By Colin Gallant
CALGARY — Rock club, country bar and smokin’ good BBQ joint, The Palomino has been around since 2004 with operating partners Arlen Smith and Dan Northfield taking over in 2011. In this period specifically, The Pal has attracted talent from all over the world while putting Calgary’s own scene in the spotlight.
This is well showcased in the fourth annual Palomino Smokeout vinyl compilation being released in conjunction with their anniversary party on February 20th. It weights Calgary scene-fixtures (The Von Zippers) and newcomers (The Synthetiques) with top-tier talent from around the country (Public Animal–Toronto, Solids–Montreal, Black Thunder–Regina).
“This is a way for us to feel like we’re part of a band and part of rock ‘n’ roll culture,” says Smith. “I also look it as a way to be able to put out local bands’ music that may not get a chance to put out songs.” For several bands featured on the composition, this marks the first time their music has ever been put to wax.
“It’s an expensive process,” acknowledges Smith. “It’s nice to hear from somebody, ‘My band’s on a fuckin’ record, man.’”
The featured artists vary widely in style and sound. There’s the stoner riff-rock of Black Thunder bumping up against the drum and synth rampage of Shattered. Northfield explains that there’s a thread tying it all together. “They’re all friends of The Palomino.”
Friends of The Pal come from far and wide. Touring bands and out-of-towners flock to the venue as their regular go-to destination point, while local music lovers fit in comfortably side-by-side with the business lunch and happy hour crowd. Asked how the club keeps such a diverse draw coming back time and time again, Smith puts it simply: “It’s all about beers, bands and good barbecue.”
The Palomino’s 12th anniversary party takes on Sat., Feb. 20. Public Animal, The Von Zippers, Bad Animal, Black Thunder, The Tontos, The Synthetiques, The Shiverettes and Moanin’ After perform. The Palomino Smokeout #4 comp will only be available at the show and advance tickets can be redeemed at the show for a copy.AB, Alberta, Palomino, Palomino 12-year anniversary, Palomino Smokeout