"Quite simply ‘Flirting with the Queen’ is a triumph that will win the hearts and minds of all who hear it, and for progressive fans, it is an absolute must." - Sonic Abuse (UK)
Seems like the single most repeated phrase that people say when they see this band play live is "EPIC".
With only one lead guitarist with a few pedals - but with a blazing, magical sound that will take you on a journey to the outer stratosphere, instrumentation for Spaceport Union’s engaging live show also includes a musical saw, an iPhone theremin, found objects, electric and acoustic guitars, keys, bass, drums, glockenspiel, intricately woven, 3-part harmony vocals and trumpet.
Spaceport Union is a time travelling band made up of 4 eccentric and honest terrestrials who love kitties. Close your eyes and journey with them across a cinematic landscape that travels across time and space and delves into the places in the soul that only the fearless will go.
The mysterious and eccentric Spaceport Union will whisk you away on a compelling cosmic voyage with their eclectic amalgamation of progressive art rock. Let yourself defy gravity as you are drawn into celestial planes diffused with experimental instrumentation and novel sound ideas, very much in the trail of past greats such as the Alan Parsons Project, King Crimson, Talking Heads, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd, and in amongst modern peers like My Morning Jacket, Explosions in the Sky, Porcupine Tree and Radiohead.
Since 2010, Spaceport Union has been developing their live show into a unique, vibrant concert experience. An intoxicating melding of light and sound, the band has worked towards a musical euphoria in the vein of the great progressive bands of the past and present. Frontman Adam Basterfield steers the shows with his fiery guitar playing and warm keyboards, and enigmatic stage presence reminiscent of David Byrne. Caroline Spence co-fronts the band providing contrast to Basterfield with her haunting vocals and firmly psychedelic guitar textures. The dense sonic palette is held together by the solid rhythm section of drummer Taylor Charles and bassist Aaron St. Arnault.
The band were invited to record their debut full-length album with Michael Jack, producer and one of Canada's top audio engineers, who has worked with acts such as Rush, Bono, The Trews, and many more. The album came together with a lot of hard work, and the support of their fans through a successful fundraising campaign. The band toured their way across Canada to Toronto and back, spending time in the famous Phase One Studios recording an album they are very excited about. “'Flirting with the Queen' really captures the creative expansiveness and the unique sound of the band,” says Basterfield, ”we gave ourselves permission to be vulnerable, supporting each other’s creative expression 100 per cent, and we’re very proud of the result.”
Ride with Spaceport Union to stellar heights and be transported by the sheer energy of the timeless, aural tapestry of their creations. Be ready to be transported and transfixed by the transcendent vibes of... Spaceport Union.
On the debut album, "Flirting with the Queen":
"...each song carries its own musical flavor, and they all taste delightful...each song is top notch...the overall feel of the album as a whole comes off as complete and substantial...truly some great music here." - M. Gagne (Freelance Reviewer/Allmusic)
"...highly recommended...a fine, fine debut album" - M. Anthony (UberRock UK)
'Flirting with the Queen' - Voted Top 20 Listener Favourite Album of 2012 on The Prog Mill Radio (UK)
"I was given the great honor to interview the members of Spaceport Union and treated to that rare glimpse inside a creative band destined for greatness... With bands like Metric, City and Colour, Stars, Mother Mother, Joel Plaskett, The New Pornographers, it seems that in Canada, a certain ‘niche’ group of artists continue to pursue the musical dream and while doing so are producing some of the best songs we have ever heard. Spaceport Union is one of those bands...” - King Minion Music Podcast
Adam Basterfield - Vocals, guitars, keys, Iphone
Taylor Charles - Drums
Caroline Spence - Vocals, guitars, keys, saw, ghunghru bells
Aaron St. Arnault - Vocals, Bass, Trumpet
Debut full-length album, 'Flirting with the Queen'
Canadian Release - September 2012
UK Release - May 2013
First single, 'Fueled by Consequence' - 2013 VIMA Song of the Year.
