A&E » Arts

A creepy new beat

The Creepshow comes to town with their eclectic blend of psychobilly rock and over-the-top live performance



Who: The Creepshow

When: Saturday, Aug. 30, 9:30 p.m.

Where: GLC

Cover: $10

Eccentric haircuts, a love of black clothing, and some serious tattoos; on paper, The Creepshow sounds like your average rock band. But in person, they’re a force to be reckoned with, and one that defies stereotype.

Sean “Sick Boi” McNab on upright bass and vocals, Sarah “Sin” Blackwood on guitar and vocals, Reverend McGinty “Ginty” on keys and vocals, and Matt “Pomade” Gee on drums are the men and women behind Creepshow’s music. While a lot of terms are thrown around in an attempt to describe their combination of sound and image — psychobilly and hillbilly are probably most common — McNab is hesitant to pick just one word to define the quartet.

“Whenever anyone asks, I just say we’re a rock and roll band,” he said. “I don’t think we’re psychobilly or anything like that — like we definitely take elements from the kind of music, but we don’t want to get pigeonholed in one specific genre, because we’re all over the place.”

The genre of psychobilly rock first emerged in Europe in the ’80s, but didn’t make its way to North America until the late ’90s. It combines elements of punk rock and other genres, and usually makes lyrical reference to sci-fi and horror culture. Instrumentally, an upright double bass often takes the place of the usual electric bass of modern rock. In those respects, The Creepshow definitely fits the psychobilly bill. But their musical influences are very diverse, ranging from performers like Johnny Cash to The Cramps and The Stray Cats. A strong punk energy also comes across quite clearly in their music, whether it’s live or recorded.

“Anything that’s badass but still has good melody,” McNab explained, adding that he grew up on a steady diet of Dead Kennedys, The Clash, and Social Distortion.

Their music has been well received in Europe, as well, because the genre is more established on the other side of the Atlantic.

“There are bands that have been doing it for like 25 years that are still going strong, and here, it’s a lot newer,” McNab explained.

So while it’s harder to impress the European crowds, McNab points out that there’s more of a following than here in Canada.

Their unconventional image has raised a few eyebrows with unsuspecting Canadian crowds, but McNab said they enjoy playing for audiences that aren’t familiar with their music.