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Let’s Make Lemonade (2011)

by on 2013/02/10

“We aren’t going to play with anyone in this band unless they are an absolute pleasure to be around.”

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My favourite teenager Miss_Tree and I just wrapped up a whirlwind tour of London and Paris this past week. Battling a case of jet lag on the Air Canada flight from London on the way home, I discovered Justin Friesen’s documentary short about a band called The Lemon Bucket Orkestra.

Hailing from Toronto, the Lemon Bucket Orkestra are Canada’s only Balkan-Klezmer-Gypsy-Punk Super Party Band. And they live up to each and every one of those hyphens.

If there were such a thing as a sonic cure for jet lag, the Lemon Bucket Orkestra would be it. I didn’t realize until I did a bit of research from the comfort of my fellow reviewer Hacker Render’s couch that this ecstatic, joyous band had performed this magic on weary travelers before. In 2012, they played a spontaneous concert on a delayed Air Canada flight, the video went viral.

This fusion of Klezmer, gypsy, punk is a mélange of styles I like to think could only be created in Toronto. This band is completely infectious, known for crashing parties complete with beautiful Gypsy dancers and starting impromptu concerts in the streets. There’s an edginess – demonstrated in the first few minutes of the film when they are thrown out a festival for busking without a permit – but also a sweetness, a lovely Canadian quality of camaraderie, honesty and humility.

The 14-minute film about this great band captures the twirling, blaring child-like quality of their live performances. The charm of this group, onstage and off, is captured ably by the documentary film creator Friesen, a Ryerson film studies student. The documentary was chosen by the Air Canada enRoute Film Festival for Achievement in Documentary.

We loved our time in Europe, exploring the sights and sounds of Paris, London and parts of the English countryside. This Canadian movie about a Canadian band reminded me why I love being Canadian. It is all there – the openness, inclusiveness, humility, and maybe just a touch of naive wide-eyed wonderment.

Let’s Make Lemonade is an absolute pleasure.

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14 minutes



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