Spaceport Union EP, 'Lark' - released August 2011
Sonic Abuse UK: Spaceport Union – ‘Flirting With The Queen’ Album Review - Oct 2013
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It is easy to be cynical about music in the current age. Part of the problem lies with the parlous s...It is easy to be cynical about music in the current age. Part of the problem lies with the parlous state of the mainstream, but a far greater problem lies with a music buying public increasingly unwilling to give a chance to an unknown quantity. It is ironic because what we are now seeing is that in an age where everything is available by hook or by crook, the preponderance of material seems to actually be putting people off from experimenting too widely. However cynicism and elitism comes at a price, and that price is missing out on some truly mesmerising acts lurking in the depths of the underground. One such act is Spaceport Union, a progressive band with a serious groove and an encyclopaedic knowledge of bands past and present, whose wonderful album ‘flirting with the queen’ draws upon decades of magical music making to present a joyous, richly rewarding experience that is utterly irresistible.
The album opens subtly, ‘simple lack of motivation’ coming over like Pink Floyd covering Buffalo Springfield’s ‘for what it’s worth’ before suddenly exploding into a dizzyingly beautiful burst of gospel-powered organ and lush vocal harmonies that is part Spiritualized, part Steve Winwood. Adam Basterfield’s vocals are quietly confident, recalling Pye Hastings and the song is the perfect introduction to the weirdly wonderful world of Spaceport union. In contrast, ‘writing’s on the wall’ places Caroline Spence on lead vocals and takes Supertramp’s ‘Breakfast in America’ as its template, all funky keyboard and gleaming solos. It’s brilliantly produced by Michael jack who keeps things warm and funky, and the song flows beautifully through funk and soul territory whilst keeping its roots in the progressive realm with some stunning solos and extended instrumental breaks. ‘Minnow’ sees the band refusing to stand still, the music taking a turn for the darker, as a subtly threatening synth line underpins an unconventional melody that recalls nothing so much as ‘The Wall’ at its most ambient before slipping into a deliciously seductive mood that sits comfortably between Massive attack, Nina Simone and Miles Davis. It’s a testament to the band’s skill that it all flows so naturally that despite the stylistic shifts nothing feels forced or out of place, and it’s a pleasure to let the music simply lead you where it will. And lead you the music does, through jazz-infused piano and art-house insanity, the song building to a dizzying climax that will leave you lying shattered on the floor.
After so epic a workout, the band change tack again for ‘Yer battery’s dying’, a mesmerising song that sounds like a clash between Radiohead and QOTSA, applying the latter band’s sensual grooves to the former’s grungy, progressive template established on ‘OK Computer’. It’s a highlight of the album and undoubtedly a brilliant live moment in the band’s set too. Another highlight is the lush, melodic ‘Block’, a pop song in the vein of Porcupine tree that makes great use of subtle synth and warm acoustic guitar. ‘You’ opens with the rolling thunder of toms and a groovy bass before slipping into reverb-laden indie-guitar territory in the vein of the Arcade Fire, with a similarly addictive chorus. ‘Fuelled by consequence’ is drawn from the heart of sun-drenched California, the jangly guitars and Beach Boys-esque harmonies all hinting at a lots era of innocence and wonder.
Dispensing with the sunny pop music that fuels the central part of the album, ‘Veritas’ slithers into view on the back of rolling drums and lovelorn piano, the vocals all breathy sighs and moans as the music shifts imperceptibly into a sinister minor key. It’s initially hard to explain exactly why the song evokes feelings of dread, but there’s a tangible build-up of adrenalin as horror movie synths and distorted guitars make their appearance and the track cuts across the senses like a splash of cold water after the gorgeous warmth of the preceding tracks. The album closes with ‘for years’, a slight, acoustic lament that is part Radiohead, part Pink Floyd’s ‘breathe’ and part Patti Page’s ‘Old Cape Cod’. It’s the perfect conclusion to the album and one that guarantees you’ll want to return as soon as possible to the band’s rich sonic pastures.
On ‘flirting with the queen’, Spaceport union have drawn from a wide cross section of popular music past and present to deliver an album that is as rewardingly inventive as it is timeless. Subtlety is the key, and Spaceport union rarely rush to get anywhere, and each song is given ample room to breathe and grow with the result that the album as a whole flows perfectly from start to finish. Quite simply ‘flirting with the queen’ is a triumph that will win the hearts and minds of all who hear it and for progressive fans it is an absolute must.
