Arthur Funkarelli promises sweaty, wild show 

Huckfest to end band’s two-year absence from Whistler stages

Who: Arthur Funkarelli

Where: GLC

When: Sun. Oct. 8

Doors: 9 p.m., show: 10 p.m.

Tickets: $10

The self-proclaimed "bastard sons of rock ’n’ roll," Arthur Funkarelli, return to Whistler this Sunday after a two-year absence. The band will be ripping up Joyride Huckfest’s closing party at the GLC with their high energy ska-punk-soul hybrid sound.

Imagine throwing Fishbone, Curtis Mayfield and the Ramones into a blender with a resulting mix that actually works and that’s a decent approximation of the band’s sound. Known for dueling lead singers, a virtuoso sax player that shares centre stage and the best player names going, Arthur Funkarelli promises a show that incorporates "prodigious stage presence, deep musical knowledge, a punk rock ethos, and unsurpassed dedication."

The event’s promoter substantiates the band’s lofty claim.

"It’s a classic show," says Paddy Kaye of Joyride Productions. "They’ve been working on new music and getting reading for a U.S. tour. It’s going to be a good time, guaranteed."

Huckfest, the annual celebration to mark the end of the mountain bike season, is an event that resonates with band front man Al Leclerc, a.k.a. Bad Alice French.

"I’m 10 weeks into recovering from a broken leg from a mountain bike accident this summer," said Leclerc. "We had a lot of casualties biking in Nelson this year and I’m one of them."

His connection to the sport, and longstanding friendship with Kaye, resulted in a meteoric rise for the band that started out as a bunch of musicians from the Nelson scene just getting together.

"Within six months we were opening for No Means No and playing main stage in Whistler at Crankworx," said Leclerc. "All of a sudden we were part of the scene. All of a sudden, people from Outdoor Life are calling. It happens fast."

Along with Lil’ Fray, Dirty Al Black, Mike "The Beast" Eby, Bad Alice had been relentlessly touring the alternative circuit from Edmonton to San Diego since 1999. However, personnel changes in the lineup a couple of years ago temporarily stalled the band.

With a third, full-length recording in the works and the addition of Axe Monkey and Too Tall Jones Arthur Funkarelli is committed to re-establishing itself in Whistler.

"We definitely want to get our feet back into Whistler," said Bad Alice. "And we know it’s going to take some work."

While Arthur Funkarelli hasn’t been seen in town for a while, they’ve definitely been heard. The six-piece band is well known for its scorching contributions to the soundtracks of extreme sports TV shows and of mountain biking and boarding videos.

Despite their popularity with the biking/boarding crowd, not everyone appreciates the band.

Leclerc recalls the band’s most frustrating gig, at a meat-market type bar in Peterborough. As part of Trasheteria, the band had been relegated to playing in the upstairs lounge that acted as a holding tank for the bar.

"We had a 150 people sitting about 50 feet away from us, waiting to be let into the bar all sitting with their backs to us," he said. "I have a problem with Peterborough, that town blows. If you ain’t pumping out the biggest club mixes you’re in for a fight."

The fiercely independent Arthur Funkarelli has no plans on trying to get a label deal that would allow them to be part of that scene.

"If someone really wanted us, they would have found us. Four hundred shows later…" mused the slightly cynical Leclerc. "We’re not lazy, we’re just a little pessimistic about the business. We’re doing it very well, doing it our own way; if someone comes up and signs a blank cheque we’ll pounce on, but that’s not why we do it."

As the press release states: Arthur Funkarelli is on a mission. And that mission seems to be having the best time possible.

"We’re a hard rocking party band," stated Leclerc. "It’s a wild and sweaty show. If you’re ready to get down, dance with some funky ladies and throw your elbows around, you’re going to have a good time."


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