Graduating from university usually means joining a kibbutz or taking a really long trip somewhere, but for a group of five professionally trained musicians, it meant going on tour.
A group of five recent graduates from Capilano University’s jazz degree program in Nanaimo united in 2009 to create the No Island band—and will be launching its first ever two-week tour with a show in Trail this Friday.
The Vancouver-based indie group with a classic rock twist will be performing at the Rex Hotel at 10 p.m. on Friday night.
“All five of us have been wanting to do a tour for a really long time, but we were so busy with school and trying to finish our degrees,” explained vocalist Andy Rice. “ So this summer, after we graduated, we decided that we really needed to make it happen.”
But each performer had succumbed to the inevitable travesty of student life: the summer job. Finally, saxophonist James Wilfred Martin’s pipe dream started to transform as he began calling venues across Western Canada and lined up the summer tour.
The band set aside a two-week gap from their jobs to ramp up the volume and hit the road.
“It will be our first time in Trail and it’s actually our first tour,” Rice stated. “We’ve always performed in the Lower Mainland.”
All of the musicians in the No Island band were born and bred in the lower reaches of the B.C. mainland, except Rice who grew up in small-town B.C. However, the band was eager to embrace the quirks of the longtime West Kootenay residents, after hearing a series of stories from Martin’s Fruitvale-raised father.
Those stories will help them as they sort through their repertoire and prepare tailored music for the West Kootenay masses.
“We all grew up sorting through our parents record collections … so there’s a wide variety of things in there that influence us,” Martin said. “We’re sort of like a hybrid of Supertramp, Steely Dan meets Led Zeppelin meets the Police and the list goes on.”
No Island is known for blurring several genres of music with their own unique flavour, often complimented with keyboards and saxophone. No Island released their debut album, Sign of the Times, in the spring of 2011.
They will be playing a 45-minute set at the Rex Hotel this Friday at 10 p.m. There is no cover charge.
For more information about the band, visit http://www.no-island.com/.