Classic Rock Prog Magazine (UK) - August 2013 Issue
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Just some of the other records passing under the portcullis of Prog Towers recently ... Spaceport...Just some of the other records passing under the portcullis of Prog Towers recently ...
Spaceport Unions Flirting With The Queen (spaceportunion.com) is a charmingly bright, poppy prog work. Adam Basterfields Canadian band evoke Supertramp, David Byrne even Radiohead, and Caroline Spences falsetto brings rich colour to a highly enjoyable set.
Spaceport Union - 'Flirting with the Queen' (Groove Riot) - July 2013
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UberRock UK CD Reviews Written by Michael Anthony When opening track ‘Simple Lack of Motivat...UberRock UK
Written by Michael Anthony
When opening track ‘Simple Lack of Motivation’ kicks in, you could be forgiven for thinking you’re in for an hour of alluring country-influenced melodic rock. Adam Basterfield’s smooth vocal adds warmth to a track that has single written all over it. The Wallflowers? Crosby, Stills and Nash? You know the territory.
But don’t be deceived, because not the even the introduction of Caroline Spence’s lead vocal on ‘The Writing’s on the Wall’ and the shift to funky, laid back Steeley Dan type rhythms prepare you for what’s to come.
Checking in at a cool 14 minutes and eight seconds, ‘Minnow’ is a modern prog classic in the making. Ethereal and dreamy, edgy and experimental, and “recorded live off the floor,” its emotional weight is carried by Spence’s haunting vocal. “Do not go gentle into that dark night/Rage, rage against the dying of the light,” says the Dylan Thomas quote in the album credits. ‘Minnow’ is not always gentle and does not always rage, but it does induce a sense of melancholy and quiet torment throughout. It’s beautifully sad. It’s how things might turn out if Wilson and Åkerfeldt in Storm Corrosion mode ever collaborated with Kate Bush. But there’s still room for the guitar dominated final section to pick up the pace and really drive the track home.
A switch of singer for ‘Yer Battery’s Dyin’’ but the vibe is maintained. More vocal torment, and more impressive lead guitar work from Basterfield against Mike Ross’s threatening bass and Taylor Charles’ rocky steady beat. Insistent and hypnotic, the band build up a head of steam as ‘Yer Battery ...’ plays out its Hawkwind-esque space-rocking end game in frayed and chaotic style.
Together ‘Minnow’ and ‘Yer Battery’s Dyin’’ seem to me to be the album’s creative heart, off which the rest of the tracks are dangled like low-hanging fruit. ‘Block’ is a return to calm and has a gentle folky feel. ‘You’ and ‘Fueled By Consequences’ are pleasant and accessible, catchy for sure, but lightweight in relative terms. ‘Veritas’ takes us back to the serious stuff – more haunting, ethereal vocals, with voice used as instrument, Karda Estra style.
‘For Years’ is warm and friendly, drawing matters to a close much in the way ‘I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight’ closed out Dylan’s John Wesley Harding. It appears light and throwaway, but is in fact an essential counterpoint to its more weighty predecessor, bringing us full circle and restoring some balance.
The word ‘eclectic’ is overused, but is fully merited here, reflecting idiosyncratic instrument choice, and some quite astonishing and varied sounds and compositions. Rarely has an album surprised me so much as it has developed.
If you are intrigued by any of the foregoing, then ‘Flirting with the Queen’ is highly recommended (you know what I mean). It’s a fine, fine debut album from a talented and creative outfit.
Spaceport Union Makes a Solid Landing - March 2013
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Spaceport Union - Flirting With the Queen (2012) Produced by Michael Jack Reviewed by Yasuko Thanh...Spaceport Union - Flirting With the Queen (2012)
Produced by Michael Jack
Reviewed by Yasuko Thanh
Seventies art rock, 80s synthesisers, and a neo-psychedelic–sometimes even world-beat!–groove. Spaceport Union delivers variety in its most artful, hybridized form. Here’s something truly eclectic.
Caroline Spence, from Victoria, BC, sings music with an experimental and innovative edge. She has this angels-in-the-church-rafters voice, which goes a long way to explaining why she’s nominated for the Vancouver Island Music Award Vocalist of the Year.
