Concert Preview: Ladyhawk at Club 9ONE9

Ladyhawk and Baby Eagle and the Proud Mothers play Club 9ONE9 Tuesday, Oct. 16.

Ladyhawk is playing Club 9ONE9 Tuesday, Oct. 16.

Ladyhawk is playing Club 9ONE9 Tuesday, Oct. 16.

 

You may not expect Kelowna to prompt guys to sport eyeliner. But that’s exactly what happened to one of Vancouver’s most beloved punk rockers.

“I’d be and feel goth without outwardly showing it. I was a closet goth,” Duffy Driediger, the frontman and vocalist of Kelowna bred, Vancouver based alt-rock troupe Ladyhawk says over the phone of his early emo days in the leadup to the troupe’s gig at 9one9 tonight. “I used to wear make up for some shows way back, but that was less goth and more glamour.”

That may come as a surprise to Ladyhawk fans. On Their latest album, No Can Do, Driediger’s vocals are a brash and brawny echo— like a muscle toned enough to be heard flexed from a distance. Screechy vocals, guitar drones, and other goth trademarks have been absent. Instead, Ladyhawk employs fuzzed out riffs, lean and direct power chords, and other familiar fixtures of minimalist punk and classic rock.

Despite Ladyhawks’ self assured, conventional moments, Driediger admits that something edgier and more dour lurks below the surface of their hard rock riffs. He says it stems from years of ‘flirting with the dark side’ while living in Kelowna.

“I was going through a dark time, and I think the music I was trying to write reflected that. Everyone has a dark side, and sometimes you just feel the need to tap into that more. Plus I was listening to a lot of evil sh*t at the time that was influencing me, like The Carpenters.”

Kidding aside, Driediger points out that those moodier elements are apparent to even Ladyhawk’s casual listeners. “I’m a Witch,” one of the earliest tracks on No Can Do features lyrics like “I am a witch and I pray to the setting sun. I never let my shadow fall to the ground.” Even more upbeat tracks like the squirmingly riffy “bedbugs” open with lines like “There’s no hope.”

Dreidiger says such bleakness was a frequent backdrop in Kelowna, what he once called a “sprawled out strip mall town,” in an interview with NPR. But he admits that angst was more banal than any rockstar would care to let on.

“I feel it’s probably the same for anyone who grew up in a smaller town. There’s a certain level of nostalgia for all the good times you had and for places you used to go that may not be there anymore. But most small towns are places where, if you’re different in any way, you’re gonna get f*cked with. Just general small-mindedness. And crushing boredom.”

While his eye liner, doom and gloom Kelowna outlook may be a bit abrasive, more conventional artists agree. Last spring, in an interview for Monday Mag with this reporter, Halifax singer songwriter Joel Plaskett detailed one of his worst gigs in Dreidiger’s former hometown. The lyrics in Plaskett’s beloved singalong “Love This Town,” feature his admission that he there’s a “reason why (he) hates,” Kelowna.

Joel was gigging there with his old band, Thrush Hermit, over a decade ago at a dance club called Flashbacks. It wasn’t the ideal venue, with its dancefloor acoustics leaving most in the crowd ignoring the performers. After the show a hulking, 250 pound fellow with a backward baseball hat lumbered up and asked Plaskett enthusiastically, “Hey, are you in the band?”

“I said ‘Yes,’” The gangly Plaskett said to Monday Mag of his conversation with the beefy local. “Then the guys’ voice leveled off and he said, ‘You guys really sucked!’ He really outweighed me, what was I going to say to him? ‘Ok, sorry we sucked.’ By then I was ready to get out of there.”

Dreidiger says he isn’t surprised by that yarn.

“There’s definitely always been that vibe in Kelowna. But there are a lot of cool people there, too. I’m sure there were people there that night didn’t act like assh*les.”

Dreidiger adds that Kelowna’s frat boy demographic may be infamous, but it’s only a segment of the population.

“I remember wanting to go to that (Plaskett) show, but I couldn’t because it was at a bar,” says Dreidiger, who was an adolescent at the time. He adds that he, and the music scene that groomed him, grew and continue to grow in ways that are far subtler than they seem. “Joel would have had a much better experience if he’d played an all ages show. There were a lot of really great all ages shows in Kelowna in that era. I saw Kim Mitchell at Flashbacks once and it was pretty amazing.”

