Fifty years ago, in Waverly Nova Scotia, brothers David and Ritchie Henman along with their cousin Jim Henman and Myles Goodwyn formed April Wine. Sixteen albums and several line-up changes later, Myles Goodwyn and April Wine are still going strong and playing to packed venues across Canada and The U.S. The bands most recent stop was October 11th at London Music Hall with special guests, London’s own Delta Stone and the Wardogs.
April Wine hit the stage close to 9:30, making the crowd of mostly older fans a little restless waiting, but once they arrived and started playing, the fans forgave their tardiness.
Leading with the Hot Chocolate cover “You Could Have Been a Lady”, the boys set the mood and got the crowd dancing and moving pretty quickly. There was a good mix of hits in this show, covering everything from their first single “Fast Train” to several off their 1979 hit album “Harder…Faster”.
Besides founding member and frontman Myles Goodwyn, guitarist Brian Greenway, who is the second longest serving member of the band, has been with the band since 1977. The duo are joined by newer members Richard Lanthier (bass since 2011) and Roy “Nip” Nichol (drumming since 2012). April Wine only performs about 25 shows a year now, making each show a special moment and that schedule seems to keep everyone happy and dedicated to keeping their history alive. To fill the void, Goodwyn and Greenway both have blues bands besides April Wine and Nip performs the vocals in a Journey tribute band.
The show in London was loud and Goodwyn still has pretty good pipes for a 71-year-old. At one-point Goodwyn asked the crowd if it was loud enough for them and then replied, “Good, I like it loud”. Some of the heavier jams included King Crimson’s “21st Century Schizoid Man”, “I Like to Rock” and the 1978 hit “Roller”.
Two of their biggest ballads, “Just Between You and Me” and “Tonight is a Wonderful Time to Fall in Love” were crowd favourites, mostly amongst the middle-aged women who enjoyed the memories. The show ended with a two-song encore, “Enough is Enough” and maybe their most popular song, “Oowatanite”.
Fifty years is a great run for any band and it appears April Wine has no intention of stopping anytime soon. The band still loves to play and we still love to hear and see them do it.
Delta Stone opened with an 11-song set of guitar driven blues rock that heated the capacity crowd up. With an authentic southern sound and song titles like Dixie Bones and Cajun Queen it would be easy to assume they came straight from Texas or Louisiana, but this is a hometown London act to watch out for. Ian Stone’s vocals are gritty and impressive, as is his guitar playing, which was joined by fellow guitarist Nick “Houndog” Houle. The combination of the two is hard to top – each complimenting the other and providing a thick, bluesy groove that drives the band’s sound.
Backing this duo is The Wardogs: Warren ‘Wardog’ Stinson on drums, ‘Cryin’ Ryan McNevin on keyboards and Mark Irmler on bass, featuring Rickie Lee Olean and Nelle Fuentes on back up vocal. This is a band on the rise. The talent here is unmistakable and it’s only a matter of time before they really make a mark.
All photos by Dan Boshart:
April Wine Setlist
- You Could Have Been a Lady
- Fast Train
- Weeping Widow
- Just Between You and Me
- 21st Century Schizoid Man
- Crash and Burn / Bass Solo
- I Like to Rock / Drum Solo
- Rock N’ Roll Is a Vicious Game
- Say Hello
- Before the Dawn
- Tonight Is a Wonderful Time to Fall in Love
- Sign of the Gypsy Queen
- Enough Is Enough
Delta Stone and the Wardogs Setlist
- Pay My Tab
- Other Side
- On My Way
- Dixie Bones
- My Trail
- High Road
- Faster Than Your Angel Flies
- Cajun Queen
- Too Much For you
- Funk 19