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Making the band

WHO: Chloe, Ned and Steve WHERE: Black’s Pub WHEN: Every Sunday Whistler’s flourishing musical community just got a little bigger.

WHO: Chloe, Ned and Steve

WHERE: Black’s Pub

WHEN: Every Sunday

Whistler’s flourishing musical community just got a little bigger. A motley trio from opposite corners of the world have found common ground in their love of music and have banded together as a new addition to the local entertainment scene.

The two guitarists and vocalist have only played two gigs together thus far and have yet to decide on a name. For now they go by Chloe, Ned and Steve. Chloe and Ned are relative newcomers to the resort. Chloe is a representative of the Sydney, Australia population, and Ned a Brit from the streets of London. Steve has been in town almost long enough to be called a local, making the coast to coast trek from Newfoundland. They’re hoping their varied backgrounds will add something fresh to Whistler’s competitive nightlife.

"I was in a band back in London," says Ned. "We played mainly rock and roll with a bit of dance."

"I was in an agency—run band called Pajama Party, where we would have to wear pajamas and slippers," Chloe laughs.

"I’ve played guitar for about 12 or 13 years," adds Steve, "and have played in bands for the last seven or eight."

All three are also songwriters. Aside from performing classic pop-rock covers together, they each get solo mic time to perform their own pieces. Their intentions are to work together to eventually incorporate each other into those works. The three feel their boy-girl harmonies could be the catch they need in capturing village venues.

"We’ve got a great range of sound," says Ned.

"That’s right," agrees Steve. "We don’t want to just play top 40 tunes. We want to play our own stuff as well as older music that has integrity.

"The other thing is there’s no egos in this band. It’s not like we’re stepping on each others toes. I don’t mind sitting back sometimes… whether it’s three of us playing, two of us or just one. No one’s worried about being in the spotlight."

The trio hopes that casual jam attitude will appeal to the casual attitudes of visitors and residents of the resort.

Given their semi-professional backgrounds, all three are aware of the time and money involved in starting up. In Whistler, however, it seems those challenges are just that much harder. Rehearsal time and space is a necessity, but not easy to come by. Chloe’s house has been serving as the jambox, but the three admit if they had a larger, more sound-proof space, they could explore the possibility of incorporating a bass player and drummer.

"We’ve already got two guys lined up," says Chloe, "but there’s just no room to rehearse with them. So if anyone out there has a space they’d like to offer…"

The group also has to rent some of their equipment. They say while it’s not a huge sum of money, they can see that it certainly cuts in to their profits for the night.

Their biggest stumbling block, however, could in fact be themselves. None of the three have committed to staying in Whistler past the summer. The trio say they’re plain tired of their day-jobs. They’ve given themselves until the end of the ski season to explore their potential. If they haven’t found the niche they’re hoping for, hometowns, travel plans and other careers await. Chloe, for example, is a trained marine biologist – a far cry from taking orders in a local café.

It could be fresh-faced excitement, or perhaps experienced confidence, but whatever the source Chloe, Ned and Steve do seem very optimistic about their opportunities in Whistler.

"I find it very accommodating. I think there are a lot of places to play and a lot of people who want to hear live music," says Chloe.

The trio started out playing at the open mic night at The Second Cup and, after just one trial night, secured a regular Sunday night gig at Black’s Pub. They say they’ve been approaching other venues for an apres spot where they think their style may be best suited.

Come the end of March, there may indeed be a little more room on the apres scene. Local gals Leanne and Kyla have announced they’ll go their separate ways to embark on other projects. Although the two bands are completely different in styling, having a female voice at the mic may be a benefit.

And Chloe is a pleasure to listen to. Her voice is very versatile, turning out covers of everything from Cyndi Lauper to Dire Straits. The boys’ experience on guitar shows in their tight sound and broad repertoire. Vocal harmonies are still a bit loose, but not without potential. Their style feels a bit restrained in Black’s, but given a larger room, no doubt Chloe’s voice could fill all four corners, and it’s obvious her compatriots on guitar are dying to raise the roof.