Club Scene: Chillman sings of uphill climb and daily grind

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If a chill Saturday is what you’re after, take a trip to the London Music Club’s Big Hall. That’s where you can catch a set from singer-songwriter Andy Chillman, who’s enjoying the release of his new album Up Hill Both Ways.

The collection includes songs old and new — some penned as many as 20 years ago — and they speak to the struggles of the daily grind and working-class life. While this is Chillman’s first solo album, he’s a seasoned recording artist, having been a part of 14 records in all.

The London-based artist knows a little bit about small town life, as he grew up in Thessalon (a town of around 1,200) and was born in Sault Ste. Marie.

And he knows about the power of community, having put together a Kickstarter campaign to help bring this new album to life.

Up Hill Both Ways includes 13 of Chillman’s favourite songs written over the past couple of decades. He explains, “the first step of this project was going through my songs and playing them to see how I felt, or if they came alive like I remembered.”

From there, the artist started to test-drive his songs for a live audience to make sure they resonated before laying down the final tracks. Now that’s quality control.

To get a preview of his new collection, visit You can press play on the track Reincarnation, a stripped-down soulful sound (on which Chillman sings “you’re afraid of the day it all comes crashing down / it all goes away”) and the rollicking folk track The Explanation Is Unfaithful.

Chillman performs at the London Music Club Saturday. Doors open at 7:30 p.m., the show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $10.

. . .

To make your Monday more magical, don’t miss Austra when they take the London Music Hall stage.

The Toronto synth-pop band will be playing songs off their 2017 release Future Politics, an album written before the U.S. election results. However, as frontperson Katie Stelmani told the CBC, “it’s in some ways become more relevant than I could’ve ever imagined.”

She speaks to the collective sadness of a generation, and how many are in search of something to do to create change. The result is an album that pulls in tough issues — like depression and a harsh political climate — and tries to provide solutions by adding some optimism to the mix. On Future Politics, the band addresses the need to imagine a future that’s “radically different from anything we’ve known before.”

If you haven’t given the album a spin yet, start with the single Utopia, the title track Future Politics, and the gripping I Love You More Than You Love Yourself.

Better yet, hear them live when Austra plays the London Music Hall Monday. The music starts around 7 p.m. with a set from Ela Minus. Tickets to this all-ages show are $15.

. . .

Start planning for a long lunch every Friday. That way, you can make time for the free 12:30 p.m. Concert Series at Western University’s von Kuster Hall. The new season kicks off Sept. 22 and runs almost weekly until the end of March. It’s a chance to hear from up-and-coming students, internationally renowned faculty, and special guest artists from around the world.

You can get your first culture fix on the Sept. 22 when associate professor John Hess plays piano alongside mezzo-soprano Krisztina Szabó, while Nicole Lizee creates a video mash-up of some of her favourite films.

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