Victoria musician Leeroy Stagger performs at the Queen’s on July 22. (Photo courtesy Piper Ferguson)

Musician plays Nanaimo in return to performing on Vancouver Island

Victoria's Leeroy Stagger worked on a new record during pandemic

When Leeroy Stagger went into the studio to record his latest album everything seemed normal outside, but by the time he was finished the world looked completely different.

Stagger, who hails from Victoria and moved back there last summer after spending 15 years in Lethbridge, Alta., was in Vancouver with his band last spring recording the album Dystopian Weekends. He said that’s when “everything hit the fan.”

“We’d finish up for the day and it was just normal. There were families walking around and everybody was still out for meals and stuff in Vancouver,” Stagger said. “But by the end of the session I had to race home because my kids were going to be pulled out of school [in Lethbridge] … so it was very strange.”

Stagger said he’s been sitting on the album since it was recorded, as the pandemic was preventing him from being able to tour in support of it. Now that restrictions are being eased, Stagger is playing some of those songs live for the first time next week as he kicks off a short tour of B.C. and Alberta, including a stop at the Queen’s in Nanaimo on July 22.

Stagger said while the songs on the album were all written before the pandemic, some lines and subject matter eerily fit what was going on in the world.

“It was like this weird energy being locked up in this big black bunker of a studio while our phones are exploding basically saying the world’s ending outside,” he said.

WHAT’S ON … Leeroy Stagger plays the Queen’s, 34 Victoria Cres., on July 22 as part of the Acoustic-ish series. Show starts at 6:30 p.m. Tickets $20 in advance from 250-327-9619.

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