What a great title for a live album called simply “gig”
Northern Pikes did some good business in there homeland Canada from 1985 until the release of “gig” in 1993 when they decided to call it day at the time.
The Pikes had a steady stream of Gold and Platinum records and plenty of video and radio play especially when the Snow In June album that was released in 1990.
But by 1993 even though there latest release at the time “Neptune” went Gold they decided to to move on but before that happened the Pikes decided to record a couple of shows (Toronto and Montreal) and put out a fitting (which became a farewell for a while) live capsule.
The Pikes to me are a good time band that wrote good time tunes and this album’s proves that.
Northern Pikes had their own vibe musically as they weren’t following any trends but what they had was good musical chops and what my pal Max from Nashville says about acts like these as they are ‘Power Pop’.
Power Pop is a great call as there are three lead singers in this band. Bassist Jay Semko, Lead Guitarist Bryan Potvin and Guitarist Merl Bryck all had great lead vocal capabilities. Rounding out the band on drums is Don Schmid.
- “The Way You Are” (from the album Neptune, 1992) – 6:39
- “Girl With a Problem” (from the album Snow in June, 1990) – 4:08
- “Believe” (from the album Neptune, 1992) – 4:26
- “Unimportant” (from the album Snow in June, 1990) – 3:18
- “Things I Do for Money” (from the album Big Blue Sky, 1987) – 5:06
- “Teenland” (from the album Big Blue Sky, 1987) – 7:37
- “Worlds Away” (from the album Neptune, 1992) – 4:54
- “Hopes Go Astray” (from the album Secrets of the Alibi, 1988) – 5:00
- “Why Cry” (from the album Neptune, 1992) – 5:09
- “Dancing in a Dance Club” (from the album Big Blue Sky, 1987) – 6:36
- “She Ain’t Pretty” (from the album Snow in June, 1990) – 3:40
- “Everything” (from the album Neptune, 1992) – 3:28
- “Twister” (from the album Neptune, 1992) – 3:30
Lot’s of great tracks and us Canucks out there reading this know the tunes by those days of yesteryear when MuchMusic played videos. (what a concept!)
I can tell you all that three of my favourite tracks are on here one of which is Hopes Gone Astray with that fantastic opening paragraph of..
“Just write a letter and mail it to yourself
Read it out loud but to no one else
Pick your pocket a measure of time
And never leave these memories behind”
A great song that builds and builds…
Believe is such a killer song as well and I hate to use the term ballad but the lyrics drip of heartache…
“I can’t believe it’s dwindled away
To a forced “hello. ya I’ll see you someday”
Wow man that’s deep.
Bryan Potvin delivers a killer vocal and guitar action on this one as his voice blends perfectly on the harmonies provided by Jay Semko and Merl Bryck.
Course the real big hit on here “She Ain’t Pretty” is definitely a master class in Power Pop. What a great driving tune of Power Pop! (yup I used that term again).
She Ain’t Pretty was even getting into the U.S Singles Charts back in 1990 (it reached #86) than disaster happened.
I recently listened to an interview with Semko and he talked openly about having a great A&R guy in the States named Bobby Brooks who championed the band and got them on huge support slot opening for Robert Palmer and bunch of other dates in the States. Just as the Pikes we’re about to get their break in the U.S, Brooks was killed along in a helicopter crash that also took the life of Stevie Ray Vaughn.
Semko said Brooks passing was huge loss to the band both personally and professionally and the momentum they had built up and the person that replaced Brooks did what they could but as Semko said it was never the same.
I caught the Pikes when they tolled into town a few years back and they still delivered a killer live show jammed with the hits and these cats still had the chops to bring it live. (Bryck though remaining friendly with the band packed it and has been replaced by Kevin Kane)
Lots of great rock…
dEke’s Stream A Rater Rating….8.5/10