News / Halifax

Joel Plaskett 'excited to be rockin' with the boys' on Georges Island

The Joel Plaskett Emergency plays Georges Island this Saturday with fellow Nova Scotians Port Cities as part of this year's Tall Ships festival.

Joel Plaskett outside the New Scotland Emporium in Dartmouth before it opened in 2015.

Jeff Harper / Metro Order this photo

Joel Plaskett outside the New Scotland Emporium in Dartmouth before it opened in 2015.

You won’t be able to take the usual Dartmouth ferry to the gig, but it’s a show that island girls and harbour boys alike won’t want to miss.

Joel Plaskett Emergency is playing Georges Island this Saturday, with fellow Nova Scotians Port Cities kicking off the day, as part of the Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta in Halifax this weekend.

“I like the fact that there’s still new places to play here in town,” Plaskett said in an interview.

After more than two decades as a mainstay on the scene in Halifax and Dartmouth, new places for a Plaskett show are certainly in short supply.

Joel Plaskett in his studio, New Scotland Yard, in 2015. (Jeff Harper/Metro)

Jeff Harper/Metro

Joel Plaskett in his studio, New Scotland Yard, in 2015. (Jeff Harper/Metro)

He’s even played on the harbour before.

“I’ve played on the ferry,” Plaskett said. Or maybe it was another boat. Either way, it was with his old band Thursh Hermit in the 90s, and it was "on the harbour, moving."

But like many Haligonians, Plaskett said he's never even been to Georges Island, admitting, “I’m not much of a tourist in my own town.”

After three and a half weeks on tour, Plaskett might feel a bit like a tourist.

He just finished zigzagging the country on what he jokingly refers to as his “Star of David Tour” – “it felt like we were drawing a star on the map of Canada.” He played in Ontario, Nunavut, Quebec, and northern B.C. before finding a few days with his family in Vancouver.

On that tour, he went back and forth from playing folk with his father, Bill, in support of their album together, Solidarity, and playing rock n’ roll with the Emergency.

“I’ve been kind of ping-ponging back and forth between the two worlds for the past month, and it’s been fun,” he said.

“I get to sort of have my cake and eat it to: sing quiet and then play loud.”

Joel Plaskett, right, and his father Bill play a tune in Plaskett's recording studio The New Scotland Yard in January 2017. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese)

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese

Joel Plaskett, right, and his father Bill play a tune in Plaskett's recording studio The New Scotland Yard in January 2017. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese)

Plaskett said the variety helps to keep the shows feeling “fresh.”

“A degree of routine is OK, but I like the feeling of having to think on my feet.”

As for what fans can expect to hear on Saturday, the set list is still up in the air, depending somewhat on the cut of the crowd's jib.

"I sort of like looking at the crowd beforehand and going, ‘Alright, what are we gonna lay on them today?'" Plaskett said.

He offered a few hints though, saying the band always leans on the 2003 Emergency album, Truthfully Truthfully, and some old Thrush Hermit material – namely, Back of the Film from 1999’s Clayton Park – has been creeping into the set this summer.

“It’ll be the first gig here in a while for the Emergency. I’m just excited to be rockin’ with the boys,” Plaskett said.

“I love the summertime vibe of outdoor stages. You never know what the weather’s gonna do, but I just approach it like, this is what the summer is, enjoy it, it only lasts for a couple months.”

Tickets and more info:

The show starts at 12:30 p.m. with Port Cities, and ferries start leaving Halifax at 10 a.m. Tickets are $35 for general admission and $75 for VIP, including the ferry over. Availability is limited, but there are still tickets up for grabs at tickethalifax.com. Admission is 19+.

Other chances to check out George’s Island:

A Taste of Nova Scotia on Georges Island, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday-Sunday: Have a lobster feast on Friday night, a BBQ on Saturday night, or enjoy some oysters and Nova Scotia beer, wine and spirits at ‘Sip n’ Shuck’ on Sunday night. Tickets for each night are $150, including the ferry over and all food and drinks. Tickets are available online at tickethalifax.com.

Explore Georges Island, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday-Monday: For only $15, catch a ferry over to the island and learn about its history from Parks Canada. Ferries will cross hourly between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Tickets are available online at tickethalifax.com.

More on Metronews.ca