By Nicole Fitzgerald
Who: Black Swade
“I think originally our first gig was when our music teacher got us to play at a sports day at lunch (at school),” Toews remembers. “Word got around and we started playing at the ice cream shop and we moved on from there.”
“We are over that phase,” pipes in drummer Iain Rommel . “Way over that.”
But a lot can change in a year, or at least that was the case with Black Swade who moved from ice cream shop to First Night mainstage for 2007 New Year’s Eve celebrations this year.
Despite being just old enough to attend a PG-13 movie, the five-member rock band of Toews, Rommel, Liam Alvernini, Luke Kyle and Scott Verbeek, have also recorded their first full-length album. That’s being followed up with a CD launch party Saturday, Nov. 25 at Merlin’s.
The ambitious fivesome have been touring their music the past year with shows in Squamish, Vancouver and Whistler. The mountain town was first exposed to the wild vocal antics of Kyle, whose vocal prowess challenges anyone three times his age, at the 2005 Battle of the Bands competition. While the band didn’t win, a special invite was extended to the group for an early performance at Merlin’s — one of the few concert bar venues that can have youth on the premises until 8 p.m. The audience couldn’t stay in their seats as the teens unearthed a full-on assault of originals falling somewhere between Rage Against the Machine and Led Zeppelin.
The Black Swade self-titled album sports 11 original tracks, with lyrics reflecting the life experiences of any normal 13 to 14-year-old boy.