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Tokyo Police Club in search of a little pond hockey

Communitea Café in Canmore is trying something different. Known for being an intimate venue for live music, café owner Marnie Dansereau is looking to Creekside Hall to allow her to bring in a larger act.
Tokyo Police Club plays Creekside Hall April 27.
Tokyo Police Club plays Creekside Hall April 27.

Communitea Café in Canmore is trying something different.

Known for being an intimate venue for live music, café owner Marnie Dansereau is looking to Creekside Hall to allow her to bring in a larger act.

“There are some bands that you need to have a certain capacity in order to book,” she said. With that in mind, she has booked up-and-coming rock sensation Tokyo Police Club for a show Wednesday, April 27. The show will include opening performances from the bands Said The Whale and Dinosaur Bones.

“I’m a fan and I know lots of people in town who are fans, so it’s an experiment, for fun,” she said. “I love presenting music in a small, intimate environment. I love a diversity of music and bringing it to town.

“It’s a lot more work to present something outside of your own realm, so we’ll see – I think it’s going to be a great show.”

This won’t be the first time Tokyo Police Club has played in town. Five years ago they came for a show at the Canmore Hotel.

Guitarist Josh Hook recounted the visit.

“It was an experience,” he said. “We showed up into town pretty late, because we had been driving, and we came sometime during the night to the hotel. It was a small town hotel where there’s a bar on the main floor and the rooms are right upstairs – not your average chain hotel – and there seemed to be one heater in the entire upstairs and it was located at the furthest possible point away from our rooms.

“I think on the second day that we were there, we just drove into Calgary and hung out there for a while and came back for the show.”

From Newmarket, Ont., Tokyo Police Club formed in 2005 from the remnants of a previous band. After they started playing shows in the Toronto area, they gained attention and were invited to play in the Pop Montreal festival.

Numerous big festivals followed, including Edgefest in 2006 and Coachella, Lollapalooza, Bumbershoot, the Glastonbury Festival, and the Reading and Leeds Festival in 2007.

In 2008, Tokyo Police Club released Elephant Shell, their first album, and toured for six weeks opening for Weezer, propelling them on their rise to stardom. Their second album, Champ, was released last year and led to this year’s Juno nomination for Alternative Band of the Year.

Though they did not win, Tokyo Police Club played at the recent Junos.

“It was a huge honour,” said Hook. “A nice sort of nervous feeling, which I hadn’t felt in a while; it was a really great privilege. For any Canadian musician, that show is one of the best things you can do in Canada. To get to actually go to it as well was a really great time.”

For this tour, the band is hitting three places they haven’t played since 2006 – Quebec City, Regina and Canmore.

“It’s a nice return to each of these cities,” said Hooks. While the Canmore show will be a ‘big’ performance for Communitea, with a capacity of just 240, it will be a small, intimate experience for the band.

“It’s always good to have a mix of shows,” said Hook. “It just sort of happens that way. You’re not really going to have consistently one size or the other – having a nice spread when touring is a nice combination.”

What Hook really hopes for is to find some ice and play a little pond hockey.

“So far it’s been a pretty solid Canadian run,” he said. “A lot of driving and good old Canadian climate. We got out on the ice in Winnipeg, which is always nice – if there’s any outdoor frozen water, we would happily have a pond game.”

Said The Whale is a Vancouver-based indie rock band. Their debut album Taking Abalonia was originally released in 2007 and then re-released in 2008 with seven new songs. Their EPs Let’s Have Sound and West Coast Christmas are available for download free of charge on their website.

At this year’s Juno Awards, Said The Whale won the New Group Of The Year prize.

“I knew a couple guys in Said The Whale before this tour, from being in Vancouver,” said Hook. “They’re all really great guys and a girl, and the guys in Dinosaur Bones are great too.

“It’s been a cool tour so far and it’ll be nice to end off in Vancouver, where Said The Whale’s from – they’ll get the hometown crowd, and Vancouver’s always been a great city for us as well. There’s good things happening all the way up until the end of the tour.”

Dinosaur Bones is a Toronto-based indie rock group which has been playing together for about three years. This tour is their first foray across the country and follows on the release of their first album, My Divider, which hit the streets in March.

“We’re looking forward to coming back,” added Hook. “If we find any outdoor ice, maybe a place where the locals go...”

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