The stacked harmonies of “Fueled by Consequence,” a VIMA nominated Song of the Year, are reminiscent Paul McCartney and Wings. Soulful. Spence’s ethereal delivery in “Minnow” haunts us with a fourteen-minute tale.
Hypnotic songs vie for space with effects-laden tracks. Jazzy beats with funk echoes (think 70s Parliament or Bootsy Collins) take me on a journey through time. Fans of extended rock solos so popular in the 70s will appreciate “Yer Battery’s Dyin.” Lovers of Neil Young or Pink Floyd might find themselves right at home with songs like “Block.”
Many of the numbers appear vastly divergent on the surface–but they aren’t if you listen harder to hear the common thread. An underlying sensibility holds them together. Imagine a bicycle wheel: every spoke can be different, but a strong core holds them together at the centre.
An album such as this could have become disconnected by its scope. But not in the hands of these musicians. As I listened, I found myself drawn to the music’s leitmotif the way something small gets sucked into a whirlpool. I found myself circling inward.
Songs such as “You” employ the technique of repetition–in the way that streams are repetitive, their ripples. Or mantras. Sunsets. Raindrops. You get my drift.
Too much talent can be a curse. These musicians definitely have talent to burn. But you don’t catch them gratuitously flaunting their gifts. This is honest creativity.
I get the sense they’re having fun–but never at our expense. They don’t tout their talent.
When I gave myself up to the album, it carried me away.
Live Performance Review - Spaceport Union @ Rehab - Feb 2013
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Spaceport Union is aptly named because they are undoubtedly not from this planet. From the first not...Spaceport Union is aptly named because they are undoubtedly not from this planet. From the first note you can feel about to take off into the cosmos and you won’t even need the proper training. While being rooted in progressive rock from the 60's/70's, you can sense there is a touch of modern ingenuity. Sure, there is Pink Floyd but in one song in particular, there is an injection of Queens of the Stone Age. A collection of old prog and new alternative vibes.
There is no surprise that this band has been nominated for two Vancouver Island Music Awards. 'Fueled By Consequence' is a well layered rocker that transfers between two simple chords, yet its easy going attitude is what makes the track so great. You get the sense that you may just float as Adam Basterfield serenades the audience with a presence of sheer brilliance. They don’t have a theremin, but there is an app for that! You heard right. A theremin mobile app is in full effect with Spaceport Union. Awe inspiring, perhaps, the word for every performance. Basterfield displays a knowledge of techniques well beyond the human comprehension changing it up between guitar and keyboard. He conquers both. In the essence of ying and yang, nominated VIMA vocalist of the year, Caroline Spence is the apex of energy. Donned with always a smile on her face, you will not miss her natural charisma as she coats each song with a layer of angelic haze. It could be one of the cleanest vocals in Victoria.
Each band needs someone to keep things in control and the rhythm section is nothing to scoff at. Taylor Charles makes each hit count without being over the top. Like the wizard behind the curtain his technique aids the music transferring from sticks to mallets to create an epic thunder much like a film score highlighting the emotions you should be feeling. Aaron St. Arnault, Spaceport Union’s newest addition, ravishes with some tasty basslines. He tends to keep firmly rooted to his spot on stage, which may not be a bad thing. The rhythm section is not here to show off. Basterfield rips through solos with such ease there is no wonder why he isn’t yawning…or sweating, for that matter! Him and Spence command attention from their viewers with such a tight confidence. Do not be surprised if some songs reach the twenty minute mark since this group like to see where each moment takes them. So, come along for the ride. Strap yourself in and experience what it really feels to be in zero gravity.
2013 Vancouver Island Music Awards Winners
Song of the Year - Spaceport Union - Fueled by Consequence April 29, 2013
2013 Vancouver Island Music Award Nominees
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Island Song of the Year Nominee - Spaceport Union- Fueled by Consequence and Island Vocalist of the ...Island Song of the Year Nominee - Spaceport Union- Fueled by Consequence and Island Vocalist of the Year - Caroline Spence
Flirting with the Queen - Album Review
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A cordial, easy-feeling guitar bit opens up Spaceport Union’s Flirting with the Queen album, followe...A cordial, easy-feeling guitar bit opens up Spaceport Union’s Flirting with the Queen album, followed by similar vocals and a warm, pop-friendly melody. Compared to some of Pink Floyd‘s output, My Morning Jacket, and Metric, the band sounds fresh and musically pragmatic on this release. “Simple Lack of Motivation” is the opening cut, which could easily be a radio single. Their deep, earnest sound sets the tone for the album, and is an apropos inaugural tune to kick things off.
