“Tell them we’re loud. Tell them we’re too loud,” Graeme Peters said, hanging outside of Well’s Sunset Theatre in the sun.
Then he laughed and continued to talk to passer-bys and anyone who showed up to take in the show.
It was a promise Speed Control lived up to when they hit the stage, forcing many in the audience to craft makeshift earplugs, or for one woman to fetch her ear protection for shooting as they filled the Sunset Theatre with music.
Speed Control, a three piece band composed of brother Graeme and Jody Peters up front, on guitar and bass respectively, backed up by Ian March on drums, hail out of the land of the summer sun, Whitehorse, Yukon, where there’s nothing to do but write rock operas all winter, according to the band.
But before Speed Control got up on the stage, Glenna Garramone eased the audience in with a folksy set, switching from guitar to piano half way through.
Garramone played a mix of originals and Canadian classics, Leonard Cohen and Bryan Adams.
Starting with a song that featured love and maple syrup, Garramone floated through a world of romantic Canadiana in her set, ending in a sing-a-long she taught to the crowd.
Garrramone did nothing to prepare the audience for Speed Control, however. And from their first note to their last they banged the notes off the very back of the theatre.
Speed Control, with a different bassist, had been through Quesnel earlier in the year on a tour of schools on their ‘Rags to Rawk’ tour, teaching the history of rock.
And befitting of a band that teaches kids about the genre, Speed Control was joyous, full of energy, at times silly and moved from melodic punk, to screamed vocals of sludgy base to land firmly on classic, hard rock. But whatever sub-genre of rock they moved through, they played it hard and loud.
Graeme spent the minutes between songs gleefully bantering with his brother and the crowd and telling a variety of stories, from the back story of their songs to stories about teaching his young daughter to protect herself with a kick to the crotch followed by an uppercut. And whether the band were playing or not, Graeme kept the energy of the show up, while Jody played the straight man to Graeme’s zaniness.
The Sunset Theatre was a great intimate venue that encouraged communication with the band, especially after the show when they walked off the stage to chat with the audience.
For a glimpse of their music, go to http://speedcontrol.ca and http://www.glennagarramone.com.