Volume 91, Issue 29

Tuesday, October 21, 1997

Something fishy


Rolling through a ghost town

Nick Burdan/Gazette

Nick Burdan
Gazette Staff

Londoners missed a great show last Thursday as Vancouver-based band Nickelback played some powerful rock to only a handful of people at Call the Office.

Nickelback originally banded in 1996 in Hanna, Alberta but were discovered a short time later while recording their debut CD in Vancouver. Since then, the band has relocated to Vancouver and now have two CDs being distributed through Toronto-based Shoreline Records.

The Pacific Music Industry nominated Nickelback earlier this year for "Album of the Year - Independent Distribution." Also, the band has just recently completed shooting its first video, which is appearing later this year in a film. Much has happened to this band in a very short space of time.

Talking to the members after their London show, it was obvious they were disappointed with the dismal turn-out. And who wouldn't be if less than 10 people came to see them play? Add the fact they have traveled all the way from Vancouver and you can't help but feel sympathy for the members of Nickelback. It is difficult and frustrating for musicians who give all of their energy to empty space.

Nevertheless, the band's energy level was commendable. Their style and vigor was better than many bands that play The Office to bigger crowds. Nickelback's sound was heavy and eclectic, bringing together various genres in different songs. The band went from sludgy rock to brighter pop to even a hardcore number where guitarist Ryan Peak put down his axe to rap. A mediocre comparison can be made with early Soundgarden. This band's sound varies song to song, with lots of heaviness and distortion being the common denominator.

The London show comes at the end of the band's tour of the East Coast which has taken them as far east as Montreal and New York City. Nickelback's stop in the Big Apple was decidedly the highlight of the band's travels. "Everyone's drinking booze out of brown paper bags downtown," commented Ryan Peak. Apparently, it's all legal so long as you brown-bag it.

Off to play several more venues in Ontario before the long haul back to Vancouver, the band plans to spend some time in the studio.

Perhaps Londoners were out prowling the town with their brown paper bags because they certainly weren't taking in the fresh Canadian talent. Next time Nickelback plays London, the band hopes the turn-out will be better.

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

Copyright The Gazette 1997