P.E.I. band ending on high note

Sally
Sally Cole
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After a 10-year plus career, Two Hours Traffic reconnecting with fans during farewell tour

 When the news hit that the über popular Two Hours Traffic was calling it quits after a 10-year plus career, fans were disappointed.

Justin Shaw says the band, consisting of Liam Corcoran, Derek Ellis, Andrew MacDonald and Nathan Gill, will be missed.

“I’m very sad to see them go. Two Hours Traffic has always been my favourite Island band, and my friends and I were always sure to catch it whenever they had a show in Charlottetown. Their sound is irreplaceable. Their style of music is very intimate and it has been a pleasure to watch them grow as artists,” says Shaw of Charlottetown.

Pat Deighan agrees.

“I hate seeing any band packing up when its members are still making great music,” says the Charlottetown musician.

But before the band disappears into the mist, it’s hitting the road one last time. Two Hours Traffic’s farewell tour will touch down in Charlottetown for three shows, Dec. 21-23, at The Mack at 8 p.m.

“We’re hoping to keep the mood celebratory but we’re going to have mixed emotions. The good thing is that we’ll get up there and play our songs,” says Corcoran, lead singer, guitarist.

“And the songs, if not lyrically, are musically upbeat and can put a smile on our face. We like to think of our shows as a party.”

So why is the band splitting up?

Corcoran says that in spite of a Polaris Prize nomination, a strong fan base as well as countless East Coast Music Award nominations, TV show placements, magazine covers and a win at the East Coast Music Awards and a touring schedule that has taken them around the world, the time had come.

“For the past two years, we had a lot of discussions about how long we would be able to keep the band going as a full-time touring act. It was getting harder as we were getting older.

“So when Derek Ellis made the call that he was going back to school, that forced Andy and I to have more serious conversations about it. We decided that we would end it now after we had made a record that we really liked and were very proud of,” says Corcoran, referring to Foolish Blood, released through Bumstead Records.

Although difficult to make, the decision was inevitable, says MacDonald, lead guitarist.

“With every album you put out there’s a feeling that maybe this is the one that’s going to break in a way so that you can really make a living. For us, a big part of making this last album was giving it one more shot to see if this would allow us to reach that plateau... which means getting played on the radio or getting signed to an American label,” he says.

But, although the album received great reviews, nothing had changed financially for them.

“So, I had the conversation with our manager at the end of August (that we were breaking up). And it became real at that point. We didn’t spread the news then but started planning our last tour at the end of the summer,” says Corcoran.

So, they’re ending on a high note.

“We wanted to have one last run of it and invite our fans to come out and see us one last time, so we control the ending. We’re happy with how it’s working out,” says MacDonald.

Deighan predicts it’s not the last time that fans will hear from this band.

“I suspect we’ll hear from them again. It’s fine if they want to break up. But that makes room for a possible reunion. . . .There’s nothing wrong playing a show once in a while for your home town.”

 scole@theguardian.pe.ca

 

 

 

 

 

At a glance

Two Hours Traffic facts

- Founded by Liam Corcoran (lead vocals and guitar) and Alec O’Hanley (guitar, keyboards and vocals), the group added bassist Andrew MacDonald and drummer Derek Ellis to its roster in 2002 after meeting while attending UPEI.

- The band took small steps at first. Corcoran says, ”We started performing around the Maritimes. Then we went up to Ontario. By the time we made our record, Little Jabs, we had gone all the way across the country and back. As things got bigger, we got rolling. We started going to more and more places like the United States and Australia, where we performed twice. We also had a record release in Germany.”

- Worst memory: During their first national tour, a drunk driver smashed into the back of the band’s Dodge minivan, while it was parked outside a club in Edmonton where members were playing. “At the time we were in our early 20s and only had enough money to make it to the next town. We also weren’t old enough to rent a car, so we hired someone to drive us from Edmonton to Winnipeg for a show. Luckily Gerry and Judy O’Hanley bought us a van and drove it all the way to Winnipeg and met us there. We got in the van and they flew home. We were so thankful for their support as well as the support from our parents,” says O’Hanley

u When O’Hanley left the band in 2011, MacDonald became the lead guitarist and Nathan Gill became the bass player.

- The group has performed and toured with various East Coast artists such as Joel Plaskett, In-Flight Safety, and Wintersleep.

Website: http://twohourstraffic.com/

 

 

 

Organizations: The Mack

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Edmonton, Winnipeg Ontario United States Australia Germany East Coast

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