a) Beautiful Girls or b) three Aussie dudes? 

c) all of the above

Who: The Beautiful Girls

Where: Boot Pub

When: Monday, April 12

Local live music venue the Boot Pub doubles as the local strip club with Das Boot Ballet hosting exotic dancers every Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday night.

At a glance, it would appear this Monday evening’s entertainment at the Pub is of a similar genre. Live, onstage it’s the Beautiful Girls!

But in the tradition of Canada’s Barenaked Ladies, the Girls are no Vegas Lingerie Revue.

Save your tips for the bartending staff that night because the Beautiful Girls are a hot roots-reggae/hip-hop band from the land down unda’. An all-male three-piece band at that.

Front man Mat McHugh takes responsibility for the cheeky moniker, chosen as a reaction to the pounding "testosterone-driven" rock and punk scene in the surf community on the northern beaches of Sydney, where the band calls home.

"I wanted to escape from that world of macho-posturing so I tried to think up the polar opposite of a tough-guy band name," says McHugh. "Where we’re from every band had to have a heavier name and a heavier sound. In reality the bands all sounded really bad and no one went to their gigs. It was just a boys’ club."

Their ability to distance themselves from the sausage fest and take the band to the next level has been a mixed blessing for the Girls. The current North American tour is a mammoth undertaking. It began in the American Mid-west two months ago and has moved them from one end of the U.S.A. to the other, with the odd foray into Canada.

McHugh estimates they put 16,000 km on their touring minivan in just four weeks. But the worst thing for a band born and raised in the Aussie surf scene has been the prolonged absence from the ocean – harsh reality since they left gorgeous summertime Sydney and touched down in midwinter Minneapolis.

Monday’s show at the Boot is a chance to catch the Beautiful Girls in a more intimate venue before they return to perform on the main stage at the upcoming Telus Whistler World Ski & Snowboard Festival’s DKNY//Jeans Outdoor Concert Series on Sunday, April 25.

McHugh says the road-worn band is looking forward to the Whistler stops, where they will take some much needed time off and hang with fellow Aussie musician and mate Xavier Rudd, headliner for Sunday’s festival outdoor concert.

"It’s kind of a beacon of light we’re looking towards," says audibly weary McHugh over the phone from an Edmonton hotel. "Each gig is kind of getting better. We started off in Thunder Bay and it was freezing, and it was pretty bleak. Even everyone there was like, ‘don’t judge the rest of Canada by Thunder Bay,’ especially the days we were there. It was like another planet. It was crazy."

But since McHugh cites pre-World War II blues guitarists as a major source of inspiration, the days on the road in less than idyll locales may actually serve his songwriting well. He’s currently focused on melding the haunting melody of oldtime blues into the laid back beach reggae/hip-hop groove – "kind of like blending all the cool things of different kinds of music we all like and trying to make it not sound like a train wreck," he says.

Make a date with the Beautiful Girls at the Boot Pub’s upcoming Monday Madness live music night before they’re playing to festival crowds two weeks from Sunday.

For information call 604-932-3338.

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