WHAT’S ON West Coast Sounds

It’s a pretty exciting week for music lovers here on the West Coast. In case you didn’t know (ahem) there’s a rather large music

festival called Otalith this weekend featuring nearly 20 acts spread across 3 venues in both Tofino

and Ucluelet. Last year’s inaugural Otalith Festival was a delight and I’m excited to see the event return. I’m also delighted to see some great travelling acts and talented locals on the same bill.

Kicking off the festival at The Tofino Brewing Company stage on Friday at 4pm will be an amalgamation of two of Tofino’s busier bands; Prester John’s Gone and The Poor Pistols for Hire will join forces like some sort of Japanese cartoon superheroes to become Prester’s Pistols.

Both bands have released albums of original material and play an array of bluegrass and old-time inspired tunes, I suspect they had a hard time boiling their combined sets down to just 45 minutes worth of music.

Also well known to local music fans, Wil is a talented songwriter from Alberta but now living on the Island with an acoustic guitar style that has won him many accolades.

A soulful voice and touching yet catchy songs blend with a heavy, percussive technique that allows Wil to fill a dance floor in a way few acoustic acts can. When joined by his drummer, Wil’s shows are always satisfying.

Wil has played in Tofino and Ucluelet before and he’ll be on the main stage Friday night at 7:20.

Scouts will set the main stage in Ucluelet on Saturday at 12:15.

The ambient folk-rock band is fronted by Tofino’s Zina Boileau and features a few other local faces you’re likely to recognize, including Chris Silvestri and Shane Strom.

Scouts draw inspiration from bands like Daughter and Tegan Sara.

While Zina has been playing regularly as a solo performer for a while says she’s looking forward to straying from the singer-songwriter label info more experimental rock. I look forward to hearing it.

These are just a few Otalith acts I’m keen to see over the weekend.

If you’re in Tofino Saturday night you can catch The Flat Nine Band at The Tofino Legion for a versatile mix of Jazz, Soul, Funk, Blues, Gospel and Country that they like to call FUNKSION. This Comox Valley based band is distinctive in their focus on unusual harmonies, unique progressions and all of their recordings are in front of an audience, in one take. Legions members and their guests are welcome, $15 at the door.

Lastly, Saturday night after the Otalith main stage in Ucluelet closes down Official’s will be hosting the Nanaimo based cover band Vinyl Edge so you can keep dancing til the wee hours.

Reach Geoff Johnson at gajohnson@westerlynews.ca or 250-266-2400