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.
Spaceport Union has been aiming their trajectory toward the stars with multiple successes already under their belt. They first took their dynamic live show across BC and Alberta in the summer of 2010, completing a successful and well-received first tour. Soon after their return, they started getting invitations to play a number of festivals and showcases, including New Music West and VIMBC, as well as being chosen to be the host band for the Victoria BC Days festival 'Garage Band Live' event. Their passionate live performance garnered them a nomination for 'Best Live Act' at the 2011 VIMA Awards. The band were nominated for two 2012 VIMA Awards, for 'Male Songwriter of the Year' and 'Female Vocalist of the Year' and two 2013 VIMA Awards, for 'Song of the Year' and 'Vocalist of the Year'. 'Flirting with the Queen' was named a top 20 listener favourite album of 2012 on UK's 'Prog Mill'.
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. “The new album really captures the creative expansiveness and the unique sound of the band,” says band leader, Adam 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.” The band are currently developing a theatrical live show in support of 'Flirting with the Queen'. Planning is underway to promote and tour in support of the album throughout the summer and fall 2013.
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)
"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 debut album, 'Flirting with the Queen' - Canadian Release - September 2012
Album debuted on 'Strangely Strange and the Ancient One', a prog radio show out of Scotland, as well as on 'The Prog Mill', a prog radio show out of England, and has been starting to see interest from other stations in the UK. The first single, 'Fueled by Consequence' has been played on CBC and college radio across Canada, and is rapidly gaining internet airplay around the world.
Spaceport Union EP, 'Lark' - released August 2011
Spaceport Union Makes a Solid Landing
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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.
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)
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 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
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'
Wurly Vol 69 (The Writing's On the Wall)
Don't Answer Me (cover)
The Model (cover)
Simple Lack of Motivation
My Favourite Nightmare
This Town Will Kill You (Sail On)
The Drone (Metropolis)
In the Heat of the Sun
|May 30, 2013 Thursday||TBA||2013 Summer Tour Dates to be Announced Soon||CA|
|May 30, 2013 Thursday||8:00 PM||Lucky Bar w. The New Souls, with visuals by Photon||Victoria, BC, CA|
|Jun 21, 2013 Friday||TBA||TBA||Victoria, BC, CA|
|Jun 22, 2013 Saturday||9:00 PM||Copper Owl w. Automatic Planet and Canvas||Victoria, BC, CA|
|Aug 17, 2013 Saturday||9:00 PM||Pogue Mahone||Kamloops, BC, CA|
|Aug 18, 2013 Sunday||9:00 PM||VooDoos||Penticton, BC, CA|
|Aug 31, 2013 Saturday||TBA||Labour Day Weekend Festival (Details TBA)||Victoria, BC, CA|