This fine troupe of musical rascals is Toronto’s Lemon Bucket Orkestra.

Lemon Bucket Orkestra

Lemon Bucket Orkestra in all their finery and natural glory.

By now, you may have seen the video of them performing on board an aircraft that was delayed on the tarmac at Pearson International Airport a while ago. The viral video made international news on CNN, CBC News Network and other media outlets.

Lemon Bucket is planning an airport reunion of a musical nature for this Thursday, May 31 at Pearson, this time in the arrivals area of Terminal 1. An acoustic concert the likes of which the facility may never have seen …

Lemon Bucket Orkestra's media release: airport homecoming concert

Lemon Bucket Orkestra's media release for their airport homecoming concert

Here’s the video in case you missed it — this one now has more than 200,000 views on YouTube:

As 14-piece Balkan party bands go, Toronto has something very original with Lemon Bucket.  They call themselves Toronto’s only “Balkan-klezmer-gypsy-party-punk-super band,” and it’s true. The group was one of the founding acts of the Fedora Upside-Down Collective, which includes Uma Nota acts Maracatu Mar Aberto and Maria Bonita and the Band, among others. Fedora Upside-Down was also a community sponsor of the successful Block Party last Sunday in Kensington Market here in Toronto.

Lemon Bucket raised a huge chunk of money this past spring by busking around Toronto. This was all  to pay for their travel to Romania, where they were invited to play in a festival and where they embarked on a tour (they chose to eschew grants and the like instead allowing “the people of Toronto” to decide whether the band went to Romania. It worked).

When I spoke with founding Lemon Bucket and Fedora member Mark Marczyk for a recent CBC Radio story on the collective, he emphasized the busking roots as both true to his local band’s and to the Ukrainian bands he joined up with when he first decided to make this music. Beyond an accessible to all form of performance, and the singing-for-one’s-supper aspect, Marczyk said that music in unexpected places — a core tenet for Fedora and especially Lemon Bucket — gets people to take off the “blinders” of  Toronto city life:

“… [Lemon Bucket Orkestra's street performance] reminds people it’s OK to stop and feel, to feel the world around you, it’s OK to be surprised, to give in to spontaneity, not everything is according to plan, sometimes the most memorable experiences in your life are ones that happened by mistake.”

Video diary entries from the tour are on the LBO website and on YouTube, all videos are by Fedora/Whippersnapper Gallery artist Josh Brandt.

If you’re free Thursday night to go make some music at Pearson International with Lemon Bucket and the Fedora crew, here is the info via the Facebook event:

On May 31st, 2012, we are returning from our Romanian tour on AC 877. The flight arrives at Pearson International at 7:25pm.

Won’t you be our sweethearts and come greet us at the airport? If you do, we promise we will give you all a big, long, musical kiss! 

Let’s have an airport reunion (and celebrate it with a free acoustic show!)

You can also get more info on Fedora Upside-Down, the artists, groups and performers involved in the collective and more on the Fedora Upside-Down website.

Welcome back, Lemon Bucket Orkestra!