Victoria and Prince George-based band described as “if George Clinton and Tom Waits had a love child, raised it on a music commune and then sent it to folk festival summer camp,” are bringing their trade to the Critical Mass Pop-up gallery in 100 Mile House on Jan. 18.
“The genre range is all over the map but definitely heavy on the dance aspect. It’s very danceable music but it has lots of interesting songwriting involved too, so if you just like to sit and listen it’s also available to that,” said double bassist and vocalist Brin Porter of The Party on High Street.
The band will be opening their seven-show 2018 Winter Album Release tour in the South Cariboo town before closing it down in Lasquiti Island on Jan. 27. The ten-track album, entitled I Quit the Shit in ‘72, is made up of Dave Soroka covers. Soroka is a Grand Forks-based musician who has collaborated in the past.
Porter and the other two members, guitarist/vocalist Travis Charuk and drummer Devon Venoit, took a handful of Soroka’s “cowboy rock” songs and decided to transform the songs into their own, including making a couple songs into hip-hop and R&B songs.
“It’s kind of fun and generally when you’re making an original record the whole world is your oyster, you can go anywhere with it. Whereas [with this] you’re starting with a set of lyrics and chords, like something you didn’t write and figure out how you can totally change the genre and almost change the meaning of the song even though they’re the same words and chords,” said Porter of the experience of transitioning into making a cover album after writing three original records.
The survival aspect, especially during a winter tour, can be tough on the three musicians. Finding a place to stay, getting food and making sure they’re making enough money to cover the costs can be a bit stressful at times but actually playing for an audience makes it worth it, he said.
“When you finish a set and you can tell someone is legitimately touched by what you did, it feels pretty good,” said Porter.
Porter met Charuk in Nelson when they were members of different bands on the same tour in 2008. Fortunately for the duo, the other members of the bands decided to ditch them at some point during the tour and the two decided to join forces and play together.
Venoit joined the band four years ago.
“We were about to go on tour and the last minute, like within a week of going on tour, our drummer said he couldn’t make it and so the day before we were about to leave we put up a little Facebook thing just asking like “we need a drummer for three months who can come on tour tomorrow” and this guy Devon Venoit pulled through,” said Porter. “He just went in blindly and it seems to be working out just great.”
This is not the first time the band has played in 100 Mile House and they have also played a couple shows in Forest Grove. They are also working on their fifth album, which will all be original content.