London gets a woody for East Vancouver's Blackberry Wood

Blackberry Wood's low-budget tour of England last fall gave the East Van band a major break. Thanks to a London performance, the outfit will play three times at this year's mega-prestigious Glastonbury Festival, which runs June 24 to 29. “A friend of ours knew one of the people at Continental Drift, who book Glastonbury, and got us a small show at the Thames Festival, one of the biggest in London,” singer-guitarist Kris Mitchell told the Straight. “To save on expenses we had to stay way out of town, and it was a crazy drama getting to the Thames on time. We'd played every night that week—our previous gig was at 4 a.m.—and I had to rouse everyone after an hour's sleep, and all this insanity for a 2 p.m. show. We piled into two taxi-vans and just made it.”

The huge crowd at the Thames Festival loved Blackberry Wood's kaleidoscopic mix of alt country, gypsy jazz, and ragtime with a western vaudeville-show flavour, and the deal was sealed for “Glasto”. “We're in a bio-diesel-run video arcade, on the Shangri-La stage, and in the Pussy Parlor of the Spiegel Tent, a beautiful 100-year-old circus-tent,” said Mitchell. The Woodies are back at month's end and play a free Canada Day show on the shores of Burrard Inlet at Crab Park.