A fter an almost 20-year hiatus, the Canadian band that inspired some of the worst perms of the ’80s is back with its brand of folk-rock. The Grapes of Wrath, one of Canada’s top bands in the late ’80s and early ’90s with hits like “All the Things I Wasn’t,” and “I am Here,” broke up in 1992 — the year they played their last show in Victoria.
Now the guys are back and playing the Ambrosia Conference Centre, Thursday with the same tunes and the same hair that made them stars.
The Grapes of Wrath are brothers Tom (bass, vocals) and Chris Hooper (drums) and longtime friend Kevin Kane (guitar, vocals), all from Kelowna, B.C. Kane now lives in Toronto, Chris in Vancouver and Tom on Salt Spring Island.
“As much as it was hard to believe that it could happen, I kind of had a feeling that it was going to happen. I had dreams that we were playing on stage again,” says Kane. “Everything I dream comes true, I’m Nostradamus.” He laughs.
The original three members got together to play a festival in Surrey, B.C. in July 2010. “We got an offer from a festival in Surrey for the whole band. At that time Tom and I had been doing a few acoustic shows, so we threw the offer to Chris and before we knew it we were in a practise space playing our old songs for the first time in 18 years.”
“Right from the get go, muscle memory kicks in, I guess, and it was like, wow, we really know the stuff. There were a few things we had to relearn from the records. I had to relearn guitar solos and Chris had to relearn drum solos, but that’s all dressing, as far as the meat goes, we remembered most of the lyrics and most of the song structures. It was a lot of fun, and it has been a lot of fun.”
After perfecting their hits for the second time, The Grapes of Wrath decided to hit the road for a few shows, riding the wave of interest and success that came from that show in Surrey.
“I really enjoy playing the songs. I don’t know that I enjoyed it as much back in the day, because we were playing a lot more, we were touring a lot and it really turned into a job. Now when we get out there and play the songs, there’s a certain satisfaction, getting to play these songs again.”
And they have plans to work on some new material.
“We’re not doing any new material yet, because we haven’t had the chance to get together to work, but once we get around to it, I can’t imagine it will take long. We go with our instincts because instincts are usually right, especially after this long,” says Kane.
Opening the show will be Victoria duo The West Coast Sons. M
The Grapes Of Wrath
Thursday, June 30, 8pm
Ambrosia Conference Cente (638 Fisgard)
Tickets: $20 advance, $25 at the door. Call: