Port City Music Hall
Jubilee Riots, formerly Enter The Haggis.

WCLZ Presents

Jubilee Riots, formerly Enter The Haggis.

The Band Apollo

Sun, December 29, 2013

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

Port City Music Hall

Portland, ME

$18 advance / $20 day of show / $35 Preferred Seating

This event is 18 and over

Buy tickets in person at the Cumberland County Civic Center Box Office, charge by phone at 800-745-3000 and online at www.portcitymusichall.com The Port City Music Hall Box Office will be open one hour before doors on night of show

Jubilee Riots, formerly Enter The Haggis.
Jubilee Riots, formerly Enter The Haggis.
Northern Roots act Jubilee Riots is a band that is very much centered around telling stories that resonate with truth and authenticity, as is evidenced by their latest outing, Penny Black. Inspired by years of touring, meeting people and sharing stories over late night drinks at the bar with fans, the band put out the call for people around the world to submit their stories as inspiration for their upcoming album. Letters came from across the globe - from the band’s native Canada to locales as far away as Japan and Australia - each carrying the weight of one fan’s emotional tale.

“There were all sorts of letters,” shares bass player, Mark Abraham. “Some were dark and anonymous and difficult to read but many were funny or embarrassing; the kind of life events that happen to all of us.”

Bandmate Brian Buchanan adds, “It’s really humbling, but it’s also amazing to remember that all of those anonymous faces in the crowd - every single one of them - has a battle that they’re fighting and their own secret histories. All it takes sometimes is being an ear for people to talk to.”

“There were a lot of common themes,” vocalist and songwriter Trevor Lewington shares. “You start to see that not only does everyone have their own stories but there are some common themes that run through all of our lives and sometimes those similarities can actually connect people who wouldn’t have guessed they had anything in common.”

Beyond the challenge of taking 500 pages of letters and turning them into an album of songs, the band had another vision: to create a collection of tracks that they could perform start to finish on a late night dance tent stage at festivals; an album with an energetic pulse that would be impossible to sit still and listen to. It was that juxtaposition of upbeat party grooves with meaningful lyrics based on very personal stories that became the focus of the project.

In May, 2014, the band headed to a rustic studio in Portland, Maine, to record with producer Jonathan Wyman. Renting a cottage nearby afforded the band the opportunity to relax nightly and watch the hockey playoffs, sample local beer, and tweak arrangements around an old upright piano. “Man, that thing was out of tune” laughs drummer, Bruce McCarthy, “but I think sometimes a song needs that kind of character to come to life.”

After a month at the studio, the band had recorded a set of ten new songs. Some drew specifically from the submitted stories: “Astray” was based on a letter about a Russian Jew who escaped the Death March and thought his family had been killed, only to find out 50 years later they had survived and lived full lives. Others drew on the common threads winding through the stories: meeting a significant other (“Cut the Lights”); challenging relationships (“Unsteady,” “Trying Times”); and the potential risk and reward of making bold life choices (“Two Bare Hands,” “Traveler”). Making bold choices is something the band can relate to as they recently made the decision to change their name.

“We toured and recorded as Enter The Haggis for a long time but that name no longer represented the music that we’re making” says the band’s multi-instrumentalist, Craig Downie, who plays everything from trumpet to bagpipes. Over the years the band has meticulously crafted their sound, transforming their original Celtic-jam into something diverse and multifaceted; something uniquely their own. The name Jubilee Riots was chosen, paying homage to their hometown, Toronto.

“We’re lucky enough to have had the luxury of growing up as a band,” Buchanan offers. “We were given the time to make mistakes and to develop, which a lot of artists don’t get anymore - but at the same time it meant that we developed a lot of personal relationships. I think there were 400 backers in that first crowd-funded project and when we were addressing the envelopes, it was amazing to us that we could put a face to just about every name that came in; people we’d met over the years. They’ve stuck with us through all the bumps and bruises.”

As Enter The Haggis, the band released seven studio albums and toured internationally, landing high profile gigs on “Live with Regis and Kelly” and A&E’s “Breakfast with the Arts,” as well as being the feature of a concert/documentary on PBS. With a new album and new name the band hopes to build on this legacy and has an extensive tour lined up taking them through Canada, the US and to Europe.

After such a unique and ambitious concept for an album it’s easy to wonder how the band could step things up on a future release. “Oh, we’ve got some ideas up our sleeves,” Lewington says. “I recently suggested to the guys that we do an instrumental album inspired by an episode of the original Star Trek.”

Clearly for fans both old and new, the ride is just getting started.
The Band Apollo
The Band Apollo
Hailing from Maine, The Band Apollo delivers a unique blend of pure rock infused with hints of soul and club-style pop. Coined as swag rock, this signature sound is attributed to frontman Jonathan Johnston's recognizable vocals, Jonathan (JTru) Truman's edgy, eclectic style of drumming, and Ben Packard's creatively subtle, yet assertive lead guitar work. The Band Apollo's distinctive sound draws influence from a variety of artists ranging from Muse, Audioslave, and Bruno Mars, to Maroon 5, Frank Ocean, and John Mayer.
Johnston and JTru have been playing music together since 2008 as the Jonathan Johnston Band. Packard joined the group in 2012 and they became known as The Band Apollo; a new name to embody their fresh approach to collaborative song-writing. The Band Apollo's debut EP was recorded in Nashville and produced by Grammy-nominated, Dove Award-winning Australian artist Grant Norsworthy (member of the bands Sonic Flood and Paul Colman Trio) and engineered by Darrell Lehman (Sound Engineer for Mute Math). This EP features "Bad Company”, the band's first single to receive airplay in Maine on 98.9 WCLZ, and “Little Red Dress”, which ranked #3 on WTOS-FM Homegrown Top Ten for 2012.
Since the release of their EP, The Band Apollo has consistently performed throughout New England, ranging from local bars and private parties to headlining college shows, outdoor festivals, and charitable events such as Maine's Walk to Stop Hunger. They have shared the stage with various notable acts, including the Pete Kilpatrick Band and Enter the Haggis. The Band Apollo has been featured in Maine's Kennebec Journal and WPXT's Private Stage TV, Boston University's WTBU Left of the Dial radio show, Pop Vulture magazine. They are currently working toward the production and release of their next highly-anticipated album.
Venue Information:
Port City Music Hall
504 Congress St
Portland, ME, 04101