Skip to content
Sponsored Content

David P. Smith brings apes to town

Eclectic accordion rocker deconstructs blues and roots
GOING BANANAS: Victoria-based twisted accordion player David P. Smith brings his Ape Shit Army and an eclectic mix of blues, punk and roots music to Base Camp Saturday night.

For the past year non-profit society The Music Revolution has brought challenging musical acts to Powell River as part of its mandate to engage the local music scene. Victoria songwriter and accordion player David P. Smith could be the society’s oddest booking to date, playing a style of music that is very difficult to describe, even for the artist himself.

“I’m a writer who plays music. My musical influences are rooted in blues and roots music, but it’s about deconstructing and reconstructing those styles, and that describes what we do musically. And, lyrically, yeah… I’m not that great at describing our music either,” laughs Smith.

Smith didn’t begin playing in bands until he was in his 30s when a friend gave him an accordion that he was messing around on. Then, a few years ago, he heard an American group called The Holy Modal Rounders and was inspired to start writing his own music.

“They are a couple of super psyched-out hippy guys who got interested in traditional folk music and they just put a real odd spin on it,” says Smith. “I was also listening to a lot of country, and I just started playing myself. I didn’t know how to compose music or anything, but on an accordion it’s really easy.”

The result was music that was entirely Smith’s own, a product of a do-it-yourself ethic rooted in the punk rock scene.

“It is different and it is a little unpredictable,” says Smith. “It’s interesting and cerebrally stimulating, and it’s emotional.”

On this particular mini-tour of Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast, Smith is bringing his backing band, bearing the oddball name the Ape Shit Army. Featuring guitarist Dan Weisenberger, bassist Jody Johnson and drummer Rad Juli, Smith says the band wasn’t properly named to begin with and ran through a string of monikers, including the Intoxicated Rats, Dad Juice and Man Smell.

“One of the songs has the words ‘ape-shit army’ in it and they all yell it out, so my wife suggested we use that,” explains Smith. “Nothing else surfaced, so we went with Ape Shit Army and then I found a whole trove of Planet of the Apes stuff online that I never knew existed. There’s a lot of stuff on the internet!”

David P. Smith and the Ape Shit Army
When: 9 pm, Saturday, February 20
Where: Base Camp (4548 Marine Avenue)
Price: $10

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks