Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 25/11/2010 (3852 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
BEFORE the Trews play a single note at this year’s Grey Cup game in Edmonton, a sold-out crowd of some 60,000 will rise from their seats for a set expected to last a few minutes, tops.
The foursome from Antigonish, N.S., widely known for bar rock hits such as Ready to Go and Tired of Waiting, are booked to play an alternative rendition of
O Canada to kick off the football game on Sunday (5:30 p.m. on TSN).
They learned the anthem playing with Big Sugar frontman Gordie Johnson, who likes to close his shows with it, and since then, the Trews have brought it out to start a Jays’ home opener and a special regular season CFL game in Moncton, N.B.
Never for a crowd this big, though.
Lead singer Colin MacDonald says O Canada is deceptively tricky to play as a band, especially when they sing half the words in French.
"It’s really hard to get the harmonies down," MacDonald says.
It took the band two long rehearsals to get it just right.
"We’re not going to bring any instruments, except for one guitar and four voices," MacDonald says, chuckling at the logistics of carting a bass-and-drum kit onto the Astroturf minutes before the big game.
Are they nervous to perform the song in front of so many people?
"I get more nervous having to sing at a house party than I do when I have to get up on stage," MacDonald says.
"It’s just always been the case. There’s something so personal about being in a room with people right in front of you."
In a big crowd, the individual spectators get lost in the mass of huddled bodies.
Besides, this is a band that plays up to 250 shows a year in all sorts of places. Currently, they’re on an acoustic tour across Canada, unplugging in small rooms in small towns such as Airdrie and Trail, B.C.
"We grew up in a town of 3,000 people and we never had bands going through. We know what it’s like to be in a small town, and it’s always nice when you get a national touring band coming through," MacDonald says.
This year, the band released a charity single called Highway of Heroes, with proceeds going to scholarships for military families.
A new album is also in the works, set for release early next year. Recorded at the Bathhouse in Kingston, Ont., MacDonald says their as-yet-unnamed fourth LP will be incorporate more of the band’s acoustic side.
"We’ve got some pretty cool jams on there," he says.
In addition to belting out the anthem at the Grey Cup, the Trews are headlining the official after-party at the Edmonton Expo Centre following the game.
— Postmedia News