WITH ONLY a select few live music venues in Terrace, and shows that can sometimes seem few and far between, experiencing local music means you need to get out to shows when they happen and pay attention to when your favourite band is playing next. Social media, local community listings, flyers in coffee shops and bulletin boards can help you plan your monthly entertainment, but before you start thinking about what to do, you have to figure out what you like.
Luckily, the summer is the best time to experience a wide array of local entertainment so you know what to look out for throughout the rest of the year. Out-of-town festivals like Midsummer Music Festival and Kispiox Valley Music Festival are fun weekend trips, but Riverboat Days, with the adjoining Riverside Festival and the youth Battle of the Bands on the first Friday night, is awash with music right here at home. And while the out-of-town headliners are obviously a huge draw (I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am to see Holly Woods and Toronto), the real beauty of the festival is the opportunity to sample local bands all in one place.
Here, we’ve picked out a few of the bands you should look out for during the Concerts in the Park, held Aug. 4 and 5 at George Little Park, but there are even more than what we’ve listed here (Boss Blues Band, After Hours, Zombie Love Bite, and newcomers The No-Seeums, with Copper Mountain String Band playing the Farmer’s Market the morning of Aug. 4). So along with your blanket, chair, snacks, and sunglasses, bring a pen and a piece of paper and take note of which bands speak to you or make you get up and dance. Let us know your favourites, and stay tuned for next week when we go in depth with one of Terrace’s most beloved new bands, King Crow and the Ladies from Hell, and delve into what makes Terrace’s music scene shine with a couple of local music veterans.
River Valley Rats:
This performance will be the River Valley Rat’s second performance to date, but if it’s anything like the first (for the sold out Hill Climb dance in Kitimat) the audience is in for a treat. Formed in January of this year, the band is comprised of Andrew Murphy on drums, Leigh Mosdell on bass, Alex Zoglaur on lead guitar, vocals, and keyboard, Dustin Marsh on guitar and vocals, and Josh Marsh on lead vocals, guitar and keyboard. The guys have been involved in music in the area for some time, and like many musicians in Terrace, they’ve got a couple of projects on the go. The Marsh brothers are in a band called Alive, that is mostly based out of Kamloops, but do all of the recording in Dustin’s basement studio in Kitimat. Dustin also produces a number of bands across the province and the lot of them are used to being in touring bands. Murphy, Zoglaur and Mosdell played in a band called Coldwater before merging with the Marsh brothers. In this project, they play mostly covers of “the rock and roll variety,” anything from the ‘50s on.
Rio by Night:
This band’s Concert in the Park performance might be your only chance to check them out for some time, as the band hails from Vancouver, but we’re including them here because their fetching frontwoman, Britt MacLeod, was raised in Terrace before moving to Vancouver to attend music school. Growing up in Terrace, she says she was “a closeted musician,” so she is beyond excited to return home and showcase what she’s been up to down south. “I am so very thrilled to play our music in Terrace,” she says, on the road during their first B.C. tour. “We’ve never toured as a band, so this whole thing has been exciting. But I love the fact that we get to cap it all off surrounded by friends and family and those mountains.” Their sound is an impressive mix of lighthearted ukulele, deep cello and soulful vocals that get deep into your bones. If there’s a band that sounds like this in Terrace, we haven’t heard them – so don’t miss this show.
King Crow and the Ladies from Hell:
Hanging out with the guys and girls in King Crow, it’s not unusual for random folks to stop over, shake their hands, and congratulate them on their last show and what they are doing – and once you see them live in action, it’s easy to see why. The nine-piece band is a unique, high-energy mix of gypsy, folk, punk and Celtic rock mixed with a dash of whimsy and some good stories to boot. Their live act, filled with original songs and neatly-tweaked covers, has everyone from your grandma to your baby niece to that funny, goth kid who lives down the street up dancing. Real stomping music, crowd favourites include “Better Days” and “Sailor’s Song” – which happens to be the first track they’ve laid out in the studio, with the help of members of Dr. Fishy. The group’s fairly new to the scene – their first show was at Apple Fest – but it hasn’t taken them long to amass a strong following of dedicated fans who are itching to see what they come up with next.
This four-member high-energy rock band has literally grown up playing Riverboat Days – for five straight years, since the guys were in grade nine at Caledonia, they’ve been entertaining festival-goers, and this year, they’ve earned the coveted opening spot before the headliners. Concerts in the Park are always a touchstone for them, they say. “It’s really a showcase of what we’ve done in the last year,” says lead guitar player Mario Furtado. Aside from Riverboat Days, the band’s played all over the north, including the opening ceremonies for the BC Winter Games, where they played an all-original set, and they’ve just started playing the Northern (they had to wait until they were all of age, of course). It’s this dedication and drive from such a young age that certainly makes them stand out, but it’s what they call their “Play Back” style of delivery, covering popular songs from every era in an electrifying way that’s all their own, that helps their fan base grow. But the band writes their own music, too – be sure to keep an ear out for Streetlights, one of the first songs they collaborated on that they play every show. “The best feeling in the world is looking out at a crowd dancing to our music,” said bass player Ryan Sergerie.
For over 10 years folk bank Dr. Fishy has slowly been amassing fish heads (that’s what Dr. Fishy fans are called) all over the northwest. Local music veterans James Powell, Mark Fleming, John Krisinger and Greg Linton make up the current composition and you’ll find a couple of the guys in other acts around town, like the Soul Professors, a nine-piece funk band that plays a handful of times a year. Fleming describes Dr. Fishy as “spruce roots,” because of the band’s local flavour and influences. Playing all original music, the band has recorded four albums to date. Their roots in Terrace run deep; they play a number of local fundraisers every year and the band has become something of a mentor to up-and-coming acts, specifically King Crow, who has been recording in the studio in the barn at Powell’s property in north Terrace. Aside from the show at Riverboat Days, Dr. Fishy will be hooking fans Aug. 8 at the Elks Hall with special guests West My Friend, a band from Victoria with a frontwoman from Terrace. After that, they’ll be heading to the Edge of the World Festival in Haida Gwaii.