This time last year The Porcelain Gods were among the fastest-rising bands in Halifax. A year later, battered and beleaguered, the pop-rock quintet hopes the sum of its misfortunes will be returned in an equivalent amount of positive karma. First came the replacement of drummer Jeremy Stewart with Niall Skinner.
“I always made the conscious decision that if anyone ever asked what happened to the old drummer I would tread lightly,” says guitarist Brian O’Reilly. “He probably doesn’t want us talking about it and we probably have different views as to why he’s not in the band. Actually, I guarantee he’s got a different opinion of why he’s not in the band. It just didn’t mesh.”
The switch and accompanying financial woes with a van the five co-signed for occurred during the recording of the band’s first full-length, which will be released in early 2006. Promises of the evolution of the group’s east coast indie sound are forthcoming.
“We enjoy The Super Friendz and Thrush Hermit,” says O’Reilly. “But I think the new album will be more like British bands. As Charles put it, it sounds more like The Clash, Supergrass and the Kinks.”
While O’Reilly and guitarist Andrew Erskine have managed to avoid physical harm, bassist Panos Giannoulis and guitarist Daniel Girard haven’t been as lucky. Giannoulis, fresh from knee surgery, is headed into another operation for a hernia over the Christmas holidays. Girard, who attended the Moncton Stones concert on crutches, has had several operations following a partially severed finger suffered this week.
“I was working in the meat department at Sobey’s and cut my hand with a band saw,” says Girard. “I don’t know what I’m looking at, but the idea is I am supposed to be bending it a little at a time to try to get traction back.”
Drumless but not done
Rockabilly group Deerfield will play their final show with longtime drummer Jeff Brown at Gus’ Pub on November 24. While reluctant to engage in specifics over rumours of personality differences with band founder Roger Nelson, Brown remains enthusiastic about the gig.
“It represents the last time that this lineup of the band will perform together for at least awhile, which is true,” he says via email. “But it also marks our second time performing with our good friends the Alewives, fronted by local music mainstays Matthew Grimson and Andy McDaniel, the former leader of Leonard Conan. It’ll also be the public debut of Hot Knives side project The Compulsive Ramblers.”
While Brown is keeping a cool head and is optimistic about the show, his mother does not share his eagerness.
“Gus’ Pub is the only venue I’ve ever played where my mother actually feared for my safety. We were playing there this past August with The Ride Theory and Money,” Brown explains. “Upon hearing that my band was playing at Gus’ in the deep, dark north end, my mother had a mild panic attack...she figures it’s really seedy and dangerous in there...so, it’s nice to get to play there again and hopefully prove her wrong once more!”
Matt Mays isn’t the only big local double-show in town — you have already missed your chance to score tickets to Gypsophilia’s Gypsy-Swing Dance Party on November 25 at The North Street Church, but it may come as a relief they’ve added a second show due to popular demand. The string-swing jazz collective composed of Alec Frith, Ross Burns and Nick Wilkinson on guitar, Gina Burgess on violin, Dani Oore on soprano sax and Adam S. Fine on double bass will also entertain on November 26. Same place, same time — at 9pm.
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