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Club gig brings band together

Fun of performing in Victoria inspires Ladyhawk to get back to work in the studio IN CONCERT Ladyhawk with Baby Eagle and the Proud Mothers When: Tuesday, 9 p.m.
You won't find a more captive audience with the munchies than at a Black Mountain show. So expect a few lineups at the food carts when Vancouver's brothers and sister of the beard kick out the jams and unleash the psychedelic sludge Aug. 25 in the sun-baked parking lot of the Waldorf Hotel. The all-ages event will have the aforementioned food trucks, a beer garden and a lineup handpicked by Black Mountain, including Ladyhawk, Basketball, Von Bingen and Toronto's Quest for Fire. Tickets $15 at Zulu, Red Cat, Beat Street, Dandelion, Neptoon, or online at More info at

Fun of performing in Victoria inspires Ladyhawk to get back to work in the studio


Ladyhawk with Baby Eagle and the Proud Mothers

When: Tuesday, 9 p.m.

Where: Club 9ONE9

Tickets: $12 at Ditch Records, Lyle's Place, and the Strathcona Hotel

Vancouver rockers Lady-hawk have had to fight to survive - the music business, if not each other - during the past couple of years.

It was such a serious stretch of inactivity, in fact, that a third album from the acclaimed four-piece seemed an impossibility at one point.

The rebuilding began last December in Victoria, of all places. With relationships within the popular Vancouver band at an all-time low, Ladyhawk regrouped, albeit tentatively, to play a show at Club 9ONE9.

The performance wound up saving the band from itself. "I don't think anyone was particularly excited to be going through the process," said guitarist Darcy Hancock.

"But it was something to do and to get excited about, and it worked. We had a really good time over there, and it was fun to play for people."

At the time, Ladyhawk wasn't effectively operating as a band, despite having one of the best indie rock reputations in the country.

The Victoria show arose at a time when Hancock was pushing his bandmates to record again, in hopes they would put an end to the dry stretch that dated back to Ladyhawk's much-loved 2008 album, Shots.

His approach worked.

No Can Do, the band's first effort in a new arrangement with Triple Crown Audio Recordings, arrived in stores this week, ending what Hancock called an "unplanned break."

The Kelowna-bred group, which also features singer-guitarist Duffy Driediger, bassist Sean Hawryluk and drummer Ryan Peters, has adhered to a baby-steps approach since re-forming.

A former touring juggernaut, Ladyhawk played just two gigs over the summer, mostly as a means of testing out the new material. So far, so good, according to Hancock.

"It has been a lot more fun than I recall it being.

We played too much together, for a long time. It benefited us as musicians, but it got tiring. The last year of recording and playing the odd show has been refreshing and fun."

Hancock kept himself busy during Ladyhawk's down time, recording with Peters in a low-key side project called Sports. While he didn't miss certain facets of the business, the magic of being in a group with his longtime friends eventually left a hole that needed to be filled. "I missed it. Even though there is stress to [a career in music], it's a lot more fun than anything else in life."

No Can Do marks a new phase for Ladyhawk in more ways than one. The band is no longer signed to Jagjaguwar, the respected Indiana-based record label, nor does it currently have a manager or booking agent. Aside from its longtime publicist, very little of the past infrastructure remains.

That's fine with Hancock and the rest of the group, he said. "We have whatever makes us happy first in mind, for now."

Ladyhawk's upcoming tour, which starts Tuesday at Club 9ONE9, is different from previous outings, Hancock said.

The trek is split into two week-long intervals, in order to cut down on the long drives. That's understandable for a variety of reasons, tops being the scary van crash that saw the group roll its tour vehicle on the Coquihalla just outside of Kelowna in 2007.

"It's a little more comfortable than anything we've ever done," Hancock said. "There are comforts we wanted to have with this tour, and it is booked in a way so that there's no long drives. Even if the weather is bad, we'll be all right."

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