Vocalist Caroline Spence is the singer on the next track, “The Writing’s on the Wall”, fuelled by some excellent synth lines and some effective, progressive guitar work amidst the mellow rock foundation. There’s a sort of 70’s feel to the track, but the enlightened voice of Spence lifts the track a little higher than one would expect. More exquisite guitar work plays out the tune, giving it an added edge. “Minnow” creeps in with an eerie, ambient intro, and then plays out like an interlude from a Pink Floyd album. The song is draped by some haunting vocal wails from Spence, soft and ghost-like in texture, carried along by glimmering keyboard layering and an ethereal, airy aura a la Brian Eno. Hypnotic and totally entrancing, the track takes on a very non-commercial persona, but still seems to work. At over 14 minutes, the song morphs and transforms into a bunch of different tones and musical pastiches, all the while keeping its mysterious presence intact.
“Yer Battery’s Dyin’” begins with an appealing guitar twang and familiar percussive beat. This one has a good, hard-rock skeleton, sounding a bit like Radiohead as it unfolds. Again, another dimension of the group’s repertoire is shown, as this track is nothing like the previous ones. Solid and bare, this is an excellent little piece of guitar and vocal work. “Block” is a laid back tune fronted by light guitar strumming and a cloud-like musical texture, again reminiscent of a softer Floyd song sung by David Gilmour, while “You” begins with contagious drum parts suddenly softened by Spence’s vocals once again. This one shines a bit like Kate Bush at times, but the galloping back beat in opposition with the charming melody gives it charisma and distinction.
“Fueled By Consequence” is another track that sounds ready for airplay, mirroring the same style as Snow Patrol or The Fray, to reference something current. Pop friendly and melodically alluring, this is one of the album’s stand out tracks. “Veritas” is sprinkled with piano and is another light, ambient effort, and closer “For Years” is beautifully gentle and tender as it plays out, utilizing both Spence and Adam Basterfield as vocalists.
Flirting with the Queen offers quite a bit in musical textures and genres. Ambient, progressive, commercial, and poppy, each song carries its own musical flavor, and they all taste delightful. The album exudes professionalism, as the production, structure, and makeup of each song is top notch. Spaceport Union sound as if they’ve been doing this for a long time, and the overall feel of the album as a whole comes off as complete and substantial. There’s truly some great music here, and hopefully they reap the rewards they deserve.
Rating: 4 Stars (out of 5)
On Spaceport Union's New Album, 'Flirting with the Queen'...
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"The new album 'Flirting With The Queen' by Spaceport Union is the most innovative and creative musi..."The new album 'Flirting With The Queen' by Spaceport Union is the most innovative and creative musical release in Canada I have ever heard. I am confident that we will see this album on the 2013 Polaris Award short list."
Spaceport Union : ROCK for MS
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Spaceport Union had a great 5th July event at Solstice Cafe. ROCK for MS fundraiser was for a great ...Spaceport Union had a great 5th July event at Solstice Cafe. ROCK for MS fundraiser was for a great cause and the progressive art rock band Spaceport Union put on a heck of a show. A tremendous varied amount of sound from the lead guitarist wielding a mere American series stratocoaster and a few pedals. I highly recommend you check out their next show! They will be starting a tour shortly!
Episode 4 - Exclusive with Spaceport Union
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"I’ve been excited about this interview with Spaceport Union. Last time I was this high was when Nan..."I’ve been excited about this interview with Spaceport Union. Last time I was this high was when Nancy Wilson of Heart gave me a french kiss back stage at the old Memorial Arena in 1978..."
"I was given the great honor to interview the members of Spaceport Union and treated to that rare glimpse inside a creative band destined for greatness..."
