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Quoia's genre-hopping grooves

Victoria-based five-piece band builds on debut album, "Five Feathers"; set to release new album in the spring

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Who: Quoia, w/ The Arbutus Collective; Dougal & The Weapon; and Mike Edel

When: Saturday, Jan. 15

Where: Merlin's

Cost: $10

Though their name may be a bit of a tongue twister (it's pronounced "Kwoi - a," FYI), this Victoria-based band's music is simple, approachable and frankly, downright danceable. The five-piece has been around for a little over two years now, and in that time, they've managed to cultivate a solid on-stage vibe, putting on a very high-energy live show.

 

"We have pulled away from doing the weekly thing in order to keep it fresh," their lead vocalist and guitar player, Mike Hann, said in a recent interview, "But I think we've always come up with new material - we have close to 40 original songs that go through our repertoire - and when we're playing in a live atmosphere, most of the time when you're playing clubs and these festivals and whatnot, if people are partying, they want to dance and shake it, and the vibe that we have as a band seems to translate into danceable music!"

Alongside Hann is Alex Nicholls on mandolin, violin and vocals, Mike Roma on guitar, lap slide, banjo and vocals, Keith Gallant on drums, percussion and vocals, and Jeff Scotney on bass and vocals. The roots of their band can be traced back to a popular Victoria hotspot called the Canoe Club, where Hann used to play a weekly gig.

"I was doing an acoustic duo thing with my friend, Tyler Harvey, and then he left town and I started inviting my friends Alex Nicholls and Mike Roma down to play with me," Hann explained, "...Our mandate was to make it an original music night. And then we started adding the other members and became a five-piece, and it just grew out of there!"

They soon started to fill the club on a weekly basis.

"The Victoria scene is very supportive of original music and I think we were definitely shown that, doing it every week and having people come out and the word would spread, and by the time we actually stepped away from it, we had line-ups out the door each week."

It was time to record, and give people a way to take the weekly party at the Canoe Club home with them.

"We just wanted to get some of our music out there," Hann said of their first full-length, "Five Feathers," "...A lot of the people that were coming down and enjoying our vibe at Canoe Club ... they were saying that these songs were becoming like a soundtrack to these good times that they were having."

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