Lunch At Allen's Offers An Exceptional Musical Menu
Put four powerhouse talents together to make music and there’s no guarantee the whole will be equal to the sum of the parts. That’s certainly not the case with LUNCH AT ALLEN’s, a unique Canadian collective featuring Murray McLauchlan, Marc Jordan, Cindy Church and Ian Thomas that always measures up to collective talent on stage.
LUNCH AT ALLEN’S came together over 18 years ago, when several members of the band literally met regularly at Allen’s, a popular Toronto diner. As individuals, they have written for or sung on over 25,000,000 recordings, penning hits for the likes of Josh Groban, Chicago, Bonnie Raitt, America, Santana, Cher, and Rod Stewart – not to mention their own hits. Nearly two decades later, this formidable foursome continues to deliver intimate and interactive shows that combine humour, anecdotal stories, and of course, a wide spectrum of music to audiences of all ages.
Jordan, who’s been a hit solo artist (“Marina Del Ray,” “Survival”) and written hits for Stewart (“Rhythm of My Heart), took time to chat with GoBe Weekly about their upcoming show in St. Catharines.
GoBe: Besides sleeping, what did you spend the most amount of time doing during the pandemic?
MARC: (laughs) Well, I was working on a record actually, a record with my wife. We were together anyway, so we did that. I started a record of my own with a lot of other people involved too. I like to stay busy.
GoBe: Did you find the downtime during COVID to be inspiring given you had more time to focus rather that worry about tours and things?
MARC: No, I didn’t. Surprisingly I missed being around people a lot more than I thought I would. Just being around people gives you ideas for songs and situations. I missed that. I missed going to see films, just doing the normal things that we do. It’s still not over, so you still have to watch it.
GoBe: What are you most looking forward to being back on stage?
MARC: Just the interaction of an audience. It’s nice when you feel that you’re giving the audience something. You certainly get back many fold what you give out. It’s just a wonderful feeling because you get a great vibe from the people. I just love performing.
GoBe: As a fan of live performance I enjoy the intimate and interactive nature of LUNCH AT ALLEN’s. Is the two-way communication between the band and the audience part of the enjoyment for you?
MARC: No doubt about it. Ian is very good at communicating. He’s extremely funny. It’s a wonderful thing. It is interactive. You get a feeling for the people and from the people.
GoBe: You’re booked for 18 shows in 21 nights. You may want to talk to your promoter.
MARC: It’s not so bad, it’s just the driving. There are a couple long hauls in there. I mostly sleep when we drive anyway.
GoBe: How do you get prepared or stay prepared for that kind of schedule, or is the fact you’ve been recording already got you feeling fresh and ready?
MARC: I feel pretty good. Actually, the band is coming over in a few minutes and we’re going to start rehearsing. That’s how we prepare. We learn a couple new songs; we practice for a few days. It comes back pretty quick.
GoBe: It’s been about 18 years since this collective came together. How do you explain the longevity and why you still continue to do it.
MARC: The thing is it wouldn’t go away. It sort of had a life of it’s own and we got used to doing it. That’s sort of what happened. We were only supposed to do two shows at the beginning. The promoter said how about doing four more and it never ended.
GoBe: You’ve obviously known bandmates a long time. Have there been revelations and discoveries that have come out of the conversations between songs?
MARC: I didn’t know Cindy before the band. She’s been a revelation. She’s gotten really confident through the years. She was mostly a back up singer she’s come into her own. Her writing is good. Murray, I’ve always appreciated him. Now that I know him like a brother it’s a wonderful thing. Ian same thing.
GoBe: You’ve written so many songs covered by other people. Is there someone out there you’d still like to write for?
MARC: Gosh, that’s a good question. I never really write for people. I pretend I write for myself every song. That’s the way I make them truthful because I know what I’m thinking and I know what I feel. That’s why people have covered my songs, Rod Stewart in particular. I’ve written for so many people and I’ve never been disappointed. People always do a great job
GoBe: When you take an objective look at popular music, the music that’s winning awards and topping the charts, what are your thoughts as a songwriter, a musician, and as a music fan. Is the current bar high or low?
MARC: I think where modern music has failed is that it’s apolitical pretty much. Music is a great way to comment on culture. And I feel there’s a lack of that now. Not that music is bad or that artists aren’t happening, they are. They’re brilliant. I’d just love to hear t hem comment a little more on what’s happening in the world. When four kids were shot at Kent State, Neil Young had a #1 record the next week. That was a powerful statement.
GoBe: Would you like to share an invite to the people of St. Catharines?
MARC: I went to university there. I have a love for St. Catharines. Anytime I can be in St. Catharines I’m happy because it reminds me of my youth.
Reserved seating tickets for Lunch At Allen’s are $65.00 (tax & facility fees included, additional surcharges may apply), and are available from the box offices listed below. Showtime is 7:30pm. For more info, pics & music clips, visit www.shantero.com or www.lunchatallens.ca
June 9 - Kingston Grand Theatre - Box Office: 613 530-2050
June 10 - Orillia Opera House - Box Office: 705 326-8011
June 11 & 12 - London Aeolian Hall - Box Office: 519 672-7950
June 13 - Sarnia Imperial Theatre - Box Office: 519 344-7469
June 15 - Brantford Sanderson Centre - Box Office: 519 758-8090
June 16 - Huntsville Algonquin Theatre - Box Office: 705 789-4975
June 17 - Lindsay Academy Theatre - Box Office: 705 324-9111
June 18 - Oshawa Regent Theatre - Box Office: 905 721-3399 Ext. 2
June 20- Meaford Hall Arts &Cultural Centre - Box Office 519 538-0463
June 21 - Owen Sound Roxy Theatre - Box Office: 519 371-2833
June 23 - Newmarket NewRoads Centre for the Performing Arts - Box Office: 905 953-5122 or --5313
June 24 - Peterborough Showplace Performance Centre - Box Office: 705 742-7469
June 25 - Belleville Empire Theatre - Box Office: 613-969-0099
June 26 - Ottawa Meridian Theatres @ Centrepointe - Box Office: 613 580-2700
June 28 - St. Catharines Partridge Hall, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre - Box Office: 905 688-0722
June 29 - Burlington Performing Arts Centre - Box Office: 905 681-6000
June 30 - Guelph River Run Centre - Main Stage - Box Office: 519 763-3000
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