Tribe House Blog

The Geese

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Posted : October 13th, 2011 by

“…something like a liturgical rock show and feeling like an inward three-ring circus.”

Some friends of the tribe, The Geese from Vancouver, BC, have a pretty unique vibe along with a “liturgical rock show” they have been performing across all parts of the globe including Greenbelt Festival in the UK. We caught up with them via email to have them share a few little pieces of their brain on their Filid “show”, their experience at Greenbelt with Ron Sexsmith, and the launch of their new album.

TribeHouse: So, you guys are called “the Geese”. What’s the story behind that again?

Geese: There’s an incredible passage in T.H. White’s The Sword in The Stone, which describes the peaceful society of the geese, who rely on a rotating form of leadership. We thought this was the perfect metaphor for what we try to do in our collective of songwriters. Just as geese fly in a ‘v’ formation and change the leader who is flying at the apex of the ‘v,’ we’re constantly changing the leader of the band from song to song, as we all switch instruments and create a new backing band for the new front person.

TH: You got to play one of the biggest festivals in Europe, Greenbelt, this summer with guys like Ron Sexsmith headlining. What was your highlight of the fest?

Geese: It was the first time we’ve been contributors at a festival of that size, so we were mostly just excited to be a part of something that cool. And to get to wear the purple wrist bands, which allowed us to get free coffee. Just like Ron!

TH: What sets this festival apart from the average music fest? Like, what’s their schtick?

Geese: Greenbelt has something for everyone. Their program booklet suggests the highlights for ‘the activist,’ ‘the worship baby,’ ‘the music lover,’ ‘the academic,’ etc. Each one of these different types of ‘Greenbelters’ can come away with a full and totally unique festival experience. In our experience, other festivals have a much more narrow or specific focus for their patrons.

TH: The vibe of the fest seems to be different from your average “Christian” festival where you’ll get guys like Bruce Cockburn & have open discussions where people from all sorts of faith & sexual orientation get a platform to share their philosophies. Is there an overtly spiritual agenda?

Geese: Yes and no. It seems like the festival itself doesn’t necessarily have a specific agenda, but many of the folks who go seem to have their own motivation for attending, whether that’s out of moral or spiritual compunction.

TH: So, this Filid that you guys did (and do) at the fest – what is it in average human terms? Is it Spanish or Latin for something?

Geese: It’s a Gaelic word, meaning a mix between poet, storyteller, prophet, bard, traveler, and beer-ologist. Traditionally, this person was sent out by the Church to engage with people, by telling stories and singing songs. Our interpretation of this often ends up looking something like a liturgical rock show and feeling like an inward three-ring circus. We’ve performed a variety of different incarnations of The Filid Show. This particular version, led by Joel Mason, tells the story of St. Brendan through poetry, liturgy and songs, which have all been composed by members of The Geese. We’re interacting with the challenges and the beauty inherent in a spiritual life that is often defined by mystery.

TH: How long does it normally last for?

Geese: About an hour.

TH: Is this typically for spiritually-minded-and-aware people or could it be seen as good-ol’ fashioned entertainment?

Geese: It’s a little tricky. But, typically speaking, it’s for people who are interested in taking some time to experience silence and think about what cannot be known for certain. Is that too vague? It’s for people who are willing to offer us a temporary suspension of disbelief in order to engage with the experience that we’re trying to create. That’s more vague, isn’t it? Shoot.

TH: Do you ever do combined shows where you as “the Geese” play before, during, or after a Filid?

Geese: Sometimes. We’re trying to do that less, as we’ve become more aware of how difficult of a transition it can be to move between The Geese’s vibe and that of The Filid Show. Plus, who wants to be their own opener? Not us.


TH: What’s the ultimate setting for a Geese gig?

Geese: You and 200 of your closest friends and nothing but a cabin and cold, cold, COLD Coors Light. Tap the Rockies.

TH: How about a Filid presentation (it is a presentation right? Or is it more of a concert?)

Geese: You and 50 of your closest friends…Nawww, braaaaa. How about, a 5th century Saxon chapel on Bradwell-On-Sea with no road and no electricity (we actually played there and it was as amazing as it sounds in type!)

TH: You guys have a new album coming out pretty quick – when & give us some nitty gritty background on what you’re most excited about it coming out.

Geese: Our album is officially being “dropped” at 8pm, Monday, October 10th, 2011. It’s available at http://thegeese.ca/album!!! Woot! We were thrilled to get to record in a space at Greenhouse Studios in Vancouver. We’re also so happy to have the cover artwork done by Jess Weatherhead, who just happens to be our profoundly brilliant painter friend.

 

The Geese are all over the place online but the best place to find out more is at their official website. But here’s a preview of their brand new album along with a live video of them at the Streaming Cafe.

 

 



 


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