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Ice Dragon Boat Festival – Day 8

Ottawa’s 46th Annual Winterlude at the legendary home of live music, the Rainbow Bistro, is at it again! Hosting nearly two weeks of free indoor concerts headlined by Aysanabee, Born Ruffians, Chris Murphy, Dizzy, Elliott, BROOD, JJ Wilde, Joel Plaskett, and OMBIIGIZI. Stay turned as Hidden Beats covers it all!

Chemical Club

The 8th night of Ottawa’s Ice Dragon Boat Festival was kicked off by none other than Alt-Indie band Chemical Club. As cheesy as it is to say – the chemistry between club members, and the audience, was immaculate. Between the soft vocalizations, the chill beats and the positive atmosphere, all were immediately hooked. Chemical Club played original song ‘Jade’, followed by ‘Rise Again’ – both a huge hit with the crowd. Band members requested a show of hands after asking ‘who here loves their friends’, a prompt which garnered great participation. To everyone’s surprise, the band then shared that as a token of their love and friendship there would be complimentary record stickers of their song, each with a handwritten note at the back table. Between this warm gesture and the catchy music, Chemical Club’s performance was one for the books. Ending on the soft note of original song ‘The Way It Ends’ was the perfect way to wrap up this incredibly talented set. 


Chemical Club left a deliciously cherished aura, that was driven deeper still by the incredible Fanclubwallet. Lead singer Hannah Judge  swept every one of their feet with their bubbly personality and enchanting voice. In combination with their skillful bandmates, Fanclubwallet gently guided the audience through meaningful songs with lyrical reflections surrounding coming of age (‘Easy’), the strange interactions with men that female-presenting musicians must navigate daily (‘Roadkill’) and learning how to ride a bike (‘Bike Song’). This musical project fronted by Judge is spunky, relatable, and all together lovely. Audience members were chuckling as Judge began their quirky macarena dance on stage, prompting a widespread dance party mid song. Thunderous applause erupted once the set had finished – Fanclubwallet was, unsurprisingly, a huge hit. I will be the first to say that I look forward to their next set!

Chris Murphy of Sloan


Rounding off this beautiful night of artistry was alternative rock musician Chris Murphy of Sloan. With years of singing experience on top of advanced involvement with acoustic/ bass guitars and a quick wit, Murphy swallowed up the audience’s attention and didn’t lose it for one second. He had people hollering with laughter as he cracked that his childhood church used to have ‘ministers’ for everything – and that his father put Murphy’s name down in the church bulletin as the minister of the overhead projector. Murphy continued on to joke that he is indeed a multitalented man. After a few slow and intricately played songs, Murphy warmly joked that we need not worry – more songs in the line of bummers were on their way. Between Murphys inviting humour, the smooth finger strokes and the silky vocals, the overwhelming joy felt by all melted away the brisk Ottawa night. 

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