Some of you may remember Slow Nerve Action. They were a Whistler band, which existed during Whistler's glory days — the first half of the 2000s. The Olympics had yet to make their mark and the Boot was helping to keep Whistler's live music scene robust and popular.
And Slow Nerve Action was right there in the middle of it. For five years, they toured the country relentlessly with their brand of hyper-sexualized, Zappa-inspired funk rock. Some called it "porno funk."
They broke up in 2005 because, well, life happened. Two members, guitarist/vocalist Josh Gontier and bassists Benson, moved back to Ontario. Vocalist Chris Berry became a father. It was time for everyone to grow up, move on, get jobs and find news bands to play with.
"We just fizzled out," Berry says. "Life happened. Everyone was sick of touring around in a van."
And then, perhaps inevitably, it was time to reunite.
Slow Nerve Action will play its first gig together in seven years at Dusty's on Friday even though Chris Berry says they have not practiced once since they broke up. They'll play for the first time together the night before the reunion show.
Fans worried for a sloppy reunion gig worthy of The Police massacre a few years ago needn't worry. Most of the band members have been playing in the years since, and several of them play together in various outfits around Vancouver. Berry and keyboardist Ian Lamont play together in the freakout-funk band Jackfruit.
"Everyone's been playin'. We just haven't been playing Slow Nerve Action songs," Berry says, laughing.
The band formed in 2000 and named themselves after a Flaming Lips song. The early days, Berry says, were "heavy." They released two albums and toured incessantly for the first three years, crossing the country on three-month tours..
"It was incredible man," he says. "It was probably the best time of my life, that whole thing — touring and just living so cheap and not having anything to worry about except for getting to a show. Just playing and putting on parties. It was madness."
Their reunion will likely be blast from the past for locals who were here during the band's heyday. It was a time when live music was widely appreciated in town, a time when local bands writing and performing their own music could actually play regular gigs.
"Whistler was great to start out and to tour from there because there are so many people that live in Whistler that come from all over the world, but in Canada especially. Every little town you hit there was someone that would say, 'Hey I caught you guys in Whistler!' and brought 10 or 15 of their friends out," Berry says.
But he adds it all changed when The Boot closed down.
"The Boot's gone, and that to me changed the whole thing. That place was one of the best live venues ever. There was a good live music scene up there."
So, if anything, they're playing a very late eulogy for the greatest venue Whistler ever knew. Anyone nostalgic for the good old(ish) days may want to check it out.
"I'm sure there are a lot of old dogs that are around that will come out and shake their thang," Berry says with a laugh.
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