Located right in the heart of the action (what action there is in a city of 100,000), in Kelowna’s downtown core on the trendy Bernard Avenue, you could do worse than to see an energetic punk band at Doc Willoughby’s Pub. Sporting a half Irish, half English decor and feel, Doc’s is one of the Okanagan’s best pubs. Playing skate, snow and surf videos on the TV’s, with two floors to choose from to drink one of the many on tap beer choices they carry, the bar is usually packed with twenty and thirty-something’s out to have a good time. It also plays host to a lot of live music events, from bands both local and touring. So when it was announced The Creepshow would be dropping in on Kelowna on their way across Canada, and that they would be playing Doc’s, the reaction was: of course.
Toronto’s The Creepshow have been at it now almost a full decade. It didn’t take long after dropping their first self titled LP for the foursome to gain respect and attention within the scene and they soon found themselves releasing records with the help of highly respected labels such as Canada’s Stomp and America’s Hellcat.
Despite the fact that they’re on their third singer, The Creepshow sound has changed little over the years. High charged psychobilly (a kinetic mixture of rockabilly and punk) with early-era Misfits style lyrics celebrating all things gleefully dark and demonic.
With the release of last year’s ‘Life After Death’, the band has four full length records under their belt and has toured almost non-stop since their inception.
As far as I’m concerned, it is the duty of every band to at minimum, sound as good live as they do on their records, if not better. Going to see a show of a band whose music you love, only to be disappointed by their ineptitude in recreating those songs on the stage just sucks. Whether you paid for the show or not. Thankfully that’s not the case with The Creepshow. This band plays with all the energy found on their albums, but adds a charismatic stage presence and even a feeling of spontaneity to their performances which just adds to the excitement they’re able to generate.
Hitting the stage at Doc’s just after 10pm, the band played for well over two hours on April 12th, with a break in the middle for a breather (smoke, drink, bathroom, etc.). But before you go calling them wimps for splitting their set up, let it be known that they played virtually every song off every one of their records, as well a few covers and songs they had never even attempted before.
And it’s not like they left the crowd to their own devices. The very talented Toronto-based singer/songwriter Chuck Coles (previously of popular Toronto area bands Brown Brigade and Cauterize), who was also filling in on guitar for the band on tour, gave an acoustic performance that was impressive in its own right.
Between the crowd charging leadership of Shawn “Sickboy” McNab; the keyboard pounding hellfire of Kristian “The Reverend” Rowles (who sports some of the most impressive sideburns you’ll ever see); the machine gun drumming of Sandro “Blood” Sanchioni; and the charismatic, pinup girl playfulness of newest member, vocalist Kenda “Twisted” Legaspi; there wasn’t a single member of the group who didn’t look like they were having the time of their lives up there on the stage that night. And when you’re all packed into a place like Doc’s, where crowd and band are sometimes (literally) standing beside each other, passing that energy and excitement back and forth like a hot potato makes for one hell of a good night. Pun intended.