Local musicians blown away by Vancouver's vibe

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Olympic experience

While they may not have gotten to take in any sporting competitions, Neil Targett and his bandmates did get to vicariously experience the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat during their brief visit to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver on its final weekend.

Targett is the bass player for Sherman Downey and The Ambiguous Case, the Corner Brook-based band invited to showcase the region's music at the Atlantic Canada House venue during the international sporting spectacle.

Kari Heese photo

While they may not have gotten to take in any sporting competitions, Neil Targett and his bandmates did get to vicariously experience the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat during their brief visit to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver on its final weekend.

Targett is the bass player for Sherman Downey and The Ambiguous Case, the Corner Brook-based band invited to showcase the region's music at the Atlantic Canada House venue during the international sporting spectacle.

The band's lead, Sherman Downey, is a Codroy Valley native.

He and the band arrived in Vancouver on Feb. 25 and, after doing some sight-seeing, the guys were back at their hotel when Canada's men's hockey team defeated Switzerland in the preliminary round.

"You could hear cheers going up all over place from our hotel," said Targett. "There was an eruption around the city. It was crazy, it was so loud."

The guys were back at the hotel again Saturday night when Team Canada was upended by their American rivals.

"There was this crazy energy downtown when the game was going on" he said. "When the United States won, there was dead silence. You could hear a pin drop. People were so bummed out and it was like there was this depression just hanging in the air."

The energy was all positive for the three scheduled shows Sherman Downey and The Ambiguous Case played during their time in Vancouver. The band played a couple of smaller club shows last Friday night, including one Targett described as "the most fun" show he has every played.

In between those shows, the band did an impromptu set of five or six songs on the sidewalk without any amplification, which was much appreciated by the long line-ups of people waiting to get into the jam-packed downtown venues.

"We got the idea after hearing (Cape Breton fiddler) Ashley MacIsaac had done it a couple nights before," said Targett. "We thought we should do it since we had a couple of hours to kill and the lineup to get in was down the block. The people were digging it and the bar appreciated it."

The Saturday gig was at LiveCity Downtown, a larger, outdoor venue near BC Place and GM Place with about 1,000 people in attendance.

While the band's reception was good wherever they played, especially considering many had never heard o them before, Targett said the experience was a whirlwind that ended all too quickly when they flew home on Feb. 28.

"It would have been so nice to have an extra day or two where we didn't have anything on the go, just to be able to take in some more stuff, but it was a great experience either way," said Targett

Organizations: Atlantic Canada House, Team Canada

Geographic location: Vancouver, Codroy Valley, Canada Switzerland United States Cape Breton

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