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What's on: The Trews, Kendal, October 30
ONE of Canada’s top rock bands are the next high profile act to blaze a trail to Kendal’s Bootleggers.
Toronto-based The Trews are in the UK on a nine-date tour following rave reviews of their latest album - Hope and Ruin.
They swap the big bucks North American stadium circuit for a micro gig at the Finkle Street music bar.
These days Bootleggers is solely owned by Jonty Martindale (co-owner Tom Powney has now stepped out).
Jonty said he was really chuffed to host the Trews, which has to be one of the biggest coups ever for the popular town centre venue.
He added: “They are a top band, especially big in Canada, so to have what is basically a stadium band in Bootleggers is fantastic.
“The Trews came to us through their UK Tour Manager, Martin Jarvis of 247 Touring.
"I’ve known Martin for a good while now, and have a great working relationship.
"Martin has a lot of balls in the air, and we are generally able to accommodate the bands he offers on tour as a routing venue between Scotland and England, or vice versa.”
The band - Colin MacDonald, vocals and rhythm guitar; his brother John-Angus MacDonald on lead guitar; cousin, drummer Sean Dalton and long-time friend bassist Jack Syperek - have built a solid a reputation for their live performances and hard graft across their homeland.
They have already notched up two gold albums and 10 top 10 rock radio singles (two of them No1 and one gold) in their native Canada, and have supported heavyweights such as the Rolling Stones, Robert Plant, Guns ‘N’ Roses, Kiss, and Nickelback along the way.
I first saw the Trews in Toronto in 2005 just as the band unleashed So She’s Leaving, a single from the foursome’s Den of Thieves album, which had just been released.
It was an absolute knockout.
The day after, I tripped off to the massive Sam the Record Man store downtown on Yonge Street and bought the album.
Hope And Ruin - their fourth album - is cleverly crafted rock and harder-edged polished pop songs with plenty of sweet-sounding hooks.
Among the stand-out tracks are People Of The Deer, a powerful rocker oozing shades of Deep Purple; the laid back and gently percussive Dreaming Man, and Stay With Me, anthemic in the Biffy Clyro mould. In fact, there isn’t a flawed track.
The Trews is the latest in a long line of top names playing Bootleggers, which recently includes acclaimed singer/songwriter and pianist Elio Pace and former Iron Maiden frontman Blaze Bayley.
Jonty has also lined-up Swedish hard rockers Bonafide for Bootleggers on December 5 and Toby Jepson (of Little Angels fame) on October 31.
Added Jonty: “The bands and artistes that come to Bootleggers are a combination of people I have met over the 30-odd years of trailing round the country playing myself, and from various agencies, and people I just fancy putting on really.
"Almost without exception we have left the artists with a great impression of the place by trying to look after them as well as possible while they are here.
"A happy band always play better than a miserable one.
They all seem to love the feel of Bootleggers and love to come back, which is great.”
The Trews play Bootleggers, Kendal, on Sunday, October 30. Entry to the show is free.