Breaking Out The Bass For Doughboys Covers…And Good Causes

My original vinyl copy of Whatever. You can see the boxing sale mark down from 8.99 to 6.99. Score.

I have a long history of fandom with legendary Montreal band The Doughboys that started when I was in high school.

I remember going to Phantasmagoria in Montreal one Boxing Day and buying ‘Whatever‘ on a whim because the cover looked cool. I don’t remember knowing much about the band, though I was really getting into the Montreal scene by way of Og Records (Gruesomes, Deja Voodoo, etc) in those days.

‘Whatever’ instantly struck me. From the opening salvo of ‘Tradition‘, through to instant classics-for-my-brain like ‘No Holiday (From Living)‘, I was hooked.

As we did in those days, the record was quickly dubbed to cassette and crammed into heavy rotation in my parents’ Pontiac Acadian for cruising around. As a result, I rarely think about my last year in high school without having those songs play in my head.


The Doughboys live

I remember going to see them live for the first time in the late 80s at the old Foufounes ‘layout’.

(Do you remember when the stage was a few inches off the floor and facing east? I also saw Sham 69 in that configuration… but that’s a whole other story. That was also the layout that existed when The Stand GT opened for the Gruesomes when they launched ‘Gruesomemania’ on Hallowe’en night in 1987! But I digress…)

Thankfully, I got to see Brock Pytel perform before he left the band. I remember standing there watching him in his bare feet, doing yoga stretches on the stage as the anticipation of the band’s set began to build in earnest.

Jonathan Cummins was the first to pick up an instrument and taunted the audience as he broke into a verse of the KISS ballad ‘Beth‘. (Unfortunately, I never got to see Scott McCullough perform as Jonathan had already joined the band at this point.)

A few seconds after that, the band congealed into a sonic wave of pop-punk euphoria for this wide-eyed kid: The first song was an explosive rendition of ‘Tradition’.

Okay, this is starting to feel like a review of a show that happened 25+ years ago, so you get the picture. If not, this will help:


That show was a mind expander for me. The explosive energy of their live set was off the dial, and nothing like I’d seen before. That bouncing energy became a trademark for the band as they went on to influence so many jumping-while-singing young bands right across North America.

For instance, I remember being in Seattle with The Stand GT and being surprised friends there knew of the Doughboys. “Are you kidding?”, one guy said to me. “They clean up when they come here”.

The Doughboys were real trail blazers for indie bands in those days.


Benefit this Saturday at House Of Targ

So the long and short of all this is, I will be joining my pals Jim Bryson, Blake Jacobs and Leigh Newton (Blake and Leigh of the wicked thrash metal act World War 4!) to play a bunch of Doughboys songs as part of the benefit ‘Punk Rock Cover Nights’ at House of Targ.

I’m stepping out of my comfort zone for this one, as I’m taking on the role of Jon Bondhead and playing bass. I still plan to take on a few jumps while I sing back up, but I guarantee I won’t be sporting dreads or wearing shorts.


The details of the show are:

All money raised will be going to the Evelyn Horne Young Women’s Emergency Shelter and The Door Youth Centre.

Saturday, March 5th
90s Punk Rock Cover Night #6
House Of Targ
1077 Bank St., Ottawa

FACE TO FACE performing ‘Face To Face’ (Radiodazed)
MXPX performing ‘Life In General’ (Sidelines)
DOUGHBOYS (Jim Bryson, Chris Page, World War 4, Metal Patrol)
OSKER (Cool Kids Not You)

9pm. 19+. $5.

9:30-10:00 OSKER
10:15-10:45 THE DOUGHBOYS
11:00-11:40 MXPX
11:55-12:35 FACE TO FACE

FB link is here.


The fellas rehearsin’. Photo courtesy Jim’s Instagram account


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