"With bands like Metric, City and Colour, Stars, Mother Mother, Joel Plaskett, The New Pornographers, it seems that in Canada, a certain ‘niche’ group of artists continue to pursue the musical dream and while doing so are producing some of the best songs we have ever heard. Spaceport Union is one of those bands..."
Nominees gear up for Island music awards (March 2012)
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"(Spaceport Union) had an upbeat, positive energy, entrancing the audience with otherworldly vibes....."(Spaceport Union) had an upbeat, positive energy, entrancing the audience with otherworldly vibes..."
Nominees for the 2012 Vancouver Island Music Awards
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Artists with Multiple Nominations....Spaceport Union - 2 Nominations "Male Songwriter of the Year' a...Artists with Multiple Nominations....Spaceport Union - 2 Nominations "Male Songwriter of the Year' and 'Female Vocalist of the Year'.
Spaceport Touchdown in Kamloops
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"...a joining of talent that’s been described as Pink Floydesque with an overcoat of Kate Bush and e..."...a joining of talent that’s been described as Pink Floydesque with an overcoat of Kate Bush and early Led Zeppelin.... Spence has often been touted as one of Canada’s top emerging artists over the past few years..."
"Spence’s evocative and powerfully resonant vocals meld seamlessly with the solid grooves laid down by Charles and Ross...."
"The band is known for its contemplative, thought-provoking lyrics and intricate music."
Transcendent Vibes Touch Down
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"With a band name like Spaceport Union, it’s not hard to imagine cosmic images of being transported ..."With a band name like Spaceport Union, it’s not hard to imagine cosmic images of being transported to star-studded astral dimensions..."
"...like Pink Floyd, a bit like Kate Bush, a little bit like Metric and very much like Radiohead..."
“We have an organic feel. We’re really open to being creative and letting it flow....we're really focused on live performance..."
Vancouver Island Music Award Nominees - 2011
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"The Nominees for the 2011 Vancouver Island Music Awards announced today.... Best Live Act... Spacep..."The Nominees for the 2011 Vancouver Island Music Awards announced today.... Best Live Act... Spaceport Union..."
Fueled by Consequence
Yer Battery's Dyin'
Writing's On the Wall
Simple Lack of Motivation
My Favourite Nightmare
This Town Will Kill You
The Drone (Metropolis)
In the Heat of the Sun
Don't Answer Me
|Dec 14, 2013 Saturday||9:00 PM||The Cambie Esq with The Flu and Carasene||Victoria, BC, CA|
|Dec 31, 2013 Tuesday||9:00 PM||Currently working on our next album!||Victoria, BC, CA|
|Jan 25, 2014 Saturday||9:00 PM||Psychedelic Rock Night (Details TBA)||Victoria, BC, CA|
|Feb 8, 2014 Saturday||8:00 PM||Prog Night Revue - An Evening with Spaceport Union and Friends||Victoria, BC, CA|
|Mar 8, 2014 Saturday||9:00 PM||Prog Night Revue - An Evening with Spaceport Union and Friends||Victoria, CA|
|Mar 15, 2014 Saturday||9:00 PM||Spaceport Union - On Tour Spring/Summer 2014||BC, CA|
|Mar 20, 2014 Thursday||9:00 PM||Island Mini-Tour with No Island||Duncan, BC, CA|
|Mar 21, 2014 Friday||9:00 PM||Island Mini-Tour with No Island||Nanaimo, BC, CA|
|Mar 22, 2014 Saturday||9:00 PM||Island Mini-Tour with No Island||Victoria, BC, CA|
|Mar 23, 2014 Sunday||9:00 PM||Island Mini-Tour with No Island||Courtenay, BC, CA|
|Apr 19, 2014 Saturday||9:00 PM||Prog Night Revue - An Evening with Spaceport Union and Friends||Victoria, BC, CA|
|May 11, 2014 Sunday||9:00 PM||Recording Album 2 - Dates TBA||Toronto, ON, CA|
|Jun 1, 2014 Sunday||9:00 PM||Canadian Tour 2014||Victoria, BC, CA|
|Sep 7, 2014 Sunday||9:00 PM||European Tour 2014||Victoria, BC, CA|