Leisure Cruise invites you on a new synth-pop journey 

Musician Dave Hodge wanted Whistler on the tour because of his big love for the resort

click to enlarge PHOTO SUBMITTED - Cruising by Dave Hodge and Leah Siegel are performing with their group Leisure Cruise at the Garibaldi Lift Company on Saturday, Feb. 28.
  • Photo Submitted
  • Cruising by Dave Hodge and Leah Siegel are performing with their group Leisure Cruise at the Garibaldi Lift Company on Saturday, Feb. 28.

When Dave Hodge of Leisure Cruise is asked to describe his synth-pop band's music, he reaches for a review of them by a friend.

"Early on, someone was listening to the record and said it was like being in a hovercraft in a Philip K. Dick movie. Another friend said it was like a big bag full of kittens, which is great because I'm allergic to cats," he laughs.

"I feel like what we do is cinematic, but more organic. When we play live we have drums and guitar ... it's not strictly electronic music on stage."

Hodge is known for his work with Broken Social Scene and Bran Van 3000, two bands with a very different sound.

The four-piece outfit, with singer Leah Siegel, will join Hodge at the Garibaldi Lift Company on Saturday, Feb. 28, at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $10.

The duo launched Leisure Cruise after working together years ago on music for the launch of Apple's iPad. Then they performed another project together a year later. But the band itself was an accident.

"I wanted to make a record with my musical family ... I bumped in to her on the street and so we started writing and we found out rather quickly and easily that it was good, so we just kept writing," Hodge says.

"And we were, like, 'You know what? I guess we're a band!' It was a really nice surprise that we were both on the same page, musically. It's rare to find that kind of creative partnership."

Hodge insisted Whistler be on the tour roster, which is taking in places like Los Angeles and Brooklyn, because he has performed at the resort on many occasions.

"I was in a (rock/reggae) band called One. We played there a lot, in Buffalo Bills, the convention centre, Garfinkel's. I think we played the Boot once. Whistler was my favourite place to play; in Whistler the band got pretty popular," Hodge says.

He says he still has a lot of close friendships here, naming DJ Ace Mackay-Smith and others.

"Whistler's kind of important to me and when my agent booked the West Coast run, he named dates from Vancouver and all the way down to San Diego. I said there was no way I going to come to Vancouver and not play in Whistler," he says.

So they come straight from Philadelphia, fly from New York to Seattle and then drive straight up in a van on the same day — all for the chance to perform in Whistler on what was meant to be their only off day.

Leisure Cruise's first album, Last Gang, came out in May 2014. Songs include "Double Digit Love" and "Sailing."

"We didn't want to tour like crazy because I did that with my old band Bran Van 3000 and with Broken Social Scene," he says. "With Leisure Cruise we really wanted to tour in a targeted manner ... Touring everywhere is crazy. This is a little more focused and I think that's a better way to do it."

The Broken Social Scene side of Hodge's career can draw fans to Leisure Cruise, he agrees, but the two bands have very different styles of music. Plus, Hodge wasn't a main writer with either band.

"Leisure Cruise is me and Leah's thing and musically this is totally different," he says. "When we talk to people we don't get anyone saying it's weird that I played with Broken Social scene and this is so different."

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