Well, Isabelle and I have been self isolating for the past month as most of the world seems to have been, and to keep ourselves feeling good we've maintained our rehearsals and writing sessions. In the course of having a month to ourselves I figured I should attempt to tune up the old Baldwin upright piano that I inherited from dearly missed friend Todd Simko many years ago. As I went about tuning the piano it occurred to me that we should revisit some of our early material again. This song, Embrace, was a favorite of ours from the debut Combine the Victorious album The World Over. The album version, which came out in 2007, is a much bigger production with a full band accompaniment and a rather epic crescendo at the peak of the song. We opted for a simpler and more direct approach with this video, something that could be pulled off with only a single piano and our vocals.
Last night we set up a camera, a microphone and a light and tried our hand at this song again. It took us a few takes but we found it again and I think the results are quite pleasing!
Earlier this week Isabelle and I had an interview with Fiona Forbes (the former host of Shaw's cable show Urban Rush) on her new series "Onstage." The irony here is of course we are all in isolation due to the Covid 19 virus so the onstage portion has changed significantly. Our appearance is about 8 minutes into the show where we chat with Fiona about what's been going on and how we are coping with the shutdown. After that we have a two song live performance from our basement where we play the songs The Bolsheviks and Glasgow. It was a lot of fun to do and seems to be the way forward for the next month or so for all of us! Please have a look and let us know what you think.
Just a quick note to state we will be performing as part of a benefit for the West Moberly First Nations on February 21st at the Russian Hall here in Vancouver. This benefit concert is intended to raise money and awareness surrounding the displacement of the first nations by the construction and land clearing of the Site C hydro dam. More info to follow!
We are excited to announce another live show! We've been asked to open for The Gathering at their Ep release party down at the Rickshaw Theatre. What is going to make this even more exciting than usual is the guest musicians that will be joining on stage for this show. We can't announce anything yet but after a conversation last night with a certain guitarist I am very stoked about this night!!
Of course the wonderful Dan Walker is on the drums for us again, so it'll be a full band for first time in almost a decade for Combine the Victorious. Not a show to miss. Plus we'll be playing our new single and the unreleased single we have coming up.
Big love to The Gathering for inviting us to join in the fun.
Friday June 14th
Girlfriends and Boyfriends
Combine the Victorious
I had the pleasure of chatting music with Don Thatcher last weekend for his show Don's Hit List. We covered music from my days with Pure as well as some of his goose bump moments in our Combine the Victorious songs. It was a great interview and I had a really good time going over some of the recording sessions and ideas we've had over the years. Please give it a listen if you have even been interested in old Pure songs like "Anna is a Speedfreak" as well as the story behind our latest single "The Bolsheviks."
We shall be releasing our first new song in almost two years next week on April 30th. After a lot of woodshedding we've come up with a refined new sound. The song is titled "The Bolsheviks". You can hear it on soundcloud today, or add it to your playlists on your favorite streaming site on Tuesday the 30ths.
Once again the brilliant Robert Edmonds has created another stunning cover for our music. After over 12 years he still impresses us!
We are excited to be a part of this cool event: Daisy's Odyssey put on by the creative folks of eatART. Located on the new Emily Carr campus: 577 Great Northern Way, Vancouver
The whole thing start early with a special installation, then there will be DJ's, opera singers, Combine the Victorious and Mark Woodyard. The whole thing is space themed and coming in costume is encouraged!
Combine the Victorious will be adding Dan Walker to the live show. We should be performing right at 9pm.
Saturday April 27th, 2019.
577 Great Northern Way, Vancouver
We are excited to finally release a new song. We wrote this one over the summer, it was born from the cowbell pattern we'd originally written for another song. That one kinda ran out of steam and was abandoned. The Bolsheviks was created after Isabelle suggested muting the guitar parts on the other track. Suddenly everything opened up and we had a fresh idea. I was just fooling around with a keyboard line and the melody instantly came out. At that point we both knew the old idea was done and a completely new song idea was in its place.
Lyrically it's an interesting combination between us, with Isabelle handling the refrain and me taking on the bridge. We've played at this kind of thing before but it was a lot of fun to come up with the "Dont" section. Maybe it's my subconscious trying to encapsulate the world of facebook and social media in a song; or maybe not.
Anyway, very pleased to share this today. It feels like a fresh start for Combine the Victorious, a little more direct and minimalist than anything we'd done previously. We'd love to hear what you think, so please leave us a message after you've had a chance to listen.
Mark & Isabelle
Combine the Victorious
Real Life Turns Me On (Kreap Backroom Orgy Mix) the video features our old cats Bob and Ross. The two old sisters passed away last year at almost 18 and a half years of age. As they were relaxing one night on a couple weeks before Bob (the cat on the right) died Isabelle and I took up our camera and filmed them sleeping. These two were a couple excellent little critters, and this remix is awesome! Enjoy.
We are pleased to present the official video for our song Best Tonight, directed by Wayne Hoecherl, and featuring dancer Taya Morrow.
Filmed on a cold February evening in an underpass beneath the No. 1 Highway in N. Van, we had a very fun shoot with Wayne and his crew of Dan Kozma and Chris Hooper. Wayne had a concept to utilize the the underpass which he discovered working on a television series earlier that season. I think the final result is quite striking. Big thanks to everyone involved in this project!
Director: Wayne Hoecherl
Camera and editng: Dan Kozma
Key Grip: Chris Hooper
Dancer: Taya Morrow
Hair and Make: Charlene Santaga for Bambu Salon
Fashion stying by Isabelle Dunlop of Isabelle Dunlop Clothing