Circus in Flames
'The Circus in Flames', explains Doug Andrew, 'means everything going to hell. The Big Top's on fire, the clowns are stampeding and 'the hippos were boiled in their tanks'.' The band's self-produced, self-titled debut CD, The Circus in Flames, has drawn rave reviews. Described by Dirty Linen as 'a strong argument for indie release of the year' the disc also earned four stars from America's All Music Guide and CBC Radio has nationally broadcasted a live performance of the band in concert in addition to consistently airing the recording. The Circus in Flames' 'unique but rooted musical vision' (Vue Weekly) has inspired the description 'garage string band' but it's sound can be difficult to pin down. Although there is a certain familiarity about the music stemming from it's roots in traditional country, folk and blues, at it's heart are Andrew's songs. Their 'slightly twisted, always interesting storyline lyrics' are delivered 'with an energetic thrust that falls just shy of reckless abandon' says Peter North of The Edmonton Journal. He is 'an untapped talent for wryly observant story-like essays' writes The Vancouver Province's Tom Harrison while Warren Footz of SEE Magazine says Andrew's songs 'should shuffle him off into the Canadian songwriting hierarchy.' They stand on their own performed solo on guitar or can work within the context of a band. After the fall of Tin God, created out of the ashes of his former band, Shanghai Dog, Doug Andrew continued to write songs. When he was invited to perform at a friend's St. Patrick's Day party, he needed to pull together a group of talented musicians who could generate a powerful presence in an acoustic setting and provide an evocative vehicle for the lyrics. The Circus in Flames evolved from this necessity and retains the impromptu spirit of the band's first performance. The Circus in Flames has toured Western Canada frequently, playing to enthusiastic audiences and most of their CDs have been sold straight off the stage necessitating several pressings. The band has appeared at the Victoria and Fernie folk festivals as well as the North Country Fair and received critical acclaim during Edmonton's Jazz City International Music Festival. Doug Andrew has opened for Jesse Winchester at Edmonton's Festival Place and performed in a tribute to Ian Tyson at a National Arts Centre presentation in Ottawa. Most recently The Circus in Flames joined such artists as former Byrd, Chris Hillman, Blue Rodeo, Gordon Lightfoot and Jennifer Warnes on The Gift: A Tribute To Ian Tyson released by Stony Plain Records and distributed by Warner Music. The group was honoured to welcome legendary steel guitarist Buddy Cage (New Riders Of The Purple Sage, Great Speckled Bird, Bob Dylan's Blood On The Tracks) onto their version of the Tyson classic, Someday Soon which the Toronto Star chose as the Top Track after rating the album "3½ out of 4 Stars." As well, Doug Andrew & The Circus in Flames have released a second CD, A Little Bit Of Gasoline. 'Sheet metal country,' Doug Andrew describes The Circus in Flames' music. 'It bangs and rattles and booms, generally making a fair amount of noise, but it can also be light and quiet. We can go from sounding like a runaway locomotive going down the mountain without any brakes, to a wind slipping through the forest at midnight.'