Portage and Main at the Biltmore

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      Okay, Vancouver, you think this is cold? Admittedly, it has been chillier than normal lately, even for January. But you know what the temperature in Winnipeg is, as of this writing? It’s -25 ° C. Seriously! What in the fucking fuck?! That is almost 10 degrees below the coldest-ever recorded temperature in Vancouver. So, basically, Winnipeg is still in the ice age, with the intersection of Portage Avenue and Main Street its glacial epicentre. None of this has all that much to do with the band Portage and Main, which, because its two singer-songwriters—Harold Donnelly and John Sponarski—are not totally insane, is based in Vancouver and not in Winterpeg. The group is pretty much the exact opposite of the frigid crossroads for which it was named: it makes country-flavoured folk rock that is nothing but sheer warmth, boasting honey-dipped vocal harmonies, swirling Hammond organ, and torch-and-twang guitars. The five-piece outfit will celebrate the release of its latest album, Never Had the Time, with a show at the Biltmore on Friday (January 25). We especially encourage refugees from Manitoba to attend, because for once they’ll have a reason to head toward Portage and Main instead of getting the hell away from it.