Tasman Jude will bring double the fun to Parksville Qualicum Beach in the next few weeks. The Canadian reggae band will stop in the area twice on the Island-leg of its latest tour, with the first gig being an all-ages show in Qualicum this weekend.
“We like to do all-ages shows,” said bassist Derek Wilder, who also happens to be from Parksville. “Everyone deserves to have some fun.”
In fact, the four-piece reggae band has only recently arrived back in Canada from playing a promotional tour for Easterfest, one of the largest all-ages festivals in Australia. According to Wilder, Easterfest organizers flew the band over for 54 shows in 37 schools over 27 days throughout southeastern Queensland. Tasman Jude then tacked on an extra 30 shows around that country while they were there. “We put in a lot of kilometres,” he said.
That wasn’t the only high-octane tour the band has undertaken either. They’ve already completed a journey across Canada and in the Caribbean, and they started their latest national tour a mere ten days after returning to Canada from Australia this April.
By the time they reach Parksville for Canada Day, lead singer Caleb Hart said they will be a few days off from playing their 400th show since January 2013.
“It’s pretty incredible,” he said.
“We’re based on tour,” Hart added, saying that most of the band members have no permanent address since they’re on the road so much.
This number is particularly incredible when you take into account that Tasman Jude started by fluke when Hart and a friend took the stage at an open mic in Grand Prairie a few years ago.
“We just made up three songs,” he said.
The crowd loved it so much that the friends made up a band name on the spot and wasted no time creating a Facebook page. “We figured there must be something special,” he said.
Tasman Jude quickly grew into a trio, and released their first EP in 2013. Wilder joined them on bass for a show in Vancouver later that year and took up a full-time position with the band in mid-2014.
Today, Tasman Jude consists of Hart on vocals, Wilder on bass and Bethanie Earle on African drums. The group doesn’t have a permanent guitarist at the moment, but Luis Gonzalez will take over the role for the entire Island leg of the tour.
As for why Tasman Jude tours so much, Wilder and Hart give two different reasons. First, it’s the group’s responsibility to promote itself as an independent band, said the bass player.
Secondly, Hart said the band wants to bring a message of love directly to the people through the vibe it creates for live shows. In particular, he said the group hopes to inspire people to do what they love, do something bigger than themselves and spread good feelings.
“We want to impact the next generation,” he said.
When coming to a show, Wilder said the audience should expect a big sound, a ton of energy and a lot of dancing.
“Our show is pretty fun,” he said. “We love what we do.”
You can also expect a variety of reggae styles, from more classic to Island rock influenced, as well as a number of songs from Tasman Jude’s first full-length album, Green.
Green, which is the first of a three record series, debuted at number one on the iTunes reggae charts.
“We were the first Canadian reggae band to knock Bob Marley to number two,” said Wilder.
The album’s single “Every Breath” also attained number one on Rebel Vibes Radio, a world-recognized Canadian reggae radio station.
Again, Tasman Jude will first play in the area on June 20 at the Christian Fellowship Centre Church, which is located at 825 Village Way, Qualicum Beach. Doors will open at 7 p.m. with the music starting soon afterwards.
All ages are invited to attend and entrance is by suggested a $10 donation.
The group will then play on the main stage at Parksville’s Canada Day celebrations on July 1.