HEY OCEAN! with CURRENT SWELL and THE ZOLAS at the Vogue Theatre


Hosted by The Shore 104fm


THE ZOLAS SET LIST (8.15-8.45)

1. You’re Too Cool – Zach Gray has one of the most versatile voices I’ve ever heard, which lends much to the variety of their music. Each song consists of several different parts, keeping their indie pop-rock as intriguing as they can.

Zach: “This is our first time playing in this city. You can say ‘Welcome,’ but we live here. I’m tuning like crazy here. It’s going to sound like I’m pandering, but you guys are way too hot for this guitar.”

2. The Great Collapse – Tight ending! Quiet crowd between songs, very respectful.

3. Marlaina Kamikaze – Zach: “The obsession with someone you’ve broken up with, and you see them fucking everywhere.” – Too much giggling when the music breaks, but it’s good to know we have a bubbly all-ages crowd. This song reminds me of Mia Moth.

4. Marionettes – “The musk of arrogance” – epic piano crescendo (one of my favourites)

5. These Days – My Shaky Memory – “This song is about missing someone” – great harmony! Zach ditches his guitar, minimal instrumentation save the piano. Zach shuffles Tom down the bench to join him at the piano microphone. Tom pats his bum as he returns to his mic for the next song.

6. Snow – “We’ve never played this in front of you before. It’s not really a Christmas song, it’s just about the anticipation of snow. I was born on December 27th, so snow is associated with everything good to me. All the lyrics I write are about missing someone. It’s not really that cute, when you get older you look for optimism in someone. This is the first December, it’s snowing and we’re not together.” The end turns us into one big choir as we sing along while Tom goes nuts on the piano. Jazz hands! “It’s so good. That was very successful, you guys have very good tuning.” People give him a flower, then a big black cock which he returns to the audience.

“By the way, we’re The Zolas.”

7. Cab Driver – “This song is written about a party we went to with Hey Ocean! A little cameo there.” Tom’s piano flourish finale is true to Zach’s description of him as a true virtuoso.

Zach has great stage presence and humour, fluid and funny delivery and discussion.


1. Current Swell: country meets reggae. I’m not sure how I feel about that. Drum solo though. When do those happen these days?

2. New song “Honest Men” Harmonica is replaced by an acoustic guitar, and tambourine replaced by a trombone

3. Tambourine returns for an upbeat number. Current Swell sounds good, and I can’t help but think there is something refreshingly revolutionary about their music, but it’s not my cup of tea. Four part male country harmony, you’re doing it right.

4. Heavily reggae song.

5. “Cursed” (crowd cheers) Heavily electric guitar, lead switches to slide guitar

6. New song “I Want a Bird”

I slept for the rest of their set.

HEY OCEAN! (10.25-

1. “This is a little song on my African thumb piano” If I were a ship that sailed to shore, to see my true love the one that adore… Music is love in search of the words. I don’t think I’ve seen anyone as cute as the lead singer of Hey Ocean! And I always forget how great her voice is.

2. Tambourine! Hey hey hey.

3. Too Soon – She takes up an acoustic guitar

4. Uh Oh – She’s like a pop-rock version of Basia Bulat (I’m sorry Ms Jackson, I am for real!)

5. Guitar retuned, picks up her flute and the guitarist sings the lyrics with her backing vocals, but I can’t stop giggling about the jazz flute scene from Anchorman

Hoping to make a record in the next couple of months, so apart from the Olympic shows, they won’t be playing until the new record comes out

6. New song: (finger snapping, jazzy song) Who knew jazz could be so cute?

7. Rap with backing beatboxing! Crazy good. Should’ve seen it coming. Flute solo finale, people go crazy when she brings out her flute.

8. Brand spanking new song called New Dance, “inspired by the kind of love you have in elementary school, and you just want to make up a dance about it. This is for Kevin, my grade three crush. I certainly made up some dances about him.” Xylophone. Crowd claps and dances, how can you not? When Hey Ocean! Sets out to get you dancing, they infect you whether you want them to or not :) And now the drummer is shirtless. Not cool!

9. Alright (guitarist on vocals, she on backing vocals and woodblock, then a flute solo) Ashley looks like Hayden Panettiere (Harry Belafonte for her father)

10. Friday night, this song’s about a party on a Friday in a place that wasn’t terribly stable, so this song is called Terribly Stable. It was a crazy night. Flute solo and xylophone finale, of course.

11. “How do you guys feel about the 90s? We grew up in the 90s. Were many of you born in the 90s?” “This song was born in 1994.” Love me love me say that you love me (can’t stop hearing Andy Bernard of The Office). Audience participation to the max. Their three part harmony is flawless, followed by a jungle drum solo. The band clears the stage, what has gotten into this show? It almost ends with him leaping off of his stool, running around the kit, then leaping back on for a rolling, epic finish. The guys return with drums, much like The Stills, while she raps with a cowbell (but I really want to hear your bird call). More cowbell!

12. Brand spanking new: I Am a Heart sung by the guitarist (played in Victoria with Jon and Roy, got to play it totally stripped down but they’ll try to rock it out). Tambourine! And more harmony, of course. Flute solo of course. I love the pulse of this song.

13. “We’re going to slow things down a whole lot right now. We have a close friend whose Mom passed away in the fall, and we’d like to dedicate this song to him.” “We love you, Chris.” (just guitar, a tiny bit of xylophone, and their two voices in beautiful harmony) Boy, never settle down, don’t stay in the same place for too long. Keep moving on

13. Bringing Tom from The Zolas on stage for Last Mistake, they can’t remember the last time they played it live and they wanted to play it in this incredible venue. I love this one, it’s amazing. A male and female dancer, Joel and Lisa, such a nice touch to have interpretative dance for this love story song

14. “This is a song about missing the west coast and the Pacific ocean.” Bass player finally gets to sing a song!

15. Fish requires audience participation

16. Bassist dances with the drummer as they have nothing to do during the introduction. This is a nice song, a slow number.

17. (great song, another favourite of mine) Big flute finish


Dan Mangan comes out to play a stripped down version, like at VFMF

1. I can see my ghost – bassist on her acoustic guitar, the other two singing, drummer playing the snare drum with his hands, and Dan singing with them!

2. Current Swell and The Zolas join, along with Tyler Bancroft of Said The Whale – My Friends – bassist sings and plays acoustic, crowd needs to whistle

1. You’re Too Cool
2. The Great Collapse
3. Marlaina Kamikaze
4. Marionettes
5. These Days
6. Snow
7. Cab Driver

2. Honest Men
5. Cursed
6. I Want a Bird

3. Too Soon
4. Uh Oh
8. New Dance
9. Alright
10. Terribly Stable
12. I Am a Heart
15. Fish

2. My Friends

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