The East Coast Music Awards will be handed out Sunday night in Corner Brook, N.L., and Nova Scotia’s The Tom Fun Orchestra is up for three prizes.

The sprawling ensemble has been around since 2005 and recorded You Will Land With a Thud, its first full CD, last January. It’s up for Rising Star Recording of the Year, Alternative Recording of the Year and the single Watchmaker is up for Video of the Year.

Metro Halifax caught up with the group earlier this week as it wrapped up a cross-country tour in Quebec.


“Right now, it feels bloated and pasty, but in general, it feels really good,” singer Ian MacDougall joked when asked about the band’s reaction to the nominations. “(The tour) went amazingly well,” he added.

The eight-piece group is making the 14-hour journey to Corner Brook in the 15-person van it recently purchased.

“It’s covered in NASCAR stickers. We’re hoping that Dale Earnhardt would come do one of our shows one of these days,” MacDougall joked, before another member of the orchestra informed him the veteran racer has been dead for eight years.

The Sydney-based group made the Watchmaker video with Halifax filmmaker Christopher Ball. Ball was intrigued by the band’s unusual sound — think a Celtic Tom Waits — and approached them to do the video.

“He was pretty eager to work with us. It was pretty cool,” MacDougall said.

After the award show the band is going to lay low in Cape Breton for a while before heading back on the road.

“For the foreseeable future, it’s going to be a lot more time in the van,” MacDougall said.

“There’s eight people in the van, so it’s definitely not lucrative. I guess we do it for a reason. We must have fun — we certainly don’t make any money.”

Multiple nods

Artists or bands from Nova Scotia with multiple nominations for Sunday’s East Coast Music Awards in Corner Brook, N.L.:

  • Five: Gordie Sampson, Matt Mays & El Torpedo
  • Four: Jill Barber
  • Three: The Tom Fun Orchestra, Christina Martin
  • Two: Bette & Wallet, Chad Hatcher, Dave Carroll, Hot Toddy, J.D. Clarke, Joel Plaskett Emergency, Max MacDonald, MIR, Troy MacGillivray & Shane Cook