Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Lunch at Allen's: Murray McLauchlin, Ian Thomas, Cindy Church, and Marc Jordan

I took a break from outdoor work last Friday afternoon, and went into town for a show.

Quite excited, the group is called Lunch At Allen's. Truthfully, I'd forgotten what it was, hubby bought my ticket months ago, and I thought it was a play. (Old age rears its ugly head!)

 Turns out, it consists of a group of four Canadian legends:
Marc Jordan,
Murray McLauchlin,
Cindy Church
and Ian Thomas.

They met regularly at a pub in Toronto on The Danforth, called Allen's, hence the name. Having grown up in Toronto, and listened to all of them now and then, I recognized landmarks in their songs (e.g., Down at the Henry Moore).

Murray McLaughlin (B. 1948) has a marvellous discography, and he is a fabulous.
Ian Thomas (B. 1950) has written his second novel, and has much talent in many areas of endeavour! Younger brother to actor Dave Thomas, they were born in Hamilton.
Me, in the 70s on Walker Ave., Toronto
Cindy Church I first saw when she performed with Quartette with Sylvia Tyson. (As did the woman sitting behind me, which she told her husband while the musicians were doing their banter.)
Marc Jordan (B. 1948) grew up on the same street in Toronto as I did: Walker Ave. He is eight years older than I, is married to Amy Sky, and lives in the US, having left for Marina del Ray (a hit song he wrote!) in 1977. Our paths didn't cross much!

My old house on Walker Ave., 2004 visit
The Boston Ivy, on the back wall -Noma Lights factory,
was the size of a hand!
Hubby isn't into this music and I went alone. I had a fine seat, just two in from the aisle. I was fairly early and anticipated having to stand for late arrivals. I plunked down, tired from my gardening that afternoon, 5 hours in the lovely, warm spring day. I was sore, and happy to sit for a bit! Putting my purse on the empty seat on the aisle, I got adjusted, my coat realigned, and began to relax.

I entered into a bizarre dialogue (Strike one!) with the woman beside me, who clearly owned this set of seats. It was a packed house. In fact, there was a group block of seats -people who all knew each other. She had sung at the 50th wedding anniversary party of the talkers behind me.

She looked over at my purse and said, "You know that there is someone sitting in that seat?"
     "I'm sure there is," I replied in the packed house.  (Although my purse was on it, s/he might have been invisible.) "Do you want me to trade seats with him so you can sit together?"
     "No. I'm happy with my line of sight, in this seat." (I didn't offer to trade with her! I was confused.)
     "No, I meant trade with him." (Mr. invisible!)
My aunt and uncle lived in the semi-detached on the left.
The last owner has eschewed grass for garden!
     "No. I'm fine." (I began to wonder what was wrong with him, why wouldn't she want to sit beside someone she knew, instead of me, whom she clearly laothed?!)
     "I thought I'd put my purse on the seat until the people sitting in the middle arrived." (How many times have you had to stand up while late arrivers took their seats?!)
     "Oh, they won't come this way, they around the other way." (Ya think?) I was two seats in, remember, and there were 6 empty seats to her right. Just sayin'! Sure enough, four people arrived, all from this group of friends. I stood and let them by.

25 Walker Ave. (right), I lived here for 19 years!
Postage stamp front yard in downtown Toronto.
The show began nearly on time, with an intro by the Perth Performing Arts Committee chair (PPAC). She's been chair for 18 years. Honest. Unfortunately, she and co-introducer from Lake 88.1, spoke for 20 minutes. I was shocked! The musicians stood in the wings, waiting to enter, while she and he thanked the sponsors, then proceeded to outline the entire line-up, with biographies, for the next season (2013), which was printed on coloured flyers in the foyer. I was so embarrassed. (They do this every time!) The first song sung began at 8:19 for an 8 p.m. show. Sigh. (Strike two!)

My late parents lived here from 1950 - 1991!
Ian Thomas introduced the group. He commented and thanked the committee and the information about the PPAC activities of the next few years! A great dig, as they were kept waiting in the wings, with newly-tuned guitars, for nearly 20 minutes!

They have 4 guitars, piano, mandolin, and it was wonderful voices, wonderful music and rich instruments. Aside from the cold that two of them had, and the other two had gotten rid of, apparently. They coughed into their elbows, and I felt badly for them. Having sung in choirs for many years, I know how hard it is to sing when you are under the weather.

I remember being able to wear a miniskirt!
Me an' my brother in 70s on Walker Ave.

Each band member took a moment to speak about, and then sing, one of their songs, the others doing terrific back-up. All have had many hits, are prolific songwriters, and many Junos between them. There were many jokes about age, as all are experienced musicians. The audience is quite the grey-haired set, and we could appreciate the banter.
My brother, me and the family VW! 
They went through the line leading a song twice, then took an intermission.
I enjoyed the concert. I just couldn't abide the talker behind me. (Strike three!) Too much public cell phone use, and TV watching, makes people think they are sitting in their living rooms and they talk through public performances. I turned around and glared as I missed the entire intro to one of Ian Thomas' songs.
 I was uncomfortable with the ownership of the woman beside me, who didn't speak to me again after she corrected me.
I was happy to go home and watch a video, Margin Call, with hubby! It was the story of the 2008 market crash from an investment company's point of view. Very realistic, according to hubby, who has gone through a fair number of business alignments in his work life!

Videos of the group!

  1. Lunch At Allen's Perfect World - YouTube

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=xkcCIAFWBUY13 Feb 2008 - 4 min - rileylaker
    "Perfect World" Music video from the Lunch At Allen's featuring Murray McLauchlan, Marc Jordan, Cindy ...
  2. Lunch at Allen's - What Kind of Love

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=V17SeooJw2A4 Mar 2008 - 3 min - rileylaker
    Album: Catch the Moon (2007)


Crafty Gardener said...

Except for the chatty person beside you, I'm sure you enjoyed the music. And a trip down memory lane visiting houses where you lived.

Red said...

Into every life a little rain must fall. The "bag" beside you was a bummer. Now I'd love to listen to these performers and I'm sure you had a good time.
Say, quite the "babe" on Walker ST!!!

Carletta said...

Sounds like a lovely evening despite the talker.
My husband is a music one either but I grew up with music. It's been a long time since I've enjoyed a public program.
It's nice you have so many photos to document your life. I don't have as many as I'd like.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

The concert sounds lovely except for annoyances #s1, 2, and 3. I HATE that people act like that -- and common decency aside, I can't figure out why do they would pay good money for a concert, play, movie and then, as you say, chat, eat make noise etc. as if it were their own living room. Especially when it is people our own age (if "we" act like that there is no hope for the younger gens.)....I appreciated the rant (knowing I'm not alone) as well as the pictures and thoughts of the lovely concert!