Thu, Jun 27, 2013.
The hottest band from Newfoundland right now has no folk influences. Nor do they know any sea shanties. They don't play trad jam sessions. Sometimes the cliches are so strong in regional music, we forget there are other scenes going on in every town. And Repartee has been making St. John's dance, big-time.
The group's self-titled debut album was a home town smash, winning them all five MusicNL awards they were up for, including Album, Group, Rising Star, Fan Choice Entertainer, and Pop/Rock Artist. That lead them to a nomination for the 2013 ECMA for Rising Star, and a couple of well-placed showcases at the Halifax awards, where I first ran into them. Repartee is synth-pop, but with a lot more guts than plastic. The songs have a classic dance vibe, but there's also some serious riffage going on, both on disc and live. The synth is there, but so are the guitars and drums. There's also a ton of energy from the group, especially from singer Meg Warren. They're out there proving that dance music is anything but disposable in their hands. Serious fun then.
Repartee's next move after conquering the home Island is to melt the mainland. They've just started a major Eastern Canadian tour that takes them across the Maritimes and into Quebec and Ontario. New Brunswick gets them Saturday night, June 29, at the Capitol in Fredericton. Rockers can rock, dancers can dance, it's all good.
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Bob Mersereau has been covering music, and the East Coast Music Scene since 1985 for CBC. He's a veteran scene-maker at the ECMA's, knows where the best shows and right parties are happening, and more importantly, has survived to tell the tales. His weekly East Coast music column is heard on Shift on Radio 1 in New Brunswick each Wednesday at 4'45. He's also the author of two national best-selling books, The Top 100 Canadian Albums (2007) and The Top 100 Canadian Singles (2010).