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Rockabilly bands produce Halloween Rock Show

by Victoria Kendrick October 30, 2012
Rockabilly bands produce Halloween Rock Show

Why settle for the “Monster Mash” this Halloween season when you can high-tail it over to l’Absynthe, a local hotspot showcasing Montreal talent new and old, for their very first Halloween Rock Show?

The event features an eclectic mix of groups such as Café Racer, Rocket ’56 and Trade Secrets. Rockabilly group Rocket ‘56 highlights a

A band that will be performing at Halloween Rock Show. Photo from Facebook.

genre quickly gaining momentum in the music world. A potent mix of the fresh and the familiar, rockabilly transports audiences to that hazy point in time where past meets present. A fitting soundtrack for a Halloween-style shindig, the genre lets fifties’ style rock take on a more modern interpretation while still coming across as authentic. We can also look forward to hearing from Trade Secrets, a fresh group who will be opening the night with some crowd-pumping Indie-pop.

The band headlining the event, up-and-comers Café Racer, are sure to please audiences with their versatile sound. When asked what influences we can expect to hear through their music, frontman and Manitoban Myles Hildebrand replied simply, “Everything. Labels don’t really mean much to me. We have a great time onstage and a lot of people have a good time listening.”

It was difficult to categorize Café Racer’s sound. While their penchant for that old school sound, notably Elton John and the Beatles, definitely shines through in their work, it’s impossible to ignore the progressive perks laced throughout each track, creating a crossover between the retro and the modern.

The band admits they always feared making music that does not pertain to their generation and that keeping a suitable amount of modernity was a definite necessity. This is especially apparent in their song “Circus Girl,” a lively, upbeat tune featuring a dangerously catchy guitar riff, a smooth yet complicated drum intro and strong vocals. Taken separately these aspects might seem old-fashioned, but combined they offer an original mix different from anything our parents ever listened to.

One thing they can tell us for sure, however, is that they’re loyal to their roots. “We’re a true Canadian rock and roll band,” said drummer Josh Grant, originally from Ontario, while fellow member Shawn Forbes hails from Manitoba.

“Canadian music has a distinctive sound. You see that with Yukon Blonde, Zeus and The Sheepdogs. We know Canada very well, and I hope that shows in our music,” added Hildebrand.

Café Racer may be new on the circuit (formed just over a year ago), but its members are no strangers in the music biz. Hildebrand recently released his debut solo album Myles from Home, a light and classy homage to all things folk, available on iTunes. Hildebrand describes his solo project’s trademark sound as “Sunday afternoon music,” while his exploits with Café Racer are “Friday night music.”

As for when we can expect some fresh online tracks from Café Racer, they hope to be in the studio this upcoming year.

“I think we’re all, to some level, perfectionists,” explained Forbes, “While it’s a priority for us, as a band, we’d rather have nothing than something poorly done. With recording, you only get one shot.”

In the meantime, they’ll be keeping busy with shows booked for November and December, building a fan-base around Montreal, with their sights set on gigs in Toronto, Boston and New York this summer.


The Halloween Rock Show starts at 8 p.m. at L’Absynthe (1738 Rue Saint Denis) on Tuesday, Oct. 30. Tickets are $5 in advance or $7 at the door.


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