God forbid anyone ever tries to re-make Animal House, at least we know the infamous house party scene can be salvaged by swapping the “Shout”-ing Otis Day and the Knights with Winnipeg’s The Noble Thiefs. (And yes. It’s supposed to be spelled that way.)
Vocalist Myron Dean, guitarist Riley Hastings, bassist Ian Lodewyks, and new drummer Joel Armstrong are poised to lead the charge in resurrecting the soul-centric rock sounds of decades past with a fresh new flair, and they’re converting crowds every time they slay the stage. “It’s a sound that everyone has a taste for,” Dean says of the band’s ‘50s flavour – a fact becoming clearer by the day.
Born with the sole aspiration of rocking garages and house parties, The Noble Thiefs quickly rose the ranks of the Manitoba rock community thanks to much word-of-mouth and media hype. The story is spreading quickly about the quartet’s funky brand of retro rock and, subsequently, drawing even more attention their way from audiences across the country and far beyond.
The intangible chemistry these four share stems from their widespread influences, which together produce a combustible sonic concoction that borrows from a slew of different decades and styles. “We all come from really different musical backgrounds,” Dean says, “but that’s what makes us sound like we do, and I love that.”
The Thiefs are set to showcase their newest jams with the follow-up to their 2011 long-player Beyond the 11th Deck – a brand new 7” recorded live-off-the-floor with producer John Paul Peters (The Waking Eyes, Propagandhi) at the helm. The two tracks are the swan song of drummer and founding member Tim Jones, who’ll continue his Thief-ery as head of the band’s label, Pipe & Hat. “We wanted to infuse more energy into these songs,” Lodewyks says of the release, and that’s made clear a mere 20 seconds into both “Got It Made,” with its killer opening riff kicking into a dance-inducing drive, and “When You’re in Love,” thanks to Dean’s channeling of the revered men of Motown.
On record, they’re exciting; onstage, however, The Noble Thiefs are explosive, embodying the seizure-inducing energy of early punk and leaving delightfully dazed and dizzy crowds in their wake. “It’s all about spontaneity and having fun,” says Hastings, and that applies to both the foursome and their fans on the floor. Don’t even bother trying to stand still with The Noble Thiefs onstage.
The band’s energy and ethos has earned them all kinds of performance opportunities, from rocking Canadian stages like the iconic Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto to upcoming tours of Western Canada and a string of European dates, including a slot at Focus Wales 2013. The summer of 2012 even found them headlining three shows at major music festivals over the span of a single week – Edmonton’s NextFest, Toronto’s renowned NXNE, and culminating with a monster set for a hometown crowd at the TD Winnipeg International Jazz Festival. The idea, explains Hastings, is to cast as wide a reach as possible and bring their upbeat sound and spectacle to as many audiences as they can.
Stemming from the unlikeliest of areas in the Canadian Prairies, The Noble Thiefs’ soul-rock revolution is at hand, and there’s no point in resisting.