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Anti-capitalist music bonds Sunshine Coast father and son

Revival of Marketplace foments discontent, builds bonds
Chris and Solomon Hergesheimer perform at the Artesia Coffee House on January 12.

A father-and-son acoustic duo from Halfmoon Bay is rebooting an anti-capitalist musical movement founded 20 years ago. 

In the early 2000s, Chris Hergesheimer was studying sociology at Douglas College and Simon Fraser University. His brother Josh took courses at the University of BC, then pursued further education in England.  

“Every time he’d come back we’d write music and put together a new recording,” said Hergesheimer. The formed a band called Marketplace and churned out lyrics challenging the predatory capitalism ascendant at the turn of the millennium. 

The band recorded its last album in 2004. It was never released. 

On Jan. 12, Hergesheimer stood alongside his son Solomon — a Grade 12 student at Chatelech Secondary School — and resurrected 20-year-old Marketplace melodies for a full house at the Sunshine Coast Arts Centre.  

The lyrics’ relevance to a world still marred by inequality is unsettling, he said. During his university days, ideologies like neo-liberalism seemed purely theoretical. Now, in his work in the field of social services, Hergesheimer connects one-time theories to the concrete reality of broken communities and missing safety nets. 

“Frankly, I’m so getting sick of billionaires, sick of clearcut logging, sick of bombs and guns and tax cuts for the rich while social programs are hollowed out,” he said. “A little discontent is okay. Society needs a little discontent right now, not to be confused with divisiveness or polarization.” 

The Marketplace revival was one of three acts featured during the first Artesia Coffee House of 2024. The events are a project of the Coast Cultural Alliance designed to foster local musical artists.  

The night before, Chris and Solomon performed at the Gumboot Café in Roberts Creek. They will appear next on Jan. 19 at the Pender Harbour School of Music. The pair have also scheduled a tour of Vancouver Island communities. 

“Can you show me where to go?” sang Chris, “where I can lay my head? From these GMOs and CEOs and these corporate-sponsored rock videos? And these reality shows? How can this be so?” 

“Mama Mia, my head’s been spinning around,” echoed Solomon, “when I’m listening to the sounds of the slums and shantytowns.” The pair traded rapid-fire lyrics and dextrous guitar accompaniment with righteous ferocity. 

It was Solomon’s interest that sparked Marketplace’s return, explained Chris. His son is now creating a documentary about the original band. 

“I’ve been listening to that music for basically my entire life,” said Solomon. “It’s about revolution, it’s about change, and it’s about understanding.” He found an old CD of Marketplace tracks and asked his father to teach him some tunes. When a show opportunity arose, he urged Chris to forego covers of other artists’ music and join him in rejuvenating classic Marketplace pieces. The two launched the rebirth by presenting a chronological retrospective during last year’s Art Crawl. 

Solomon’s film will include interviews with original band members and chronicle Marketplace’s revitalization through its current West Coast tour. 

“We’re just trying to create something special together,” added Chris. “I’m just on fire with it right now.” 

The Artesia Coffee House also featured music by the riotously eclectic marching band Caravan Paradiso (Graham Ord, Heather Anderson, Anna Lumière and James Law) and singer-songwriter Jess Hart. 

Hart’s masterful performance of bossa nova selections was influenced by local guitarist Celso Machado. She plans a sequel to her 2018 release  (itself an experimental blend of electronic and alternative genres), which is likely to be shaped by her newfound facility with the Brazilian style. 

Details of the Marketplace tour are available by browsing to Hart’s tour schedule and latest album releases are available at her website