In a house somewhere in Steinbach, Winnipeg indie-pop group Royal Canoe are preparing to record some new material.

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This article was published 26/10/2017 (1289 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

In a house somewhere in Steinbach, Winnipeg indie-pop group Royal Canoe are preparing to record some new material.

But before the six-piece sets their sights firmly on the future, they’d first like to take a glance back in the form of a pair of shows, dubbed the Royal Canoe Review, at the Park Theatre on Oct. 26 and 27 that will feature a collection of deep cuts from their back catalogue.

"There are all these songs we’ve either phased out over the years or haven’t played for whatever reason. Often it’s like, ‘Ugh, I don’t like singing that one!’ or you just end up having to play shorter sets or there’s too many songs... Constantly, as we’ve been touring over the years, people have been singling out certain songs and we’re like, ‘Sorry, we can’t do that one,’ and we feel terrible. So this show is us playing all of the songs we haven’t been playing over the years," explains band frontman, Matthew Peters.

"It’s been really fun rehearsing it actually, it’s great. It’s two totally different sets, there’s a little crossover, but it’s mostly just going to be deep cuts and B-sides and rarities. It’s going to be really fun, we’re excited for it."

Royal Canoe has spent much of the last year on the road touring their newest album, Something Got Lost Between Here and the Orbit, and had started adding lesser-known songs to their regular set. The idea then developed for two hometown shows at the end of the tour to act as a kind of retrospective, with the setlists, in part, decided by fans who would be able to send requests via social media. They received more than 100 comments suggesting songs from all corners of their catalogue, which runs three full albums and several EPs deep.

"For us, what we’ve always tried to do — and it’s been difficult and we haven’t always succeeded — is make every show something special and something different from the last one. I think people don’t want to see the same show or see the same set or have the same experience twice. I mean sometimes you do, but if you’re going to be paying money and going to be coming out, you want something special," Peters says.

"This is kind of our way of doing something we’ve never done before. Also, I think people have kind of gotten annoyed that we don’t play certain songs, so, you win, we’re playing them all!"

Royal Canoe will be joined by a few special guests, including soul-pop songstress Begonia (Alexa Dirks) and the Dirty Catfish Brass Band. Joanne Pollock and 3PEAT will act as openers on Oct. 26 and 27, respectively.

As much as the Royal Canoe Review was inspired by requests from fans, it’s also the perfect chance for the band to take a nostalgic pause and consider the vibrant collection of songs they’ve amassed in just seven years.

And to cap it off, Royal Canoe’s first show was also at the Park Theatre.

"I hadn’t thought about it, hadn’t taken the blinders off or stepped back to look at how many songs there are," Peters says.

"But knowing how much work has gone into it and how much care and time we’ve all put in, yeah, I think there is a moment where we can take stock and feel pretty proud of what we’ve accomplished."


erin.lebar@freepress.mb.caTwitter: @NireRabel


Erin Lebar

Erin Lebar
Manager of audience engagement for news

Erin Lebar is a multimedia producer who spends most of her time writing music- and culture-related stories for the Arts & Life section. She also co-hosts the Winnipeg Free Press's weekly pop-culture podcast, Bury the Lede.

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