't want to compete
with Party in the Park and want to support them any way we can."
The final show of the summer takes place June 27 and features a pair
of local singer/songwriters
Brennan Sinclair and
Quaint and The Curious.
The Acoustic Emporium is located at The Vineyard Centre, 45892
Wellington Ave. For more information about the Acoustic Emporium
Learn more about the Vineyard Church at
See more photos
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