Vancouver has long been a muse for local quintet and indie darlings Said The Whale. The winners of the 2011 JUNO award for New Group of the Year even named their third album after Little Mountain, a neighbourhood in the city. We sat down with band member Tyler Bancroft for the lowdown on live music in the city and a few of his own Vancouver highlights.
“Most of us lived within 10 blocks of there,” says band co-founder and singer/songwriter Tyler Bancroft. “I grew up playing baseball for Little Mountain and we chose that name because we’re from that neighbourhood. We also chose it because it happens to be a popular place name in North America and we wanted a name that could resonate with people regardless of where they grew up.”
“I live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world,” says Tyler. “You can go hiking, swimming in the ocean, skiing and there’s a major city here as well. It’s hard not to be inspired by living here; it played the role of muse for a lot of our early songs and we’ve written ‘love songs’ to the city.”
Tyler’s favourite places to…
“These are my two favourite record stores in Vancouver. Both have a great selection of new and used vinyl, and both have extensive local show listings and tickets sales.”
Catch live music
“The Biltmore is the go-to hipster hangout with good live music seven nights a week and a decent beer selection on tap.”
“This is a small cafe with nice decor in downtown Vancouver that serves the best brie and pear baguette sandwich on earth. It’s the perfect lunch stop if you're wandering around downtown for the day.”
“This is my favourite restaurant these days – it has an amazing healthy menu, great beer selection and friendly service. It’s a hip crowd for sure, but never in a bad way. Sawasdee Thai hands down has the best Thai food in Vancouver.”
“My favourite of all the Vancouver beaches. Grab a bite at the concession, go for a swim in the ocean, stare at the mountains, see the boats in English Bay, and watch the sunset. This is Vancouver.”
“The "must-see" tourist spot in Vancouver. Granville Island (not actually an island) is a market right on the water in False Creek (not actually a creek). It’s a great place to get a coffee and watch the boats go by. Beware of overpriced everything, but the hubbub is worth it; there’s lots to see here.”
Queen Elizabeth Park
“The top of the park has the highest above sea level man-made point in the city. There's a great view of the whole city, which is helpful for anyone wanting to get the lay of the land. If you can rent or borrow a bike, there’s a bike path all the way from downtown to the park via Ontario Street. It’s a really nice ride with only a few thigh-burner moments.”
Said The Whale's fourth studio album ‘hawaiii’ is available now.
Header photo: Said The Whale © Vanessa Heins
Written by Amy Watkins
Are you a Vancouverite? Where are your favourite places to take visitors in Vancouver? Do you agree with Tyler's suggestions?
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About the author: AmyWatkinsAmy Watkins
Amy Watkins (www.amywatkins.com) is an award-winning British travel journalist who has lived in Vancouver since May 2012. Whilst on assignment for UK newspapers and magazines she has eaten thousand-year-old eggs in Hong Kong, swam with crocodiles in Australia and braved a week in the Caribbean with a celebrity chef.