Good For Grapes plays Lucky Bar this Friday (Dec. 13).

Good For Grapes plays Lucky Bar this Friday (Dec. 13).

Vancouver band Good For Grapes returns to Victoria roots

Frontman retells playful begins busking aboard the ferry to Victoria

When Vancouver band Good For Grapes takes the stage at Lucky Bar this Friday, it will be the first show they play with freshly pressed records in hand after two years of constant growth. It was an upward journey born on a ferry to Victoria and one which will set sail for the Island once more this Friday.

When the group – Daniel McBurnie, Graham Gomez, Alexa Unwin, Robert Hardie, Blair Hansen and Sean MacKeigan – started jamming on the on the ferry in September, 2010, an off-hand offer for grapes and some better-than-expected chemistry led to a fourth-place in the Peak Performance Project.

On the way to the ferry Unwin had asked Gomez if he wanted some of her grapes. He replied, “I’m good for grapes, thanks,” sparking the suggestion of a fictitious band name.

The group of drama and music students had just finished their high school production of a A Very Potter Musical and in an effort to land a weekend away from their parents, and were headed to the capital city to do some busking. While their busking proved less than fruitful, the trip itself was formative. The ferry jam-sesh soon earned them a circle of onlookers and by the end of the jam session they were asked what their band name was. Gomez’ reply was simple: “Good For Grapes.”

People started gathering around and before we knew it there was a big crowd of people just watching us because they had heard that there was a live band. We pulled out every cover we could think of,” McBurnie said. “When people asked what our band name was, we said Good For Grapes because it was the current joke.”

Despite the months of music business bootcamp he went through as finalist in the Peak Performance Project, McBurnie holds no regrets over the title given on a whim.

To have something with the background of humour and friendship and what have you – that’s the best name.”

The band of 20 to 23 year olds – who attribute their carefree and upbeat performances to their early performance experience – has seen a string of successes, including signing to Pheromone Recordings, while they were passing through Toronto on their first Canada-wide tour earlier this year. After the current run of shows with Northcote, the band will return to the Island for a number of dates in February. This spring, they’ll also head to Texas for South by Southwest, before embarking on a national tour next summer.

It doesn’t seem like that long ago when we were all working on the musical. It seems kind of crazy because at that time I wouldn’t have imagined trying to make music a career, but as soon as I got a taste of it and how rewarding it can be, I thought obviously, I have to do this and everyone else agreed.”

Their show on Dec. 13 features Northcote and starts at 8pm at Lucky Bar (517 Yates). Tickets, $15 at Lyles, Ditch and ticketweb.

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

Just Posted

(Black Press Media file photo)
Get the word on art on Sunday afternoons in Victoria

Art Gallery of Greater Victoria presents Sunday lecture series in March

GVPA authors
Write On! Greater Victoria Public Library releases 2021 local authors collection

Greater Victoria Public Library (GVPL) is celebrating local authors with the unveiling… Continue reading

Hermann's Jazz Club
Hermann’s celebrates International Women’s Day and St. Paddy’s Day

International Women’s Day will be celebrated at Hermann’s Jazz Club with an… Continue reading

Gabriola Island poet Naomi Beth Wakan’s latest book is ‘Wind on the Heath.’ (Photo courtesy Elias Wakan)
Former Nanaimo poet laureate revisits past poems in latest collection

Gabriola Island’s Naomi Beth Wakan presents career-spanning ‘Wind on the Heath’

The Sooke Fine Arts Show will be online again this year, showcasing unique artworks from Vancouver Island and B.C.’s coastal island artists from July 23 to Aug. 2. (File - Sooke News Mirror)
Sooke Fine Arts Show goes virtual for second year in a row

Art exhibition and show set for July 23 to Aug. 2

Donna Hales next to one of her paintings of Sooke. (Mandy Moraes photo)
Parksville artist Donna Hales still displaying her work at age 94

Current exhibit at the McMillan Arts Centre through April 1

Nanaimo painter Shawnda Wilson hangs her exhibit Tropical Wallpaper at Jonny the Barber. The show runs until the end of March. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)
Nanaimo painter battles pandemic blues with tropical exhibition

Shawnda Wilson presents ‘Tropical Wallpaper’ at Old City Quarter barbershop

It’s been almost a year since the last public performance inside the Chemainus Theatre. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Donors pledge $60,000 in matching campaign at Chemainus Theatre

Perrys, Hiltons and Duncan Iron Works help to Bridge the Gap during COVID shutdown

Artist Sandra Meigs will be the next speaker in NIC’s online 2021 Artist Talk series, appearing virtually on Friday, March 5 at 1 pm. For the full schedule and link to attend the Artist Talk Online Series, visit https://nicart.tickit.ca/. (Photo: The Glass Ticker (2017) — 15’ X 9’ X 5’, wood, enamel, lights, aluminum, glass, automata. Photo by Toni Hafkenscheid.)
Celebrated artist and mentor Meigs joins North Island College Artist Talk series

Vivid, immersive, and enigmatic style combines the complex with comic elements

Arts Laureate Barbara Adams joins artist Luke Ramsey and Mayor Kevin Murdoch in front of the Parade of Play mural at the Oak Bay High track. (Black Press Media file photo)
Curtain draws to a close on Oak Bay arts laureate’s term

Barbara Adams has been a champion for arts in the community

The students in the Timberline Musical Theatre program are rehearsing this year’s production, Once Upon a Mattress, three days per week after school in preparation for their upcoming virtual performances. Photo by Mike Davies/Campbell River Mirror
Island high school’s musical theatre program hoping for last-minute ticket surge

Popular annual run of Timberline shows costs $7,000-$8,000 to stage, sold $750 in tickets

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.”

Most Read