They are a little bit country and little bit rock n roll, but don’t expect a rendition of the Osmond family when The Matinée perform Saturday night at the Errington Hall.
The Vancouver based band has a sound that is hard to label and while country music radio has ignored their catchy tunes, they are getting plenty of attention elsewhere.
102.7 The Peak in Vancouver and other modern rock radio stations in Canada are giving the group plenty of air play and in the meantime the guys are bringing their live show to venues big and small.
The Matinée’s growing fan base is made up of roots and country music lovers as well as indie and folk music enthusiasts.
The band was formed in 2007 by long time friends Matt Layzell on lead vocals, guitarist and pedal steel player Matt Rose, drummer Pete Lemmon and guitarist/vocalist Geoff Petrie.
The group hit the road early on playing gruelling shows with very little support or exposure but things changed in 2011 when they placed third in the Peak Performance Project.
The contest held by The Peak, earned them a big chunk of cash to put toward the recording of their first proper debut album.
The band worked with producers Steve Berlin (a member of Los Lobos whose production credits included R.E.M. and the Tragically Hip), as well as Steve Bays, front man for Hot Hot Heat.
We Swore We’d See the Sunrise was released last year and since then the band has been making a name for itself.
Layzell who spoke to The NEWS just after playing on the main stage at the Squamish Valley Music Festival last weekend said these days life is pretty good for the band.
“We have played four years in a row at Squamish so it has become a tradition and it is special. The first year we performed on the little stage this time we were on the main stage and we get to feel like rock stars for a few days,” he said.
Layzell said being in a musical line up that included world famous acts like Bruno Mars, Arcade Fire and Eminem he and his band mates are feeling pretty fulfilled in their musical pursuits and they are enjoying the ride but they are not taking it for granted.
“We are not in a position to say we have made it. We probably haven’t hit that stage yet … we have a lot of work to do. We have been playing together since high school and we were thrilled to play at Squamish but we are never fully satisfied. We are hungry and ready to do this for the next 20 years,” he admitted.
He said the opportunities they have been presented with including performing for 300,000 people watching the fireworks on the beach in Vancouver has definitely made them feel fulfilled.
“Our happy place is on stage … seeing everyone happy and smiling. It doesn’t matter where that stage is … we thrive off the energy of the crowd.”
Layzell said they are looking forward to playing at the Errington Hall especially after some of their friends in the industry gave a glowing review on the small venue.
“We relish those environments. We have heard good things about that hall from The Boom Booms.”
While the bands sound has a bit of a country folk flavour it appeals to a wide range of people and Layzell admitted it is odd that the country music radio hasn’t embraced them.
“We won two BC Country Music awards but country radio won’t play us because we are not country enough. We played Merritt, the Rockin’ River Music Festival in Mission and when we played at the Cloverdale Rodeo and hard core country fans came up to us and said we are amazing, but the industry won’t accept us. It is a bit weird,” he agreed.
You can hear The Matinée’s groovable songs at the 45th Hi Neighbour Day Dance along with guest AJ Woodworth on Aug. 16, at 9 p.m. at the Errington Hall. Tickets for the all ages show are $20 at Errington Store, Cranky Dog Music in Parksville and Heaven on Earth in Qualicum Beach.
Visit www.erringtonhall.bc.ca for more information.