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Laid back

Living Room makes itself at home in Whistler

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Who: Living Room

Where: Dusty’s

When: Saturday, June 25

Some bands are born out of angst and aggression. Some bands are born out of image and pretense.

And some bands are born out of good times, laid back acoustic guitar sing-a-longs with a tight group of friends hanging out at home.

Whistler band Living Room is all about the homestyle groove and are building a reputation on their ability to bring it with them wherever they play. Singer guitar/player Mike Redmond says a friend of the band bestowed the moniker on the ensemble during a gig last year at the Crystal Lounge, remarking that the comfortable vibe made him feel like he was at home in his own living room. It stuck like an unwrapped toffee to the underside of a sofa cushion.

Of course, for Redmond, the Crystal is practically a second home. A resident of Whistler since 1997, he cut his chops as a solo performer at the Crystal’s open mike nights back in 2001. Once Redmond had developed a full arsenal of acoustic reggae and beach groove covers he was added to the roster as a regular performer for the lounge’s weekend live music nights.

As Redmond continued playing solo sets he was often accompanied by local percussion master Phil-T-Beats. Eventually stand-up bass daddy Raj Das also started coming out to play, making it three. The band recently added a fourth member, drummer Daryn Mclaren.

No doubt, the band is influenced strongly by the lighter fare of California reggae-pop punks Sublime, a band they cover extensively, but Living Room has also begun to develop its own sound.

The band recently recorded a four-song demo CD of original music.

"It’s kind of a Southern California glacier groove," Redmond offers good-naturedly.

They’ve also been expanding their local profile. Along with the Crystal, Living Room has been popping up regularly at Dusty’s, where they will play this Saturday evening. The band is also slated to play the GLC on Thursday, June 30 for Whistler-Blackcomb’s weekly Club Shred event. Several July dates are on deck.

The laid back nature of Living Room has been an easy fit with the laid back Whistler scene, Redmond notes. Collaborations are rampant, with Living Room-mates Phil-T-Beats and Das also throwing down as part of another local reggae band, Kosta Man and the Mighty Backhoes.

But rather than staking out their territory, it’s all about sharing the love.

"Having a band in Whistler is tonnes of fun," Redmond says. "There’s such an eclectic groove up here.

"Everyone’s got the same kind of laid back thing going on. It’s pretty conducive to what we do."

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