A&E » Arts

The Punk Night, a Sunday tradition



It’s an attitude as much as a sound, and Whistler ‘needs it’

What: The Punk Night

Who: Run Chico Run with the Fine Options

Where: The Boot Pub

When: Sunday, Nov. 30

Tickets: $5

No hippies, no strippers, no fashion plates bumping and grinding like wannabe gloss babes from the latest Nelly video travesty.

Every Sunday night a faithful crowd gathers to escape the electric circus and rock out to raw, heartfelt punk rock. It’s the anticlub night and really, all things said, it needs no introduction.

But here it is anyway. The Punk Night. Sunday nights. Usually at the Boot Pub. The odd time moving to a larger venue like Garfinkel’s if a bigger name band happens to be on the bill.

Originally started five years ago, The Punk Night got a huge boost when one of its biggest fans, Lindsay Shedden, turned legal. About three years ago, the day she turned 19, she adds, the music lover marched into the Boot and asked for a job, hoping that it would eventually give her the opportunity to work with The Punk Night.

Her persistence paid off, and she was given an active role in organizing punk shows for the pub, although as a weekly live event, The Punk Night was getting cold.

It got the shot of adrenaline it needed when local event gurus Mountain Promotions brought their wealth of show-organizing experience to the table in May 2003. Mountain’s John Henry teamed Shedden up with another local punk aficionado, Chris Jones, to seek out talent. The two had already met through the music scene and knew that they were on the same page.

"That’s the reason everything is going smoothly. We’re on the same wavelength, we’ve got the same goals," says Jones.

Jones, Shedden and Mountain Promotions are now the force behind what has turned into the most consistent live music night in Whistler.

One of said goals is to keep things affordable. Cover for most shows is a mere fiver, bag of 50 dimes, or sock of 100 nickels. Whatever.

The other goal is to bring in a steady stream of real, raw indie talent. Bands have broken up trying to define punk rock, and while Jones and Shedden know what they like, they’re no rock-critic purists.

"We’re trying to cover every genre of punk there is," says Shedden, except ska, she adds.

Expect skate punk, old-school punk, emo-punk, metal-punk, even alternative bands that have some sort of punk edge to them.

"Even if some bands aren’t punk in style, they’re punk in attitude," says Shedden.

As the two of them talk, The Punk Night seems more and more noble, like Whistler is sick with a plague of electronica club nights and The Punk Night is the medicine.

"It’s not for want, but for need. This town needs this," emphasizes Shedden. "We’re doing this because the last thing this town needs is another club night. This is a night where everyone checks their hang-ups at the door. There’s no attitude."

"It’s not a fashion show," adds Jones, before his boisterous partner in punk interjects: "We want people to leave here thinking: ‘that’s the best five bucks I’ve ever spent!’"

This week’s Punk Night has indie alternative flavour

The Punk Night hosts two indie-alternative imports from Victoria this Sunday night, perfect examples of what Shedden calls "punk in attitude."

Run Chico Run is a two-man band with enough creativity and quirky humour for an entire orchestra. Fans of cool concert posters will want to check out the link on their Web site – www.runchicorun.com – showing the amazing collection of artwork promoting past shows. Move the mouse arrow to the bass drum of the monkey on the left to enter the site. You’ll understand once you get there.

As for openers The Fine Options, think back to early September when Vancouver metal lords 3 Inches of Blood last played Whistler. Black Rice was on the bill as the opener, but the dark horse bonus was a cool surprise. The Fine Options got a great response for a first opening band with their cool keyboard riffs and crazy energy. It’ll be interesting to see what they do this time around.

Call 604-932-3338 for more information.