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Oh No! Yoko EP Release Video

July 21, 2011 | by  |  Music

“One time at the Biltmore, it was snowing, and they made us sit outside until we went onstage, and then as soon as we finished, they kicked us back out. That’s usually the way it goes.”

It’s a far cry from the typical stories of hard-partying indie rockers, backstage glamour and extravagant tour buses, but for Abbotsford’s Oh No! Yoko, it’s reality. With all three band members under nineteen and a glaring lack of all-ages venues around the Lower Mainland, they’ve had to be creative – and resilient – to get their music heard.

Oh No! Yoko are a young band – there’s no getting around it. And, sitting with them in a booth at Subway, it’s clear that they’re excited: excited to be interviewed, excited to play their EP release party (later that same night at The Cobalt) and excited to be done high school. Their youthful exuberance is infectious, and I find myself looking forward to their performance even more as the evening progresses.

“It’s gonna be fun” says Everett. He plays guitar and handles the bulk of the vocals, and is the band’s de facto frontman.

“It’s gonna be funny,” drummer Liam is quick to interject, grinning across the table at his bandmates.

“It’s gonna be packed” concludes Nick, who plays bass. “Hopefully.”

It’s the only real moment of hesitation from any of the three young men. They’re confident in their abilities and their craft, and this poise shines through both live and on record. For a group of young men – it’s tempting to call them boys – who graduated from high school a mere two weeks ago, Oh No! Yoko are a remarkably tight band.

“We’ve been playing together for four years” says Nick.

“Four or five years. Since grade 8” agrees Everett. “That was shit music though.”

“Yeah,” agrees Liam, “we sucked ass.”

I ask if they’ve always been called Oh No! Yoko.

“We had tons of band names,” answers Nick.  “We were Propaganda, then The Plants, then Tunnels and Bridges…” He trails off, wracking his brain for other, less memorable names.

Everett is eager to fill the silence.

“We didn’t even change genres. We’d just change the band name and nothing would change.”

Nick, Everett and Liam talk and act like a band. It’s clear they’ve grown up together, learned how to think and interact as a cohesive whole. Conversation with the three of them is a lot like watching them perform onstage – they work together, filling in for and riffing off of one another. That camaraderie is a big part of what makes their music so appealing – you can tell, just by listening and watching them, that they love playing music together. Their passion is infectious, and it’s hard not to get caught up in the fun.

Later that night, at The Cobalt, I catch glimpses of the band in the crowd as their openers, Kingdom Cloud and Teen Daze, play through their sets. The trio sticks together, dancing, chatting and singing, pressed right up close to the front of the stage, having a blast.

It’s their release party, after all. Nobody’s making them wait in the snow tonight.

Video: Liam Hanham


1 Comment

  1. What a great review following up a wicked release party. Thanks for this.


  1. Oh No! Yoko EP Release Party « Jesse Wentzloff's Portfolio

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