Northern Ignition looks beyond Pemby Fest 

The Be the Best, Play the Fest winners want the 'insane' experience to lead to more festivals

click to enlarge PHOTO SUBMITTED - Ignition on Marcus Ramsay of Whistler's Northern Ignition performs at the Pemberton Music Festival.
  • Photo submitted
  • Ignition on Marcus Ramsay of Whistler's Northern Ignition performs at the Pemberton Music Festival.

It's crazy, the whole world was coming to our little town, north of Whistler."

Almost two weeks on, Northern Ignition's singer and guitarist Marcus Ramsay is still basking in the glow of his band's set on the Whistler Blackcomb stage at the Pemberton Music Festival.

"It was a dream come true, amazing," he says.

Northern Ignition was offered a much-desired set at Pemby Fest after winning the Be the Best, Play the Fest competition, hosted by the festival and Mountain FM.

An audio engineer, Ramsay was able to pull together a studio copy of Northern Ignition's original music for the competition. They competed the week before the festival and, when the dust settled, were the winners.

When it comes to the festival, Ramsay recalls: "It was insane to be a part of it. I don't think any festival could top it. The stage was so much fun, getting to roam around and everything. We had a great time.

"Everyone seemed stoked when we played and nobody left once they arrived and I was happy about that! I was happy with the crowd.

"I think there were a few musicians who came out to see the battle-of-the-bands winner."

They are now working on getting video from their set for further use, not least in building a set they can take to other festivals in the future.

"We'll try to make a whole summer out of it next year," Ramsay says.

"We want people to see that we can play big shows and on big stages. I think that's where our music will shine, on big stages where the excitement is."

Another result was their first gig at The Roxy in Vancouver.

"We are working on getting the name out there," he says.

Northern Ignition began by playing rock covers in the bars and clubs around Whistler.

The current lineup of the five-piece band is just two weeks old.

Along with Ramsay, Northern Ignition is made up of Clive English on guitar, Brad Needham on keyboards, Andrew Crome on drums, and Art Barrientos on bass.

Ramsay is also continuing to play in a cover band with Whistler musician Kurt McQuaid, The McQuaid Duo.

Northern Ignition's self-produced EP, The Youngbloods, came out earlier this month.

"I've been toying with a lot of things over the past year and they all have a rock 'n' roll thing to it. We call it good times rock 'n' roll — it's a lot of fun to play," Ramsay says.

The Youngbloods is out on Bandcamp, and is also available on iTunes, Spotify and all major streaming services.

"We'll just keep playing. I have plans to get back into the studio as soon as I can and record more music and keep people interested," Ramsay says.

For more information, visit



Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

Latest in Music

More by Cathryn Atkinson

© 1994-2016 Pique Publishing Inc., Glacier Community Media

- Website powered by Foundation