Sandtimer in Kimberley: A review

Louje Cupello

The acoustic indie folk band, Sandtimer, opened a BC tour with a concert at Studio 64, Kimberley, on Saturday, August 31.

From start to finish Robert Sword, Simon Thomas and Alex Jackson who comprise Sandtimer, a Folk Rock Trio from the UK, mesmerized the Kimberley audience with their music, lyrics and narrative. They took the time to explain what each song was about, at times quite lengthy but also entertaining. One song in particular which Robert referred to as a “Murder Ballad”. He added that this type of song is quite common in Canada, the story of a young man who follows his father’s advice to murder his wife for her fortune. One of the first lines in the song, ‘My father said money would set me free’. Robert ,who did most of the talking with Simon adding a few words here and there, also paid homage to Horsefly a small town in Northern, BC. Pharis and Jason Romero manufacture banjos in Horsefly, a fire destroyed their workshop a couple of years ago. They have since rebuilt however they are now three years behind in their orders.

They are also great musicians who won a Juno Award for Traditional Blues Album of the Year in 2016. Sandtimer proceeded to play a banjo inspired tune by the Romeros adapted to guitar. In a personal note, my brother in law Mike married a girl from Horsefly. I first met Pharis and Jason Rometo at the Invermere Music Fest, when they asked ‘Does anyone here know where Horsefly is’ they were quite surprised when I answered yes.

As their show came to an end, everyone in the audience gave the band a standing ovation. Sandtimer obliged the audience by playing an encore and then politely left the stage. Robert did mention prior to the encore that this was the band’s first standing ovation. I would like to thank Keith Nicholas for agreeing to book Sandtimer based solely on my reccomendation, Ray Gareau of Ray’s Music for an excellent job as Sound Tech, and Nancy and Chantal of The Burrito Grill for providing a complimentary meal to the band. To all the volunteers who work so diligently to make shows like this possible, thank you. I would also like to thank everyone who came out to support live music in Kimberley. The Jazz/Blues concert seties is coming up with three great shows, details at

It was truly a magical evening as Keith Nicholas said when introducing the band, I wanted to start with a cheesy joke, welcome to The British Invasion. I know what you are thinking Ya, Ya, Ya. Yes indeed a very entertaining evening of music and social interaction Kimberley, BC style. Robert, Simon and Alex took me to The Shed after the show where we shared a pint and a story or three. They are well mannered young men on a musical journey, I wish them well and I hope all their dreams come true. This happened to be the first time that I have had the pleasure of reccomending a band from the UK and it worked out well. You can follow them on their Facebook Page.

Sandtimer; website

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