A&E » Music

Vancouver bands to kick off Garf's monthly Punk Night

Catch Sore Points and The Ramores on Jan. 6



Here's a disclaimer to the crowd at the first monthly Punk Night at Garfinkel's on Sunday, Jan. 6—you're not seeing double.

Shane Grass is set to kick off the evening with his band Sore Points before returning to the stage with the Ramores, a Ramones tribute band.

"Both bands share two members," he says. "We've never played on the same bill before. Both are pretty physically demanding, so it'll be interesting. Sore Points will start and we'll end with Ramores. For a party, a lot of people know the Ramones songs. A few drinks later into the night, it'll be fun."

Joey Blitzkrieg from the old-school Vancouver punk band The Jolts first started The Ramores back in 1999. Over the years, several musicians have cycled through the lineup with the band playing sporadically, largely for special occasions.

"The Ramores is a really fun band to be in," Grass says. "We try to do everything we can (as close to) how the Ramones played live. The stage banter is the same, or similar, and we dress the part. We play the same kind of gear. It's a lot of fun. It's a bit of a challenge; people don't realize how hard those songs are to play."

To that end, honing their chops playing those well-loved punk songs has helped the band members in their various musical pursuits. "You can hear it in Sore Points a lot too," Grass says. "We have spent a lot of time learning the ins and outs of so many Ramones' songs. I don't think any of us are getting tired of those songs. They're such good songs."

While The Ramores only play the occasional gig, Sore Points have been busy over the last three years writing, recording and touring. "We set out to do more of a traditional-sounding band," Grass says. "It's stripped down and a throwback. I feel like we're doing it in a modern kind of way."

Last year, they released their first full-length, self-titled album with plans for more gritty, raw recordings underway. The songs have been flowing thanks, in part, to their collaborative approach, Grass says.

They plan to put out a seven-inch in the summer and tour with The Spits, one of their favourite bands, in May.

"We like to keep writing new material all the time," he says. "We don't put out half of what we write. A lot we end up scrapping ... It's a very collaborative effort with this band. With other bands it's very common for there to be a sole songwriter. We're not afraid to be brutally honest with each other saying, 'That's not working, no offence taken.'"

While the trio—which, alongside Grass as the frontman and bassist, includes drummer Trevor Racz and guitarist Mitch Allen—might be comprised of seasoned Vancouver musicians, they don't have much experience with Whistler crowds—yet.

For his part, Grass says other musicians have told him whether or not the crowds show up, he's sure to have crazy time. "I don't really know what to expect," he says. "I've never played there. I've only been up there a couple times in the last few years. I'm guessing it'll be great."

The first in a series of monthly Punk Nights starts on Sunday, Jan. 6 at 9 p.m. It's hosted by Vinyl Ritchie and admission will be free.