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Fri, Aug 23

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Memorial Park

The Beacon Design Collective presents... Live in concert! BF/C

All the way from Sweden, catchy and creative originals by this duo. Rich Rod Stewart-esque vocals over modern beats. Downright beats, upright pianos, punching the clock, and coming of age, liberated in dreams yet sentenced to reality. The BF/C are managing. Stitching it together. Staying afloat.

The Beacon Design Collective presents... Live in concert! BF/C
The Beacon Design Collective presents... Live in concert! BF/C

Time & Location

Aug 23, 2024, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Memorial Park, 3 Ave, Hope, BC V0X 1L0, Canada

About the Event

The Beacon Design Collective Inc. and Hope & District Arts Council present... 

Live in concert!

BF/C

Coincidences, encounters and coincidental encounters. Panning for gold through the uncertainties of life. It seems this is what BF/C is doing. Not just musically. To me it's tangible, as it obviously must be for Barish Firatli and Californiaman.  

Let me tell you how I discovered BF/C. Before they existed. It was a few years ago. On a bleak, early Sunday evening I find myself sitting at Smaka a bar in Gothenburg. A few moments later, I notice another lone customer settling in a couple of stools away from me. He kindles my curiosity not only because he seems to enjoy his solitary presence in a bar much alike me but there is something charismatic about his revelation. And not the least, I am also asking myself about his heritage. I don't remember why we started to talk and the question I had been asking myself I felt needed to be asked. When he gave me his explanation it all made sense. The key to the charisma Barish displays in his voice and looks is after all in this answer. A sundrenched innocent version of a Mediterranean playboy who happens to have walked off a luxurious yacht from Bodrum into a wind plagued Gothenburg. This is how I experience Barish. As a singer and as a person.  

There and then our conversation continues to be about Turkey since my cousins are also half-Turkish. It later turns out that Barish has recently returned to Gothenburg after years abroad and is on the look out for work, hence I mention that I've got some friends opening a new bar that may need staff. Barish thanks me for the advice and we part ways. 

These kinds of encounters are always enjoyable but the reality is that you are highly unlikely to meet again. The ambitions that have been enthusiastically spoken of when revolving in the bar ambiance are seldom realized. The memory of our meeting was most likely beginning to evaporate in the morning. Six months later or so I find myself in Gothenburg once again and realize I should pay a visit to my friends’ recently opened bar. In this, our second meeting, we’re both unable to welcome the upsides of unexpected conversations.  

It is spring, and it takes only seconds to recognize the bartender near the entrance with the bedroom eyes. I greet him happily and tell him "Great to see you working here!” He gives me a casually examining look. But of course, if you’ve been blessed with this kind of Mediterranean bed chamber glance you can not look surprised but only casually inspecting.  It's obvious that he doesn't remember me or my tip off for the job. Somewhat bothered and embarresed I talk of the evening we met..."yes...perhaps?" he pretends to remember, but we talk a bit, and Barish tells me he makes music. He gives me a name that I pretend to memorize, but in describing the music he drops a couple of references that I find incignificant or indifferent. So I simply state, "how fun! gotta check it out!". I had forgotten the name I pretended to memorize as I left about a half-hour later... About a year goes by and I'm working at a restaurant on the Island, Marstrand where everybody knows eachother and every summer, a few concerts are arranged at the legendary terrace of "Wärdshuset". 

During an afternoon stroll I recognize a familiar turkish playboy pulling cables and assembling microphone stands, so I say hi. This time Barish does recognize me and lets me know that his duo is playing later that night. It is fair to give "Marstrand" much praise, but its engagement in new swedish music is limited to say the least. My laziness almost kept me home that night, but I'm glad it didn't.  

I along with the others who happened to be there were spellbound by the atmospheric, concise performance. 

There, for the first time I met Barish's companion Californiaman, or Joel Igor Hammad Magnusson and I find it satisfying that the two met in San Francisco. I don't think Barish or Californiaman have been avid listeners of Roxy Music or Pet Shop Boys and perhaps, being a duo just like the Pet Shop Boys is all they have in common, however - and this is a compliment - in a similar way that Neil Tennant is the communicator of their operation as Chris Lowe hides behind sun glasses and mystique, I make the association. From the photos I've seen of BF/C and the concert at Marstrand, I wonder… is Californiaman Chris Lowe’s hippie cousin? Barish a half-turkish Neil Tennant who fell of a yacht from Bodrum and into the waters surrounding Marstrand? Well... The same gravitas and self-esteem is found in BF/C as it was with Pet Shop Boys some 35-years ago. Can it be called modern dignity? A carefree confident elegance that is reminicent with Roxy Music in the times of "Flesh and Blood" or ”Avalon". It's possible that BF/C hate these somewhat forced references, but if you stir in some miscellaneous seventies music, we might come closer to a reasonable description. Classic disco meets the American 70's? No. Let's say Grace Jones sleeps with pink Floyd, but has an affair with Fleetwood Mac during a film noir screening? But in the 2020's. There you have it. It's impossible to describe BF/C with standardized musical references, and that should be a compliment as good as any. 

For those who have yet to discover BF/C, I congratulate you.  I don't know how many times I have listened to songs like Gold, Temple, Seemless and C'est la Vie since I first heard them, and I'm not alone in having been immediatley seduced by their filmic elegance or by Barish's voice. Sexy and urgent. Impossible to resist.  But let's go back to the gold that can be panned thru coincidental encounters. I recall once asking Barish if he alternated the lyrics "you pan for gold" with "you plan for gold" in for me their most emblematic song, Gold. He gave me that look again and said, "you pan for gold".  I still like my version. Sometimes I or BF/C or anybody is panning for gold. Sometimes we are planning for gold. These impulses are what spark coincidental encounters and therefore everything from fantastic music to love.

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