The hopping, dance-friendly, reggae-influenced worldbeat band Roots Roundup is making its debut in Errington on Saturday, April 21, after an on-again, off-again career that began in 1985.
Since disbanding in 1993, the band has had several reunions over the years, but their latest in 2014 seems to have stuck.
“People around Vancouver were just asking if we were going to get together to play, so I was like, ‘I’ll see if everyone is interested and we’ll just put together a one-off show for Vancouver,’” said bandmate Greg Hathaway (singer, guitarist).
“But with social media and everything, as soon as we posted that we were getting together to do a show in Vancouver, we found that we were getting offers from all kinds of other people asking if we would come and play,” he said.“We were just totally blown away.”
“It ended up growing into 13 or 14 dates over the course of the spring and the summer, so after that, we just decided, ‘well jeez, why don’t we just keep doing this while it’s still fun and people seem to be enjoying it?’ So we’ve ended up doing it for the past four years,” said Hathaway with a laugh.
The music came back together well, with each member of the band having improved over the years, and the sound taking on a more dynamic feel, Hathaway said. “We’d just sort of plough through the songs (20-30 years ago), played them really fast, hard and heavy. Now we tend to listen to each other more. I find that we’re more musical than we’ve ever been before.”
The band, currently a five-person mix of rock, reggae, ska, afro-beat, folk, funk and punk, decided to break up back in the early ’90s due to fatigue, said Hathaway. Roots Roundup had been averaging 150-200 dates a year, he said. “We were still not even making a living at it.”
Now, the pace isn’t as lethal, Hathaway said, with the band more focused on enjoying performing together and providing people with music they want.
“We really enjoy going to the different communities to play. We’re really blessed in that we get to go and play places like Cortes Island and Quadra Island… and Errington and Cumberland. We get to go to all these beautiful places and play at these beautiful community halls for people, and they really enjoy the music.
“We just feel really blessed and really lucky to do it, and just enjoy having a good time with people.”
The Blast from the Past dance at Errington hall (1390 Errington Rd.) featuring Roots Roundup takes place Saturday, April 21 with doors opening at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are $20 at the Errington General Store, Cranky Dog Music in Parksville, Heaven on Earth Natural Foods in Qualicum Beach or $22.50 online (erringtonhall.tickit.ca). Kids ages six-12 are $5 at the door, while kids under six are free.