Chris Hadfield’s group, formed in orbit, plays tunes that are truly out of this world

The musicians in the band Chris Hadfield is bringing to Sarnia in July have seen some things few others have seen.

The musicians in the band Chris Hadfield is bringing to Sarnia in July have seen some things few others have seen - writes

Hadfield, a retired Canadian astronaut, and a group of fellow astronauts and musicians with connections to the space program, are set to play Sarnia’s Imperial Theatre July 6.

Tickets are on sale at and at the downtown theatre’s box office.

“It’s a great group of people that I’ve known for a quarter of a century,” Hadfield said, while in a boat in the St. Clair River.

We work hard, and long hours all around the world, but there's always a chance to get together socially, and for the musicians to play music.

Chris Hadfield

Born in Sarnia, Hadfield still spends time at a family cottage on Stag Island.

“Astronauts come from all different backgrounds,” said Hadfield, who made three trips to space, including a 2013 mission as commander of the International Space Station.

“In addition to their technical skills and operational skills, lots of folks are musicians.”

Hadfield gained fame for a video of a cover version of David Bowie’s Space Oddity, recorded while Hadfield was on the space station.

Following his retirement, Hadfield released an album, Space Sessions: Song From A Tin Can, also recorded on the space station.

“We work hard, and long hours all around the world, but there’s always a chance to get together socially, and for the musicians to play music,” Hadfield said.

He began playing after work with an astronaut band while posted in Houston in the late 1980s, and the current group, known as Bandella, got its start “in a basement in Russia in about 2001,” Hadfield said.

At the time, he was NASA’s director at Star City, the Russian space centre, where crews rotated through for training.

They included astronaut Steve Robinson, also now retired.

“He plays all the string instruments, and has got great talent,” Hadfield said.

“There’s an absolutely iconic photo of him that’s shown all over the place.”

Robinson rescued the space shuttle by doing a spacewalk beneath its belly to repair some of its protective tiles and the photo was taken while he was riding the end of the Canadarm.

Joining them was Micki Pettit, who is married to an astronaut.

“She’s got a terrific voice,” Hadfield said.

“When I came to Houston in 2003, we thought, ‘Well shoot, why don’t we just play out in pubs and stuff?’ ”

Joining them was astronaut, Cady Colemen, now also retired, who plays the flute and performed a duet with Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson from space.

Other musicians have come through the lineup over the years and a few additional players may join the band on stage in Sarnia.

“We’ve played a lot of different places,” including space, Hadfield said.

“When one of us was in space, we’ve played back and forth.”

Members on Earth would gather and tie into a video conference with the band member in orbit and play music together.

Hadfield did that while he was in orbit and his bandmates were performing with the Chieftains.

Some of the members are still in Houston, but others, including Hadfield, have relocated to other places so the band doesn’t play together as often, he said.

Last year, they got together in California and played a show there.

“We’ll do the same here, get together in my hometown and play the Imperial,” he said.

“And then, we’ll play just around the campfire for friends on Stag Island, also.”

Hadfield described the music they play as “world acoustic” with both original songs and cover tunes.

“We just love each other, so it makes it a lot of fun,” he said.

“For me to bring it back to the hometown, is a delight.”

Hadfield said the concert will help support the Imperial Theatre.

Tickets are $50 for the first five rows and $35 for the remaining seats.

There is also a VIP meet-and-greet event with the band before the show for $85. It doesn’t include tickets to the show.

Read more news of London on our site.
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
4 views in september
I recommend
No recommendations yet


Comments are designed to communicate and discuss the features of an enterprise or event, as well as to find out the interesting questions on it.

A teenage girl was raped in broad daylight in an east London park, police have said. The Met's child abuse and sexual offences command is investigating the attack, which happened in West Ham Park on Tuesday. The female victim was attacked by a man close to the entrance opposite FairlandRoad, Scotland Yard said. It happened at about 4pm. No arrests have yet been made. West Ham Park, which dates back to the 16th century,is run by the City of London Corporati...
The number of homes in London will need to rise by a quarter within 25 years to cope with its rising population,official figures showed today. In a dramatic indication of the scale of the challenge, the Office for National Statistics said an extra 844,000 new households will be formed here by 2041 if current trends continue. That amounts to a 24 per cent increase on the existing total and would give London — which now has about 3.4 million households — a n...
Earlier this summer, Yoshua Bengio, the McGill-based Artificial Intelligence pioneer and one of the world’s leading authorities on neural networks and machine-learning, added his name to a growing global list of experts and laboratories in the field that are pledging to have no role in the creation of what are called “lethal autonomous weapons” (LAWs). The signatories’ premise is as benign as it is unsound: that machines must never be given the authority t...
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has said he cannot be sure when Crossrail will be complete. Mr Khan said he will talk about a revised timetable at some stage, but only when he has confidence in it. It was announced on August 31 that the capital's new east-west railway would open in autumn 2019 rather than December this year. Mr Khan previously revealed that he only learned of Crossrail's delay two days before the announcement. The mayor was asked on BBC Radio L...
Just weeks into a new school year, Western University and its roughly 1,650 faculty members are locked in a contractdispute, with faculty taking a strike vote among its members. But if there’s potential for labour disruption, it’s news to many students still easing into their new academic routines. “We literally had no clue,” said Melissa Trueman, a fifth year student at the university. “Students are trying to accomplish a goal but they can’t do it if thei...
A large group of Uber Eats drivers blocked a road in east London today as they staged a protest over pay. Protesters said it was a spontaneous show of action against the company, as drivers claimed rates for every delivery had been reduced without it being agreed first. An Uber Eats spokesman said the firm has made changes to its payment structure in London in response to feedback from couriers. "As we transition to the new system, we're introducing minimu...
A gunman has open fired on a north London street, leaving two injured and reported holes in a taxi window. Armed police were deployed to Islington on Thursday evening, at about 9.30pm, after witnesses reported hearing gun shots and people running from the area. The suspect then fled the scene, on Essex Road, police said. Officers found two people – a 34-year-old woman and a 40-year-old man – suffering from minor injuries. The woman, police added, was taken...
A businessman and his family were targeted in an arson attack which police are treating as a suspected race hate crime. Mac Karlekar, 44, and his wife and 15-year-old son fled their home in Orpington after their hedge was set on fire. Mr Karlekar has told how he was woken up in the early hours of the morning by neighbours, who were alerted by the “uncontrollable” barking of their dog Maggie. The neighbours opened their window and saw the blaze, then they c...
Police have admitted for the first time that an undercover officer had a sexual relationship with an environmental activist with the knowledge of bosses. Legal documents seen by the BBC reveal they knew about Mark Kennedy's relationship with Kate Wilson and allowed it to continue. She was among several women he had relationships with while undercover. In public statements to date, police have maintained such relationships would never have been sanctioned....