If you are looking for the current elder statesmen of the Halifax music scene, look no further than The Sorrys. Sure, the band has only been around since 2004, but with two professors, an ESL teacher and an ad writer in its line-up, no one is going to mistake the band for students.
Not that it's an issue with vocalist Trevor Millet. "I think the bigger issue in terms of our age is that it's more difficult to get out to see bands and become ensconced in the scene," he says. "Most of us have families and when we get our chance to head out it's almost always to get together, drink beer and write music or play shows. That's our party time."
The Sorrys' next big party takes place July 20 at Gus' Pub, when the band will celebrate the release of its debut album The Last Clear Thought Before You Fall Backwards, a 14-track smorgasborg of classic indie rock that the band recorded with fellow scene veteran Charles Austin.
To support the release the band will tour with some Maritimes dates, but Millet says he doesn't expect them to hit the road full-time in the near future. "There won't be any hopping in a van and heading out on the cliche. That's why no one will ever sign us, although a guy from some label in the States called Merge keeps calling. Have you ever heard of them? Probably some dog and pony show."
Duo part one
When it comes down to basic economics, touring as a duo makes a lot of sense. Fewer people to pay and more money for each member. You even get more room to sleep in the van. Just ask Shiloh Harrison, guitarist/vocalist of Cambridge, Ontario, duo HotKid.
"We tour in Goldie, our lovely "98 GMC Safari equipped with bed, curtains and room for a third," she says from the midst of the band's latest east coast tour. Harrison and her partner in crime Peter MacIntosh made their Halifax debut last summer (supporting the soon to be re-released Got it to Give), and are set for an all-ages barnburner July 20 at One World Cafe.
The band looks forward to its triumphant return. "Last summer the response we got here was great," says Harrison. "And we were both impressed by the size of the rats in your fine city."
Duo part deux
It's been a week since The White Stripes whipped out a secret six-song set at Locas, and the bar is still abuzz with excitement. "I don't know why they picked the place, but when they came in they said it was a great space," says Mike Cann of Locas.
And the bar has seen a spike in drop-ins since. Staff and patrons are getting ready a display to commemorate the event. "We actually put an X on the floor where Meg's drum set was set up," says Cann. "Right between tables five and six." Fans have been donating everything from a guitar pick, used by Jack at the show, to merch t-shirts. Many of the items donated are being framed. "We expect them to be on display in a couple of weeks."
Only 140 fans out of the estimated 1,000-plus who arrived at the bar were allowed inside, but those who made it enjoyed an intimate, ear-bleedingly good time. "Jack started saying it wasn't loud enough, so they turned up and started playing again and stuff started falling out behind the bar," says Cann. "The feeling in the room was incredible, everyone had ear-to-ear smiles on their faces."
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