The Chief - Squamish BC
An ancient tribal instrument from Northern Australia, the didgeridoo is considered the oldest wind instrument that exists today. The hypnotic, haunting sound it produces can induce listeners into a trance-like state and is even thought to have a special healing power.
Harnessing this power to produce an irresistible fusion of reggae and funk-influenced rhythm and song is multi-instrumentalist Shane Philip, who returns to Squamish as the headline act for the first show of the 2012 Squamish Equinox Rock Festival (SERF) series, set to take place at the Howe Sound Brew Pub next Friday (Jan. 20).
“I just play what comes from my heart and soul,” Philip told The Chief.
Self-described as a singer/songwriter “first and foremost,” Philip uses an arsenal of didgeridoos, guitars and drums to bring his songs to life and the effect is so cutting edge that some mistake it for electronic looping.
“That’s the ultimate compliment for me,” he said. “I know people that like electronic music hear a little bit of that when I get the kick drum and high hat going, and the didge, but that’s as close as I get.”
“I’m doing it live off the floor so it’s completely 100 per cent organic.”
The Squamish SERF concert will be the second stop on Philip’s upcoming Western Canadian tour with African drummer Zach Sukuweh. He kicks the tour off the night before at The Venue in Vancouver — opening for The Wailers.
“I’m excited,” Philip said. “There are two bands that I really want to open for; one is The Wailers and the other is Ben Harper, and in both cases I will probably know every single lyric to every single song.”
Philip has played Quest University’s Dancing Bear Festival for the past three years, and performed last year at the Brackendale Art Gallery.
“I like Squamish — we have a lot in common because I’m into outdoor activities and that, so I feel I’m surrounded by kindred spirits when I play a show there,” he said. “It’s like all this good energy just bouncing around.”
Opening for Philip is the root-infused Francophone band Volume Collective. Based in Squamish, the five-person group played Envol et Macadam — Quebec’s top alternative music festival — this past fall after winning the western Planetrox music competition, and is working on its first album, due out sometime this spring.