Jiminy LIVE at the Railway Club; with Animal Nation and the Tequila Mockingbird Orchestra

by Megan Michael

It’s a Zoo out there.

Last Thursday at The Railway Club, all the animals came out to play—and then some. Whistler’s own Animal Nation smashed the show open with their witty rhymes and wicked mixes, setting the stage for a three hour extravaganza that would include Victoria’s primo gypsy-ska sensation, The Tequila Mockingbird Orchestra, and the night’s headliners who hopped in all the way from Saskatoon: Jiminy—the namesake of everybody’s favourite little cricket.

For Jiminy and Animal Nation, this was the seventh stop on their nine-show Western Canada tour, which included appearances in Saskatchewan, Alberta and BC as they made their way to the Sunshine Coast for some much-needed R and R.

Animal Nation consists of Mike “Armadillo Slim” Armitage and Steige “Tall Man” Turner (aka Garnet Clare), who often describe their music as a “choose your own adventure”. Part Hip-Hop/Beats, part Dr. Seuss, the duo gets unnerved about being pigeon-holed into a genre. That being said, their set was a highly entertaining visual explosion of choreographed lyrics and sound that was not only super fun, but insidiously intelligent.

After working together for five years and being friends and roommates “forever”, they quite literally finish each others’ sentences, and the energy that they bring to the stage is contagious.

Equally as infectious was the headlining band, Jiminy. A six-piece, self-expressed funk/rock/soul/jazz band, headed by singer/songwriter/lead guitarist Chad Reynolds and drummer/song-writer/rapper Mark Ejack.

Hailing from the flatlands of Saskatoon, these guys keep leaving little bits of their hearts along the BC coastline—along with socks, phone chargers and golf clubs. “We always seem to come back with half of what we packed—and some new tunes,” jokes Mark.

Their unique style of funky beats and smooth grooves are punctuated by the skills of “the only drummer who raps at the same time—in Canada” at least.

A charming group of musicians who had the whole room dancing ‘till close, Jiminy is carving out a distinctive style in an as-yet undefined niche.

Already planning new adventures together, including more potential collaborations with The Tequila Mockingbirds and other BC bands Hey Ocean and DNA 6, these guys are definitely worth watching out for.

Jiminy, Animal Nation and The Tequila Mockingbird Orchestra played at The Railway Club on May 21, 2009.

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