Born in California, and raised in the small town of Hudson, Quebec, Former Vanier music student Patrick Watson began singing in local churches at the age of 7 and grew up studying classical and jazz piano. After creating music and releasing albums in various styles, he put together a four-piece band that performed with the likes of James Brown, Philip Glass, The Dears and the Stills in 2004 and 2005. In 2006, he released the album Close To Paradise which received glowing reviews as well as huge sales numbers.
The Patrick Watson band (which also includes three other Vanier Music alumni: guitarist Simon Angell, drummer Robbie Kuster and bassist Mishka Stein) has toured with John Cale, The Cinematic Orchestra, Amon Tobin, The Dears, Feist and James Brown.
Patrick Watson was nominated as the 2007 Juno New Artist of the Year and his performance at the Awards Ceremony on April 1st was cited as a highlight of the night by several critics.
In February 2007, it was announced that the band’s latest release, Close to Paradise, jumped to the #4 position on the Canadian top-200 album chart, trailing only Nelly Furtado, The Shins and Justin Timberlake at the time. The song “The Great Escape” from this same album was featured on a third-season episode of the top-rated American TV show “Grey’s Anatomy”. They appeared recently on the hugely popular Francophone TV show Tout Le Monde en Parle, which airs nationally on Radio-Canada.
2007 was quite a year for Patrick Watson. In addition to their Polaris Music Prize nomination, which the band ended up winning at the awards ceremony (along with $20,000) on September 24th, they were also nominated for a Juno Award (Best New Artist), and earlier this year picked up three GAMIQ (Quebec Indie) awards as an independent Quebec artist (Artist of the Year, Songwriter of the Year, Best Indie-Pop Album).
The band’s CD Wooden Arms was released on April 28, 2009 and the reactions were overwhelmingly excellent: i.e. “jaw-dropping depth and invention … Wooden Arms is up there with the best in cracked-mirror pop music. It’s out there — almost defiantly so at times — yet it makes such a lustrously tuneful bid for the fringes that any mainstream curiosity has no choice but to follow. [3.5 stars out of 4]” – Toronto Star
Patrick Watson embarked on a 2009 worldwide tour to promote the CD which took the band throughout Canada and then on to San Francisco and L.A. before continuing on to Brussels, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Berlin and Cologne. They then finished the European leg with shows in Paris and London before finally returning home to complete the tour back home in Canada.
In 2012, after five years of preparation, the band released the album Adventures in Your Own Backyard. In that same year, the Montreal Gazette filmed a great video of Patrick Watson singing on a typical Montreal balcony.
Then in 2015, their highly anticipated fifth CD Love Songs for Robots was released. Watch the video for the song on the album called Places You Will Go. The video was released in May 2015. Also, watch the video of a song from this album entitled Good Morning Mr. Wolf which was posted in December 2015.
Find out more about the Patrick Watson band on their official website.
Back To Vanier
Patrick Watson and his band took time out for a photo on a 2009 visit to the College. Music Coordinator Nadia Turbide was thrilled to see her former students and posed for a picture seated on the drums. You can click on the photo at right for a larger version.
From left to right: Mishka Stein, Patrick Watson, Vanier Drums teacher Nasyr Ab-dul Al-Khabyyr, Simon Angell, Robbie Kuster and Nadia Turbide.
Photos Of Patrick Watson
December 16, 2015: Montreal Gazette Concert review
April 4, 2015: Concert review published in the Ottawa Citizen
March 29, 2012: CBC Radio’s 10-Question Challenge on Patrick Watson
April 20, 2009: SF Station promo for upcoming show in San Francisco
September 26, 2007: Watson Wins 2007 Polaris Music Prize
September 17, 2007: Watson, Arcade Fire clean up at Quebec indie awards
September 17, 2007: Patrick Watson, Arcade Fire Win Multiple Quebec Indie Awards
September 9, 2007: Day in the park offers some pop, punk and polish
Love Songs for Robots, 2015
Wooden Arms, 2009
Close to Paradise, 2006