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The British Columbians - JPop.com
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The British Columbians

The British Columbians

The British Columbians


They arrive with their first album in summer 2008 more or less fully formed, and the music here could be sufficient introduction, but there is a story and there are people involved, so you should meet them and know them a little … Girard Knox (guitars, words, voice), David Moran (drums, voice), and Chris Ellis (bass guitar, hereafter known only as Ellis) began life as The British Columbians, summer 2006, in the basement of an old shack down by the CP switching yard in Port Moody, BC. Read more on Last.fm
They arrive with their first album in summer 2008 more or less fully formed, and the music here could be sufficient introduction, but there is a story and there are people involved, so you should meet them and know them a little … Girard Knox (guitars, words, voice), David Moran (drums, voice), and Chris Ellis (bass guitar, hereafter known only as Ellis) began life as The British Columbians, summer 2006, in the basement of an old shack down by the CP switching yard in Port Moody, BC. It began, though, sometime earlier than that. It is unlikely that any of them could have known that their individual musical travels would lead them to each other, but we can now be glad they did. The name of the band could mean different things to different people, I guess. I’ve never pressed them on the subject, but it seems to me it reflects the place where people want to end up, whether they started out there or not-- the notion of a permanent destination secondary to the pleasures to be found just walking the road. The transplant Knox, born and raised on the prairie, heads for Vancouver in the late 90’s, restless and a little hungry, too.

He goes in search of a spot to set down his chair, a place to play and sing the songs he’s brought with him, and when he can feel the new ground underneath him, start some new ones. Settling in, he plays wherever he can, eventually spending more than two years in local band, Cremona, as well as sessions and a stint in Subconscious Satellite, where he plays with Ellis for the first time. The homegrown Moran, on the other hand, has been here all along, falling in love with music and feeling his own sort of restlessness. He spends four years on the road with West African guitarist Alpha Yaya Diallo, mixing in gigs and recordings with other artists along the way. He keeps writing and playing, the requisite dues being paid by the day, no installment plan.

He stays patiently on the path, confident in a vision and ability that will allow for possibilities, both musical and personal. Ellis, meantime, grows up in the lower mainland with his own musical obsessions. Picking up the bass at 16, he begins playing in bands with friends, including some time in a jazz funk combo with some “older dudes”, which illustrates his wonderful ability to fit quietly into any musical situation where he feels at home. He continues being an invaluable, if undervalued, piece of a number of projects until running into Girard during the Subconscious Satellite period. After this experience the two will stay in touch, to the benefit of both. Dave and Girard chance to be employed at the same Surrey music store in the early part of this decade, and locate a common ground without too much effort.

After what seems for each of them a lifetime of starts and stops, gigs and meetings, playing for audiences that always belong to someone else and some other time, they find themselves now building something of their own. The pair began the writing and collaboration process in the summer of 2006, building ideas into songs over the course of some months. Ellis, again available just when the time is right, joins in when the songs are ready to record. They go into The Hive Studios in Burnaby, BC in the spring of 2007, laying down bed tracks with engineer and friend, Stuart Mckillop. Overdubs follow, just the band at Dave’s trailer in Fort Langley all through the hot torturous summer of the same year.

The setting there like something out of rock n’ roll fiction; a room barely big enough to puff out your chest without hitting a wall. If proof were required that this might come off without the principles killing each other, it was provided during these sessions. Getting through the swelter with overdubs done and sanity more or less intact, the band, pleased with the results, head back to the Hive in the autumn of 2007 with Colin Stewart (Black Mountain, Destroyer) to begin mixing and final preparation for completion of the record. So, what to call this thing that is the music of the British Columbians. I’ll leave it to you, listener, and fan of music, to play spot the influence and add your own clever references.

There are influences, to be sure, and you can hear them in these songs, but that really is a solitary game and my job is not to tell you what you’ll find here, only to tell you there is something worth finding. Three likeminded individuals working together to create a music borne of shared experience that satisfies at least a part of the desire to get it out. More will come from this group, I am certain, as live shows follow the record’s release and then another record and…you understand. For today, though, we have our own document of these times through the lens of these people.

Embrace them, these British Columbians; they’ve travelled hard to get here. - Paul Anderson http://www.myspace.com/thebritishcolumbians Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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