Music lovers who spent the 80s and 90s listening to The Grapes of Wrath and The Northern Pikes have a rare opportunity to hear some of the band’s iconic singles in a live show this weekend in Parksville.
Bryan Potvin and Kevin Kane are playing a handful of acoustic dates together and their tour includes at stop at the Quality Resort Bayside Nov. 15.
Megan Olsen of Arbutus Events managed to snag the duo for a show this Saturday night and said the pairing presents a special treat for fans of Canadian rock.
Potvin of The Northern Pikes and Kane of The Grapes Of Wrath will perform their solo material and favourites from both bands, both individually and as a duo.
Three decades ago The Grapes Of Wrath and The Northern Pikes produced some of the catchiest and most heart-felt songs to come out of Canada at that time.
Back in the day the ultimate play list on any Sony Walkman would no doubt have included She Ain’t Pretty, the first single from the Pike’s most successful album Snow in June. Kiss Me You Fool and Girl With a Problem were two other hits from that disc which garnered the group three Juno award nominations in 1991.
After 10 years of intense road life, eight Juno award nominations, four gold records and one platinum record, the band went on an indefinite hiatus and The Pikes played their final concert in 1993.
The Grapes Of Wrath started as a garage band in Kelowna and eventually made their way to Vancouver where they were signed by Nettwerk Records in1984.
In late summer of 1985, Nettwerk released the first album September Bowl Of Green, which got air play on alternative radio.
Their first two videos Misunderstanding and A Dream (About You) were heavily rotated by MuchMusic. That attention led to Nettwerk’s negotiations with Capitol Records for a distribution deal and the band returned to the studio in May 1986 to remix some songs with Tom Cochrane of Red Rider fame.
Cochrane produced the band’s sophomore effort Treehouse which was released in October 1987, resulting in their first gold album for sales in Canada.
Next up was the band’s big breakthrough album Now And Again which was recorded in Woodstock, New York, where the band lived in isolation for the first half of 1989.
The singles All The Things I Wasn’t and What Was Going Through My Head propelled the album to platinum status and soon the band went from playing bars to theaters and touring Europe. Their Canadian tour to support the album was also notable for it’s opening act, a then-emerging singer/songwriter named Sarah McLachlan.
Kane and Potvin both call Toronto home now and the guitarists from each of the bands are doing some limited engagements where they perform some old favourites from their respective back catalogs as well as some new material.
The NEWS caught up with Kane and he explained how he and Potvin started gigging together.
“The pairing came about because we ran into each other in a guitar store in Toronto. We had never toured together before,” he said.
Back in their hey-day, they only played the same bill once and Kane said they really didn’t hang out in the same music circles.
“It is weird it took this long to get to know each other. We just started hanging out playing guitar and thought it might be fun to do some shows.”
He said because he took such a long break from his band there aren’t any songs he is tired of playing.
“I am not sick of any of the Grapes stuff, and we don’t play all that often.”
He said for the show he and Potvin mostly play together.
“We do a couple of songs on our own. The Pikes songs were familiar to me, and I had to learn some new stuff. Every show we do we learn a few more lyrics, it is a lot of fun,” he agreed.
Special guest Nate Dillon will be opening the Nov. 15 show. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and the show starts at 8:30 p.m.Tickets are $20 and are for sale at the Quality Resort Bayside front desk, Soak Essentials in Parksville, ReVived Vintage in Qualicum Beach and online at www.arbutusevents.ca.