Festivals & Events

Josh Bravener & The Hypochondriacs Rock Peppers Pub

Electrifying Night Ends NB Tour on a High Note

You know you’ve made it when the crowd is singing your song for you.

Josh Bravener of The Hypochondriacs recently had a wild experience at Peppers Pub, where he had the crowd whipped into a frenzy with his own classic songs before leading them in a singalong of a Roy Orbison hit. On tour to raise money for a trip to SXSW in Texas, The Hypochondriacs made their last NB stop in Saint John on Saturday, March 4.

I actually caught Josh Bravener back in October at the BMO Studio at a songwriters event and was immediately struck with his storytelling ability. Gifted as a songwriter, I recall Josh stole the night with his fascinating tales. The art of storytelling seems long lost and unappreciated these days. It’s always a wonder why some people fail to recognize how a good story can elevate music to another level. Josh can rest easy knowing I always will.

On this night, though, the whole band was on full display: two guitars, bass, drums, and brass. The sound was full. So robust. I must confess this is my first show at Peppers Pub. I had no idea what to expect, and I was not disappointed. When you walk in, you see beautiful brick lining the walls that is reminiscent of many Uptown buildings. Behind the main bar is a smaller bar, stage, and floor space for attendees to rock out on. Above the stage, you can see pipes running along the ceiling. Josh may have hung a microphone from one of the pipes on this night. The sound and the space are excellent.

I had the opportunity to sit back and observe most of the show and what I witnessed was an energy tug of war between the band and the crowd. I was expecting this energy to start fizzling after some time but it didn’t. It only kept building. The night went on as the band played tighter and the crowd grew louder. The band broke out a couple times into some ear pleasing jams.

As I was hoping, this isn’t the last time we’ll see The Hypochondriacs for a while. Josh reminded the crowd they would be back from Texas in May for Paddlefest in St. Andrew’s. More cheers from the crowd. While we wait for their return, they have left us with two great albums to enjoy. You can find 2017’s In 3/4 and 2022’s Waitin’ on most streaming services. And if you happen to be at SXSW in Austin, Texas, on March 15, check out The Hypochondriacs. - Story by Darren Robertson