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SHRED KELLY putting the accent on après

Monday 20th, March 2017 / 15:21
By Heather Adamson


Cutline: Shred Kelly bring the experience of partying with ski boots on to those of us beyond the Kootenays.

Shred Kelly is the ultimate ski town band. So much about how they came to be, who they are and how they market themselves has always been about hailing from Fernie, BC. The culture of living and representing Fernie as a place continues to influence their development as a band, as keyboardist and vocalist Sage McBride explains. “Because our band was born out of the party scene of a ski town, our music catered to high-energy sets because that was the driving force behind the type of audience we were playing to and it became what we are known for.”

Although this still rings true, the band has expanded the dynamics of their live show over the years as they have been exposed to different types of venues that allow for and complement changes in tempo in their set list. “Our musical tastes are evolving and changing as we grow,” shares McBride. “There are five of us and we pull from our own personal influences to see what sticks. We have been writing some softer songs but we are mindful about what will fit into our touring set while keeping the tempo up because that is when we and the audience have the most fun.”

A mainstay on the Canadian touring circuit for the past seven years, Shred Kelly have reached a level of notoriety that now provides them a certain amount of comfort and reliability when it comes to the touring lifestyle, something they came to appreciate when starting to break into the European market last year. “We had our second tour overseas this past fall in Germany,” says McBride. “We had forgotten what it is like as an unknown touring band breaking in to someplace new. You are starting over again and it is a challenge not having a consistent paycheque.” However, the differences noted between their early days touring in Canada compared to their time in Germany were also clearly evident. “When we were starting out as a band in Canada, we would arrive for a show and there would be no meal or drink tickets and we would be earning a percentage of the cover at the door. In Germany, although we weren’t making a lot of money, the venues hosted us so well with these incredible food spreads everywhere we went, and most places arranged accommodation for us as well. They really took care of us.”

Embarking on another BC tour this month, Shred Kelly aren’t taking for granted the fan base they have built in their home province while continuing to be surprised by what may meet them at the next town they visit. “The towns we have never played in before are always a blank slate, which is exciting, but what continues to scare me most about touring is visiting the places we have been before,” says McBride. “That nervous anticipation of being able to outdo ourselves never goes away.”

Shred Kelly performs at the Fox Cabaret in Vancouver on March 25, 2017

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