Calgary

Black Pussy gig at Calgary's Palomino cancelled after outrage over name

A popular Calgary music venue is apologizing after booking a band with a controversial name.

Portland rockers have had shows cancelled previously due to pressure

The U.S. band Black Pussy will not be playing at the Palomino in Calgary in September after the venue received backlash over the booking. (@blackpussyband/Twitter)

A popular Calgary music venue is apologizing after booking a band with a controversial name.

The Palomino Smokehouse and Social Club announced on Thursday it has cancelled the Sept. 17 appearance of Black Pussy.

"We are sorry if any of our supporters, friends, regulars, partners or peers are disappointed or offended as that was certainly not our intent," the downtown bar posted on its Facebook page.

The Portland band has garnered attention in the past for its name choice. 

The feminist arts festival Femme Wave said on Wednesday it would be pulling out of the Palomino in November because of it.


The Palomino said that it is a strong supporter of independent music artists and "age, gender, race, sexuality or taste has never been judged here."

But the decision to drop the band from the lineup came after feedback from their community.


Reaction to the decision was mixed in the comment section under the post, and the band also weighed in.

But it's nothing new for the group, which faced a petition last year asking Canadian venues to boycott the band.

The band's name is an apparent reference to the 1971 Rolling Stones song Brown Sugar that, according to the petition, "unmistakably refers to raping black women during slavery."

According to their online bio, founder Dustin Hill thought the name was "fantastic" and it "encapsulates exactly what the band is: a sex-charged, '70s-influenced, hide-your-daughters-because-they're-coming-to-town rock 'n' roll band."

He said he has no plans to change the name, and most people aren't offended by it.

"I think real feminists are offended by how these people are reacting," Hill said in a 2015 interview. "I'm seeing a bigger group of that than the people offended by our band name."

Hill said the name came to him in a "meditative state".

"I wanted something that felt sexy and '70s. Those two words came to me, and I'm like, 'OK' and I felt the vibe of it for sure," he said.

"From there, I researched the words and what they meant which then led me to the Rolling Stones Brown Sugar song … it was claimed to be an anti-racist, anti-rape song, I just felt like I had hit the jackpot with a band name."

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