I never knew Enter The Haggis was changing their name to Jubilee Riots but here we are. Jubilee Riots released a new lyric video for their song “Cut the Lights,” which will be off their new album Penny Black. The album will be out November 4th but you can hear a bit of a sample below. It’s a different sound than Enter The Haggis but it has a catchy chorus. The band’s final show as Enter The Haggis is tomorrow night in Syracuse, NY.
Northern Roots act JUBILEE RIOTS is a band that is very much centered around telling stories that resonate with truth and authenticity, as is evidenced by their latest outing, Penny Black (out 11/4), inspired by years of touring, meeting people and sharing stories over late night drinks at the bar with fans, the band put out the call for people around the world to submit their stories as inspiration for their upcoming album. Letters came from across the globe – from the band’s native Canada to locales as far away as Japan and Australia – each carrying the weight of one fan’s emotional tale.
Beyond the challenge of taking 500 pages of letters and turning them into an album of songs, the band had another vision: to create a collection of tracks that they could perform start to finish on a late night dance tent stage at festivals; an album with an energetic pulse that would be impossible to sit still and listen to. It was that juxtaposition of upbeat party grooves with meaningful lyrics based on very personal stories that became the focus of the project.
In May, 2014, the band headed to a rustic studio in Portland, Maine, to record with producer Jonathan Wyman. Renting a cottage nearby afforded the band the opportunity to relax nightly and watch the hockey playoffs, sample local beer, and tweak arrangements around an old upright piano. “Man, that thing was out of tune” laughs drummer, Bruce McCarthy, “but I think sometimes a song needs that kind of character to come to life.”
After a month at the studio, the band had recorded a set of ten new songs. Some drew specifically from the submitted stories: “Astray” was based on a letter about a Russian Jew who escaped the Death March and thought his family had been killed, only to find out 50 years later they had survived and lived full lives. Others drew on the common threads winding through the stories: meeting a significant other (“Cut the Lights”); challenging relationships (“Unsteady,” “Trying Times”); and the potential risk and reward of making bold life choices (“Two Bare Hands,” “Traveler”). Making bold choices is something the band can relate to as they recently made the decision to change their name.
“We toured and recorded as Enter The Haggis for a long time but that name no longer represented the music that we’re making” says the band’s multi-instrumentalist, Craig Downie, who plays everything from trumpet to bagpipes. Over the years the band has meticulously crafted their sound, transforming their original Celtic-jam into something diverse and multifaceted; something uniquely their own. The name Jubilee Riots was chosen, paying homage to their hometown, Toronto.
“We’re lucky enough to have had the luxury of growing up as a band,” Buchanan offers. “We were given the time to make mistakes and to develop, which a lot of artists don’t get anymore – but at the same time it meant that we developed a lot of personal relationships. I think there were 400 backers in that first crowd-funded project and when we were addressing the envelopes, it was amazing to us that we could put a face to just about every name that came in; people we’d met over the years. They’ve stuck with us through all the bumps and bruises.”
As Enter The Haggis, the band released seven studio albums and toured internationally, landing high profile gigs on “Live with Regis and Kelly” and A&E’s “Breakfast with the Arts,” as well as being the feature of a concert/documentary on PBS. With a new album and new name the band hopes to build on this legacy and has an extensive tour lined up taking them through Canada, the US and to Europe.
After such a unique and ambitious concept for an album it’s easy to wonder how the band could step things up on a future release. “Oh, we’ve got some ideas up our sleeves” Lewington says. “I recently suggested to the guys that we do an instrumental album inspired by an episode of the original Star Trek.” Clearly for fans both old and new, the ride is just getting started.
Oct 11- FINAL SHOW AS ENTER THE HAGGIS – The Westcott- Syracuse, NY
Oct 16 – JUBILEE RIOTS & PENNY BLACK WORLD PREMIER – Toronto, Canada
Oct 17 – Bayfield Town Hall – Exeter, Canada
Oct 18 – Aeolian Performing Arts Centre – London, Canada
Oct 30 -Infinity Hall HartfordHartford, CT
Oct 31- Mechanics Hall – Worcester, MA
Nov 01 – PENNY BLACK CD RELEASE SHOW – Port City Music Hall
Nov 05 – SPACE – Evanston, IL
Nov 07 – Bell’s Brewery – Kalamazoo, MI
Nov 08 – The Ark – Ann Arbor, MI
Nov 09 – Woodlands Tavern – Columbus, OH
Nov 13 – Beachland Tavern – Cleveland, OH
Nov 14 – Club Cafe – Pittsburgh, PA
Nov 15 – Waiting Room – Buffalo, NY
Nov 20 – Montage Music Hall – Rochester, NY
Nov 21 – Putnem Den – Saratoga Springs, NY
Nov 22 – Showcase Lounge – South Burlington, VT
Nov 26 – Sellersville Theatre – Sellersville, PA
Nov 28 – Infinity Hall Norfolk – Norfolk, CT
Dec 04 – The Social- Orlando, FL
Dec 05 – Skipper’s Smokehouse – Tampa, FL
Dec 06 – The Original Cafe Eleven – St Augustine, FL
Dec 10 – Southland Ballroom – Raleigh, NC
Dec 11 – SMITH’S OLDE BAR – Atlanta, GA
Dec 12 – The Grey Eagle – Asheville, NC
Dec 14 – HARVESTER PERFORMANCE CENTER – Rocky Mount, VA
Dec 30 – Iron Horse Music Hall – Northampton, MA
Dec 31- Iron Horse Music Hall – Northampton, MA