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Volume 91, Issue 43

Thursday, November 13, 1997

$48 refund


Pure pop, plain and simple

©Gazette File Photo
WE'RE STARS, BABY, STARS. The Grace Babies will grace London with their pop-star presence Saturday night at the Embassy, with Made and Flashing Lights.

By Steve Hare

Gazette Staff

Maybe you haven't heard of the Grace Babies, but maybe you should. They are a pop band from Halifax with a successful single and a video on rotation at MuchMusic called "Anyone But You." Even though the video features Ken, from Street Cents in it, you can't hold it against them because the song is great. The band is also coming to London on Saturday night.

There comes a quintessential moment in time when, just as Lennon bumped into McCartney or Noel realized his cranky brother Liam could sing, a band's music takes a profound turn. Perhaps the Grace Babies haven't hit that moment yet – but this group is still blossoming. They have been together for three years and have just released their second album entitled Frequency. The formula for songwriting is simple – keep the songs short (two to three minutes), the hooks catchy and the harmonies always in the mix.

The Grace Babies have a pretty standard band setup: two guitars, a bass and drums – but less can be more. Chris Loane and Damian Dunphy are the guitarists, with Damian doing the greater half of lead vocals. Stu Whitehead plays bass and Kevin Hilliard plays drums, while everyone in the band sings. The band has gone through just one member change when their original bassist Brad Schroeder had to leave due to a medical condition.

Damian is philosophically realistic about what the chances are of the Grace Babies making it big, just like any band in today's market. "The trends are what you come up against. You're used to one thing, being in a band that plays original music and you're used to being in situations where people come out to see new bands. That's not really the case anymore. It's a matter of the market being saturated. There's a million young bands out and lots of them are really really good but because there's so many, supply exceeds demand."

There is a quiet confidence about this band which can only come from experience on the road. When referring to the perils of being the opening band, Damian states, "I don't know if we're good at it or if we're lucky, but we tend to win crowds over."

This is just what Halifax's Grace Babies will be doing on Saturday at the Embassy when they play with Made and the Flashing Lights. This is a band with plenty more in store and enough "swagger" to fuel their rock 'n' roll journey.

To Contact The Arts and Entertainment Department: gazent@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright © The Gazette 1997