Sloan’s Chris Murphy feels nostalgic about his early years on P.E.I.
The front man for the Halifax-based alternative rock band was born in Charlottetown and grew up on Water Street.
His introduction to music was listening to his mother, Patricia, singing in church and secular choirs in Charlottetown.
“I remember being in church and hearing my mother sing harmony and singing along with my mother’s part. I started learning music that way,” says the musician who comes back to P.E.I. each summer to visit his family’s cottage in Georgetown.
Murphy will rekindle these and other memories when he and his fellow band members make their debut at the Homburg Theatre of the Confederation Centre of the Arts during a concert on Saturday.
“I always look forward to coming back (home). I often receive emails from my aunts and cousins who are still there who contact my mum or me to say that they’re going to the concert. They never want to score free tickets. They always want to pay,” laughs Murphy, bass player for Sloan, a group that also includes Patrick Pentland and Jay Ferguson, guitar and Andrew Scott, drums.
Currently on the last leg of a tour that started in September, he’s also sentimental about the material that Sloan will be playing. It’s in support of their re-release,Twice Removed. Also known as the band’s “most wanted record,” the CD first came out in 1994.
“People continue to say kind things about the album. It’s not just the music, people feel nostalgic about it. And, even though we’ve come up with many CDs since, it’s hard to compete with the way that people felt about themselves when they were young.
“It’s also a great collector’s item,” says Murphy, adding the re-release comes as a deluxe vinyl box set that includes Twice Removed on LP, a mirror record made up entirely of demo recordings of the songs from Twice Removed and a third LP of demo recordings of songs that didn’t make the cut.
During Saturday’s concert, the Halifax rockers will perform Twice Removed in its entirety. Then, after taking a short break they’ll head back to the stage to bang out more recent hits like Money City Maniacs, The Other Man, Underwhelmed and If it Feels Good Do It.
“We’ll try to play as many songs that we can that people know. It’s going to be a fun night,” says Murphy.
After 20 years and 10 LPs, two EPs and 30 singles, he says the reason the band has remained successful is that the members share the spotlight.
“Our band is known for their sharing of songwriting from each member of the group. There’s no one leader here.”
Sally Cole is a features writer with The Guardian. She welcomes comments about her column as well as suggestions for future columns from readers. She may be reached at email@example.com or by phone at 629-6000, ext. 6054.