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.


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

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

Just Posted

Mary Fox’s new book My Life as a Potter is available at bookstores nationwide. (Cole Schisler photo)
My Life as a Potter raises funds for Mary Fox Legacy Project

Acclaimed Vancovuer Island potter’s story raising money for developing artists

Premier John Horgan and Rob Douglas, BC NDP candidate for Cowichan Valley, meet with Cowichan First Nation elders, as they demonstrate spearfishing along the river. (Submitted)
Horgan acknowledges A&E sector hit hard by COVID-19, but showing signs of recovery

Hollywood North doing better than Hollywood South, Horgan says

Dinner shows in the Playbill Dining Room are keeping the Chemainus Theatre going during the pandemic. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Dinner events satisfying for the Chemainus Theatre and patrons

Small groups enjoy entertainment and the food in the Playbill Dining Room

Kent Laforme looks through the sound tunnel, or visual portal, carved inside the 25,000-pound marble sculpture that could be installed at Cattle Point. (Screen Shot, video)
Kent Laforme looks through the sound tunnel, or visual portal, carved inside the 25,000-pound marble sculpture that could be installed at Cattle Point. (Screen Shot, video)
Stone Takaya sculpture could soon ‘howl’ at Cattle Point

Oak Bay inviting public suggestions for 25,000-pound marble sculpture

The Sid Williams Theatre marquee is once again proudly displaying upcoming events. Photo supplied
Courtenay’s Sid Williams Theatre reopening in a limited capacity

Theatre has been closed since March due to COVID-19

Nanaimo-based ceramic artist Joe Lyons is presenting his first solo exhibition, ‘Poppin Bottles Soda Distraction,’ at Nanaimo Ceramic Arts from Oct. 26 to Nov. 12. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)
Nanaimo-based ceramic artist showcases variety of bottles in first solo show

Joe Lyons presents ‘Poppin Bottles Soda Distraction’ at Nanaimo Ceramic Arts

Toronto poet Robert Priest is presenting an online reading on Oct. 24. (Photo courtesy Allen Booth)
Nanaimo spoken word society presents online reading by prolific Toronto poet

Robert Priest to dip into 40-year catalogue for upcoming Zoom reading

Nanaimo singer Elise Boulanger releases her new single, ‘Cigarettes et rosé’ on Oct. 11. (Photo courtesy Laura Baldwinson)
Nanaimo singer releasing new single inspired by overheard conversations

Elise Boulanger to unveil ‘Cigarettes et rosé,’ accompanying ukulele tutorial video to come

Lee Porteous will be one of the performers at the Duncan Showroom’s storytelling event later this month. (Photo Submitted)
Duncan Showroom hosts storytellers series

Monthly shows will be broadcast live on YouTube

The 2020 City of Victoria Youth Poet Laureate Neko Smart will give up her seat for the next young poet in January. (Contributed/ Jeremy Loveday)
Nominations open for Victoria’s 2021 Youth Poet Laureate

Honourary one-year term reserved for region’s emerging poets

Most Read