Glad rags and Lederhosen
By Allan WIGNEY, Ottawa Sun
According to vocalist and guitarist Patrick Shanks, The Glads are the first band he's played in that doesn't have a gimmick. And the local vocalist and guitarist known to some as Merle Knurling has played in his share of bands over the past dozen years.
In fact, when he isn't being a Glad, Shanks is a member in good standing both of Holy Hell and Casey Comeau's Half Milers. That's when he's not working at his day job.
"Rock 'n' roll's my weekend thing," Shanks says. "You're not gonna make any money playing rock 'n' roll, so you might as well have fun with it." Whatever money there is, Shanks explains, goes into recording The Glads' first CD with producer Dave Draves.
"We don't make any money, but sometimes you drink for free," Shanks adds on a positive note. "If you go out to see a show on a Saturday, you have to buy your drinks. But if you go out to see a show and are a part of it, you don't have to pay for your drinks ... and you know the music will be good."
With The Glads onstage, the music will certainly be energetic. Steeped in the garage sounds from days of yore -- "all rock 'n' roll from Chuck Berry on up" -- Shanks and his bandmates concoct a recipe for a head- and hip-shakin' experience.
And they come armed with impressive punk cred: Shanks and drummer Tim Matthews served time as Knurlings; bassist Nathaniel Hurlow was a Dead City Rebel; and guitarist Jim Sproull played with Maritime rockers GoSquad. All, like Shanks, remain busy with at least one other band outside The Glads.
"We were all gonna wear white suits and play really happy, fancy pop," Shanks says of the how the musicians first came together two years ago to open for legends of the garage, The Fleshtones. "But it was a bitter time for some of us and it got turned around and became, 'Okay, let's make really miserable songs about girls who rip your hearts out. But it'll be catchy.' "
Additional catchy material will be provided at the Dominion Tavern this Friday by country-popsters Fembots and by the mysterious Lederhosen Lucil, a creation of Montreal-based singer-songwriter Krista Muir.
Muir's keyboard-driven songs hark back to the nether regions of the 1980s and left-field artists like Lene Lovich, The Slits and Nina Hagen. Her onstage persona, however, takes us closer to the 1880s and a faraway land. The story goes that Muir became so entranced by visions of beer-swilling Bavarians that when she found a fetching pair of lederhosen, she knew what to do.
"I could just perform as myself and play the songs," Muir concedes, "but I find it's fun to have some kind of comic relief and to step out and play a different character. I don't think it takes away from the seriousness of the songs, because I'm not acting goofy when I'm playing the serious songs."
And the songs on her CD, Hosemusik, are serious, even when imbued with polka or waltz flavouring. "You suck / You really messed up my life" is hardly a frivolous opening lyric to a song, for instance. Yet, there is something oh-so-wacky about Lucil. And Muir can see the funny side of her image and some of the misconceptions it has generated. Such as the time a Kingston paper cropped her photo in such a way that at least two readers mistook her keyboard for an accordion.
"This older couple in their 60s or 70s showed up," Muir recalls. "And they stayed! They had the best time. But at the end, I said, 'Any requests?' and they yelled out for something in German. And I was like, 'Oh no, you're the real deal!' Still, they were smiling and having fun with it."
p.s. The show Krista talked about (just above, with the older German couple) - took place in our restaurant (well, it used to be our restaurant), Ida's Kitchen. Just FYI, Ida was Mark's mum, she passed away the summer before we opened the restaurant. - peggy