‘The PepTides,’ ‘Good2Go’ among six scheduled bands to rock Barnstorm 18

The PepTides will play Barnstorm, in Finch, for the first time, later this month. Photo by Andre Gagne

Annual show at Finch farmstead set for Aug. 26

Big guitar sound
Michael ‘tic’ Houston poses with a prop that debuted at the Barnstorm venue, his rural backyard off Conc. 3-4 in North Stormont, in 2017. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News

FINCH — Forget the Love Shack, The PepTides will crank up a pop vibe beneath the tin roof at Barnstorm 18 in rural North Stormont.

Sometimes compared to The B-52’s, the Ottawa-based Indie group will take the ‘Odditorium’ stage in the converted barn at Michael ‘tic’ Houston’s Finch-area farmstead on Aug. 26. The PepTides are among six acts set to play the 18th edition of Barnstorm, an event that sees Houston annually (or almost every year) transform his vintage barn, silo and surrounding farmyard into a glittering extravaganza of live and recorded music, laser light shows, fireworks, projected cartoons, interesting nooks and crannies and — often — a piano bonfire.

Observing it all is a peaceful crowd of about 200 drawn to a place where “city meets country” with an entertaining, eclectic mix of live music and cool visuals. Many of the visiting urbanites camp overnight.

Making their first appearance at Barnstorm, The PepTides have played RBC Bluesfest and are also recognized for — among other accomplishments — a collaborative album with the late Stuart McLean of CBC Radio’s Vinyl Cafe. The group’s latest work, an EP released last September, includes the popular summer single Don’t Believe in Love that “captures the energy and colour of the band’s live show on record—a collection of sizzling pop, funk and soul that … ‘will have neon hair coming out of your speakers!'” according The PepTides’ website.

In addition, Houston has lined up rockers Good2Go, country rollickers Slo’ Tom and the Handsome Devils,bluesy performers Arms of the Girl, along with The Band Whose Name is a Symbol, and Leslie Rohonczy Band. Veteran spinner Elorious Cane will serve as guest DJ — one of a number of Carleton University CKCU radio alumni expected at the event.

A retired Ottawa Police Service Civilian Imaging Services Unit Manager (Forensic Identification, Criminal Investigations Branch), Houston is himself a popular volunteer host on the station at the campus.

Barnstorm serves as a de facto fundraiser for ‘tic’s’ morning show and CKCU, as he gives away tickets as prizes in return for donations to the community station. He’s previously revealed that it helps out the broadcast operation to the tune of about $2,000 each year.

CKCU itself is listed as one of the event sponsors, as are Waterloo Brewing, Dave’s Drum Shop, Spaceman Music, Country Lane Fine Wood Products, Georges Laoun Opticien and Red Leaf Music.

Tickets to Barnstorm 18 are available now at the regular $30 advance price until Aug. 25 — or $40 apiece for “late birds” arriving at the gate that day.

Camping and parking

The site features two VIP camping areas (for musicians), and a large four-acre grass field for general parking and camping. Visitors and campers can enjoy the several available fire pits as well as the walking paths traversing the 20-acre property.

Below, The PepTides’ video for their 2016 video, Don’t Believe in Love.

Below, GOOD2GO and front woman Maureen Hogan dominated Chesterville’s Art on The Waterfront music stage in Chesterville, June 3. Hogan returns to the area with her band for Barnstorm 18 in Finch, organized by Michael ‘tic’ Houston — who also handled the band lineup for this year’s Art on the Waterfront.


This article was edited to correct the police force that employed Houston before his retirement.


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