Bedouin Soundclash heard round the world

Juno Award-winning Bedouin Soundclash return to Courtenay Sunday for a performance at the Bridge Lounge.




Juno Award-winning Bedouin Soundclash, who headlined the Big Time Out in the summer, return to Courtenay Sunday for a performance at the Bridge Lounge.

The Toronto-based trio is nearing the end of a cycle of touring that “started in Shanghai and basically circumnavigated the globe,” vocalist Jay Malinowski said in an interview from his home in Toronto.

Following last year’s release of their fourth album, Light The Horizon, the group played shows in China, Australia and India, and at festivals throughout North America. They have again hit the road in a westward direction for several shows in December.

Malinowski felt there was a “mom and pop” feel to the Big Time Out, held this year at Ash Berry Farm in Royston.

Light the Horizon has been dubbed a collection of West-friendly, world-pop tunes. It features Brutal Hearts, a duet between Malinowski and Beatrice Martin, aka Coeur de Pirate, who is featured in a video shot under the direction of Bruce McDonald (Hard Core Logo).

“Our focus has always been trying to push the boundaries,” Malinowski said. “We’re not a reggae band. We get called that quite often.”

One of his favourite bands is The Clash, noting Sandinista!, which he describes as “basically a world record.” He also mentioned Paul Simon’s Graceland.

“I always find it interesting when you take folk songwriting and then you try to graft it onto things that don’t fit,” said Malinowski, who is also fascinated by “the essence of punk.”

“Legendary is the fact that Joe Strummer is almost like a Woody Guthrie. There’s a real folk soul to what they (Clash) were doing. I think he used to call himself Woody.”

Aside from Malinowski, Bedouin Soundclash consists of bassist Eon Sinclair and longtime Canadian session drummer Sekou Lumumba, who replaced Pat Pengelly.

The group released its debut disc Root Fire in 2001, followed by Sounding A Mosaic in 2004, which blends pop, rock, punk and reggae. Propelled by the single When the Night Feels My Song, the disc helped earn Bedouin a Juno for Best New Artist.

“We were really honored to get that one,” Malinowski said.

Street Gospels, released in 2007, earned Pop Album of the Year consideration at the Junos, and led to international tours performing alongside the likes of No Doubt, Coldplay and Nine Inch Nails.

The band then teamed with famed DJ/producer King Britt, who offered a doorway into the Philadelphia music scene from which Light The Horizon was created.

“He was such a wealth of information on music, but also Philly itself is so steeped in musical history,” Malinowski said. “It was a pleasure working on it.”

Sunday’s show includes special guest act Multi-Coloured Mischief.

Tickets are available at Bop City, Polka Dot Pants in Cumberland, by phone at 250-336-0303 and online at Doors open at 8 p.m.