But receiving free tickets to an exclusive business event at Saskatoon’s newest music gear store at Village Guitar & Amp Co. – which coincidentally also featured Paddock Wood beverages – was too good to pass up.
Village Guitar & Amp Co. is located at 432 20th Street W. just a few blocks down from the Two Twenty office building and nearly across the street from the Park Café. Taking advantage of the vanguard of new businesses in the neighbourhood, owners Todd Peters and Dan Canfield offer a musical juxtaposition from the stark contrast of seedy pawnshop guitars that typically prowl the area.
The store, however, had been completely cleared out for the musical guests, a countrified set from locals Massey & the Fergusons – who feature Village co-founder Peters on guitar and vocals.
The group played a particularly upbeat and banging set – having not seen the band in some time I felt a little sheepish for having written them off years ago. Also showing off a hilarious and bold new T-shirt design from local screen printer Hard Pressed, Massey & the Fergusons feature strong songwriting along with competent and entertaining musicianship.
The party itself was a good time – various cheeses lined a table in a back room along with plates filled with delicious appetizers. The atmosphere was a little stark – an empty retail store doesn’t exactly scream super happy fun times but the vibe was akin to the pop-up sites of mad DJ’ed dance parties that are rampant in large Canadian cities like Montreal.
However, one complaint of the evening was the lack of gear featured in the store – a live demonstration of boutique pedals mysteriously named “Charlie Brown” likely would have helped drum up sales and offered a closer look into what the fledgling business has to offer.
And while it certainly makes sense that the equipment was put away prior to the party – drunkenness and $2,000 amps make for scary, sloppy bedfellows – it didn’t really lend itself to the feeling that there is some really cool gear to be discovered there.
No matter, Village Guitar & Amp Co. is located in a beautiful building and offers a unique and exciting venue for a city that features a vibrant up-and-coming music scene – lets all hope the party continues.