 

Ladyhawk plays Club 9ONE9 (919 Douglas), Tuesday, Oct. 16 with Baby Eagle and the Proud Mothers.

Tickets $12 at Lyle’s Place and Ditch Records.

 

By Kyle Mullin

arts@mondaymag.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vancouver Island Symphony conductor Pierre Simard is releasing his new synthwave album ‘Plandemic’ on March 5. (Photo courtesy Olivia Simard)
Vancouver Island Symphony conductor releasing side-project EP of electronic music

Pierre Simard, recording as Plan Omega, presents ‘Plandemic’

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
Vancouver Island children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Nanaimo-raised singer Allison Crowe with director Zack Snyder on the set of ‘Man of Steel’ in 2011. Crowe performs a cover of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah in the upcoming director’s cut of ‘Justice League.’ (Photo courtesy Clay Enos)
B.C. musician records song for upcoming ‘Justice League’ film

Allison Crowe’s close connection to director led to rendition of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah

The Gordon Head Recreation Centre stands in as the Quimper Regional Hospital on Feb. 23 for filming Maid, a 10-part Netflix series. (Greg Sutton/District of Saanich)
Netflix transforms Saanich recreation centre into hospital for filming

Facility was closed to public Feb. 23 for filming of Maid

This image released by SYFY shows Meredith Garretson, left, and Alan Tudyk in the new series "Resident Alien." (James Dittinger/SYFY via AP)
B.C.-shot ‘Resident Alien’ invader gets lift-off with viewers

New Syfy series catching on, proving TV doesn’t have to come from premium cable

Steve Bick is coming out of his COVID cocoon with a curated compilation of original tracks by West Coast musicians. (Submitted photo)
Curated album showcases West Coast musicians

‘Locals Only – Volume One’ features an eclectic mix of tunes from musicians living on the Pacific Rim

WILDLIFE TREE: Tofino Poet Laureate Christine Lowther stands next to a giant cedar tree on District Lot 114, the site of Tofino’s controversial affordable housing project. The tree was pinned with an official Ministry of Forests yellow wildlife tree sign to educate fallers that the tree needs to be left standing for food, shelter and nesting. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Tofino author Christine Lowther calling for poetry about trees

“I’m thrilled to be of service to trees through poetry.”

West Coast-themed metal art by Nanaimo artists Hayley Willoughby (pictured), her father Jack and partner Blair LeFebvre is on display in the window of Lululemon at Woodgrove Centre from now until March 13 as part of the store’s monthly local artist program. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)
Metal artists present cross-generational show at Nanaimo’s Woodgrove Centre

Work by Hayley Willoughby, her partner and father on display in Lululemon window

Vancouver Island Symphony principal violinist and concertmaster Calvin Dyck is among the musicians performing in the upcoming Salmon and Trout concert. (Photo courtesy HA Photography)
Vancouver Island Symphony will make a splash with fish-themed quintets concert

Performance was to take place in November but was rescheduled due to COVID-19

Nico Rhodes, Lucas Smart, James McRae and Kosma Busheikin (from left) recorded their set for the Nanaimo International Jazz Festival’s online video series at the Harbour City Theatre in December. (Photo courtesy François Savard)
Music starts next week at online Nanaimo International Jazz Festival

Ten free, virtual performances to occur over three weeks in March

The original artwork created by local artist Emily Thiessen, is featured as the Commercial Alley’s eighth installation. (City of Victoria)
 The original artwork created by local artist Emily Thiessen, is featured as the Commercial Alley’s eighth installation. (City of Victoria)
Victoria calls for artists to fill Commercial Alley gallery

Competition open to artists in the Capital Regional District

Cowichan Valley author Teresa Schapansky’s books for young readers have become a phenomenon on Amazon. (Submitted)
Cowichan author tops Amazon charts

Award-winning author Teresa Schapansky learned of a need for low-level readers in the classroom

Nadia Rieger restocks some of the art supplies at the Crows Nest Artist Collective. Their move to stocking more art supplies over the course of the pandemic was a response to increased demand, which she thinks shows people have been turning to creating art to cope with mental health struggles due to lockdowns and restrictions on other activities. Photo by Mike Davies/Campbell River Mirror
Vancouver Islanders using art to conquer COVID blues

It seems people have been turning to their creative sides to stay mentally and emotionally healthy

Most Read