Who: Two Hours Traffic
When: Saturday, Nov. 15, 9:30 p.m.
Admission: $10 in advance at GLC, Katmandu and The Hub
With Liam Corcoran on lead vocals and guitar, Alec O’Hanley on
guitar, keyboard and vocals, Andrew MacDonald on bass and Derek Ellis on drums,
this indie band packs a powerful punch with their folk-inspired pop rock.
The foursome are pretty good pals, with at least two members
— O’Hanley and Corcoran — going way back, all the way to
kindergarten, in fact.
“I took piano lessons from his aunt with him when we were six
years old,” O’Hanley recalled. “We’ve been picking away at it for a while now.”
The two formed an acoustic duo, also named Two Hours Traffic,
during their high school years, bonding over a mutual appreciation for bands
like Weezer, Beck and Radiohead. The moniker, which is actually extracted from
the prologue to William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, carried forward to the
four-man band they formed while studying at the University of Prince Edward
Island in Charlottetown.
“I think the name just, these days, speaks to the universality
of the band,” he said. “A lot of people like to take a crap on Shakespeare it
seems just because everybody likes him, which has a parallel in pop music, too.
A lot of people are pretty dismissive of the whole thing just because people
like it, which is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.”
The band put together a demo and handed it off to a well-known
East Coast musician and producer, Joel Plaskett, who was playing a gig at a bar
in their hometown.
“We’d been fans of his, and I just waltzed up at the end of the
show and gave him our first EP,
The April Storm
, and he, gratefully, took it.”
A week later, O’Hanley sent him a gentle reminder via email to
listen to it, and received an unexpected reply: Plaskett wanted to work with
“That was huge. You never expect that people actually listen to
these things, but we lucked out — it was the first CD that we’d given to
a person, really,” he said with a laugh. “After that, we just kind of packed it
in, in terms of giving CDs out.”
Plaskett came on-board to produce their first self-titled full-length
album, which was very well received — the track, “Limelight” was featured
on the hit TV show, The O.C. “Better Sorry Than Safe” made CBC Radio 3’s year
end list in 2005, and the album was ultimately nominated for best rock
recording at the 2006 East Coast Music Awards. The success was definitely