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When the first chord was struck, the scarce crowd put their arms out and shoved whoever was nearest. There were about 12 people at the front of the stage, falling from the spilt beer on the floor and in their stomachs.
Dartmouth’s The Odd Socks played at Fusion Nightclub in Fredericton last Friday night. They were the final act, with their friends The Scoop Outs and Fredericton’s The Lee Harvey Oswalds on stage first.
Ian Rogers, bassist and guitarist of The Odd Socks, kept on his feet all night.
“I never fall when I’m drunk. I rarely fall,” said Rogers. But the speed of the music was something harder to stay on top of.
“I don’t know what song that was played last [Friday] night that was so fast, I could barely do it. Sometimes we get into like turbo speed and everyone’s playing as fast as they can. We play like 10 songs in 15 minutes.”
The band consists of Rogers and Nick O’Leary on bass and guitar, Dylan Jewers on drums and Jeff DeCoste on acoustic guitar. All members are on vocals but DeCoste writes most of the music. Most of them are also working on their education in Halifax.
When O’Leary, DeCoste and Rogers aren’t sitting in their prospective university classrooms, they’re finishing up the recording of their new album with sounds of folk mixing electric, played at punk speed.
The band recorded 11 songs in seven hours at the Echo Chamber in Halifax, but jammed at a warehouse rented out between several Dartmouth bands.
The ceiling leaked and needed repairs. The band didn’t stay for long, but leaving wasn’t their choice.
“We got kicked out for not paying the rent. There was like 14 people splitting on it so it got all messed up. We [the bands] had it for like three months. There were people living there before so we’ve when they moved up we got it for a jam space.”
Staying on top of rent payments isn’t high on the band’s priority list. The passion they have for playing live music overrules aspects of the job that other musicians would hold dear. One of those aspects being payment for shows.
“We will play anywhere, for no money. Doesn’t matter. It’s mostly just for fun. No one makes any money,” said Rogers. “We’d like to do a tour at some point like go to Ontario and back or something but no career aspirations of any sort.”
Rogers has been friends with Jewers and DeCoste for several years and just met O’Leary when the band was getting together two years ago. Rogers has always been surrounded by musician friends. Almost everyone he knows can pick up a guitar or carry a tune.
Rogers started tapping each finger, counting the number of bands he’s been in.
“Four or five. No five. I’m not a hundred per cent sure. It’s probably more like 3.6,” said Rogers. “I’ve been in a couple of half bands that never did anything, we just jammed.”
Halifax is right across the harbour and it’s hard to keep people on the Dartmouth side of the bridge, said Rogers. The Odd Socks tend to take the stage at Jacob’s Lounge in downtown Dartmouth. Ben Manual from The Scoop Outs is mostly responsible to book the bar’s live shows, so his band and The Odd Socks have free range on Friday nights.
“The crowd is small but it’s mostly just friends of ours and some various people from around the neighbourhood. It’s kind of random, sometimes there will be a bunch of people and sometimes there is literally know one.”
They also play Gus’ Pub in Halifax, “It’s half full of VLTs and the wallpaper is of fall leaves,” said Rogers.
The Odd Socks and The Scoop Outs took a break from the VLTs and fall themed wallpaper and packed their gear for Fredericton. The gig happened almost accidentally and the bands piled in their cars.
“The Cannisters [Jewer’s other band] played here a couple months ago or something, and they met some dude and I don’t know he got us a show here so we came. Basically is why.”
The best show Rogers can remember playing was in July at Reflections Cabaret in Halifax. During Pride Week, the band took part in $Rockin’ 4 Dollar$, an open mic style contest for cash, and every band that played had to dress up as the opposite sex. Rogers brought his dress to Fredericton, just in case.
“I have my dress, It’s pretty stylish. It’s got sleeves and is covered in gold. It’s very modest. I wasn’t slutty. You can borrow it if you want.”