Entertainment

Meow Mix plays rare club show at Spiritbar

The lovely ladies of Meow Mix have planned a purrrfect evening of beats on Saturday, December 14 at Spiritbar. - submitted
The lovely ladies of Meow Mix have planned a purrrfect evening of beats on Saturday, December 14 at Spiritbar.
— image credit: submitted

This weekend the groundbreaking DJs Meow Mix are making a rare club appearance.

Meow Mix is an all-female DJ collective forming during the early days of a now vibrant Kootenay electronic music scene. With a hand in growing the local dance culture, the crew has been spinning records together since the year 2000.

It’s been a while since the women: Emma Rhyre as Emma Star, Sara Spicer as Lion S, MaryAnn Spears as Ginger, Laurie Langille as Morninglory and Sheryl Marks as Sweets (formerly Oasis) have taken to the club stage. Saturday night they perform at Spiritbar.

In another decade, at another nightclub, the women were encouraged to do an all-girl DJ night.

“All our partners at the time were male DJs so we had turn tables at home and were practicing and collecting vinyl,” said Spears. “We just decided to jump on the turn tables.”

After over a decade of playing together and separately, the music keeps drawing these ladies to the decks. Despite a shift in lifestyle — children, mortgages, careers and in Spicer’s case, a move to the coast, the DJs keep playing and reuniting annually at Shambhala Music Festival.

“I can't stop. I'm in it for the music,” says Langille. “I've had the opportunity to play many different venues and shows over the years and I love the challenge of creating the right ambience with music.”

Meow Mix tradition has each DJ playing three songs each. They share the stage — no opener, no headliner — as equals, something not common in the industry.

Says Spears, “We share the space. It’s non-competitive — We do inspire each other and we egg each other on in a good way but we’re never elbowing each other to get off stage.”

In fact, in those early days they were pushing each other to get on stage.

“It was really encouraging and supportive and it kind of created a space for us as females in a male dominated industry, especially back then, way more so. We encouraged each other to just be and create whatever we wanted.”

From the Internation Music Festival Convention in Austin, Texas, Shambhala’s Britz Bitz told {vurb} Meow Mix were “incredibly positive role models.”

“I've admired Meow Mix for over 13 years,” she says. “They were the female DJ pioneers in the Kootenay electronic music scene. They were part of what inspired me to get involved in electronic music event production as a career.”

Playing since before the digital age and being part of Shambhala since its inception, Langille says early on, Meow Mix didn’t really reflect beyond their love of spinning records.

“We just loved playing music and being up there supporting and having fun with each other,” she says. “Looking back, I think I can say that we had a fairly big impact on the local DJ scene.”

Spears speaks highly of Bass Coast Music Festival co-founder Andrea Graham also known as DJ Librarian.

“She’s phenomenal,” Spears says. “And she says she’s been coming to see Meow Mix at the [Shambhala’s] Main Stage for 10 years. We inspired her… Knowing there’s a path that unfolds to being able to play in larger venues… I think knowing someone has gone before you, gives a hope and an awareness that it’s not as difficult as it seems.”

Tickets for Saturday’s show are only available at the door for $10. Doors open at 10 p.m.

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