By Keith Sharp
Lawrence Gowan is ecstatic about the prospect of leaving his Toronto residence to motor down the 401 to perform a live stream concert – Thursday, October 29th, 2020 8 pm from Mark Rashotte’s Belleville Empire Theatre.
“I’ve got a big show to perform and it’s not even at my house!” Gowan cracked from his lakeside abode. “I’ve done so many gigs this year where I’ve gone downstairs to my endemic tv studio and done live feeds from there. So now it’s let the show rip, let’s drive down the road and play in a real theatre again, it’s going to be great.”
Gowan is set to perform the show with just percussion support from his son Dylan (who doubles as the drummer for The Birds Of Bellwood) where he will inject some new material into his hits-laden setlist including a nod to John Lennon with his version of “Tomorrow Never Knows”.
“The people at the Hard Rock Café in London staged a viral `Global John Lennon Party’ in October with a lot of big names including artists from 10CC and Dire Straits and they asked me as the token Canadian to submit a contribution,” Gowan noted. “So I chose “Tomorrow Never Knows” and it came across so well, I’ve decided to include it in tomorrow’s set”
With the time off from touring with both Styx and his own dates due to the CO-VID 19 pandemic, Gowan has accumulated enough material for a new solo album but says he might rather release individual singles than a full album. “If I released a new album now, I need six months of touring to promote a new release and Styx are also looking at recording an album in the new year so we’d have to try to promote that. So there’s a lot of these decisions still up in the air.”
Gowan confirmed that Styx plans their touring itineraries at least a year in advance so their whole 2020 touring has been put on hold and rescheduled for next year. “You have to remember that Styx is a big, multi-million-dollar company, they have been rated one of the top 50 touring bands for the past 16 – 17 years. So when we cancel it affects, the bus companies, the lighting and sound companies, the people who work at the venues, the trucking company. And then there’s our own crew, their whole lives have been built around us for like a decade now, and it just came to a screeching halt.”
“But in a strange year, it underlines how people are missing live music when for all the people we have offered to refund tickets for shows which had been booked, only 5% so far have asked for a refund,” Gowan continued. “The majority have said, `No, no, I want to keep my tickets and go to the show whenever it’s rescheduled’. Which could be in 2021 or 2022, our schedules have been changed so many times, it’s like; whenever!”
But what is certain is that Gowan and Son will be on stage in Belleville tonight. Just click on https://theempiretheatre.com/live/gowan-live–from-the-empire-theatre/. “It’s a free event but if you want to make a contribution or sign over your house,” Gowan cracked. “Moving forward, I am so snowed under with projects, I’m just looking forward to getting back to work.”