Cripple Creek Fairies
Gig Seeker Pro

Cripple Creek Fairies

Calgary, Alberta, Canada | INDIE

Calgary, Alberta, Canada | INDIE
Band Rock Punk


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Your Hat belonged to Someone With LICE!"

The Cripple Creek FairiesWar Amps and Metal ArmsCatch and Release / Transistor 66Ten years into their existence, Calgary's Cripple Creek Fairies have seen fit to drop two separate full-length offerings of pure rock fury concurrently. War Amps and it's twin record, Metal Arms, continue the saga of one of Calgary's best, but criminally ignored and overlooked rock 'n' roll bands. Both records have strong unifying themes of deft melodic songwriting sensibilities mated against a backdrop of heavy guitar-driven rock, but there is certainly a different feel to each record. The instantly catchy War Amps is the day to Metal Arms' hypnotically heavy night. War Amps is a classic rock record in the kindest sense of the term. Not only does it feature some of the best hooks and licks these flight helmet-clad no-goodniks have ever come up with, it also includes choice covers of the Holland-Dozier-Holland howler "Leaving Here" and the Nervous Eaters' "Loretta." Metal Arms is an unabashed riff clinic that is the decidedly heavier outing. The impression given by Metal Arms is that it represents the future direction of the band through the album's lyrical and musical tone. The musicianship on both records is excellent, but never comes across as workman-like, largely because the songs are original enough that nothing ever really sounds staid. These two records are two of a planned five-release year from the Fairies in 2009. If the other material is half as good as War Amps and Metal Arms, then we are in for a total rock bonanza this year courtesy of the Cripple Creek Fairies.

By Keith Carman
The Cripple Creek Fairies have done it again. This fifth trip around the guttural rock'n'roll block with Calgary's primary purveyors of upbeat, bouncy fun culminates in nothing less than 12 tracks that wrap up in a tight and punchy 34 minutes. Sure, that's nothing extraordinary but there's so much more to it. Each tune has its own memorable construction and flow, to the point where every song is swimming around in your head, fighting for attention. It's overwhelming. Then again, that's exactly what a great album should do: overwhelm you. Pulling from the simplistic fuzzy distortion of the Stooges, straightforward craftsmanship of the Ramones and — this is actually a good thing — the saccharine melodies of, say, Thrush Hermit, War Amps is an incredible addition to the already stellar Cripple Creek Fairies catalogue.
(Catch and Release)
- Various

"Attention Shirtless Ladies!"

By Sam Sutherland
These Calgarians play like Alice Cooper in their hearts but on record, things come out with too much of an earnest early punk rock edge to play into heavy metal territory or stereotypes. This rules, because the band's unexpected mix of Who riffs and Stooges songwriting makes for an original blast of classic rock'n'roll, punk and metal that doesn't sound anything like other "punk metal" bands. Instead, you get the early Sabbath-infused "Runaround" butting up against the Cheap Trick melody of "Head Down" and the almost Stooges-y "Mars & the Moon." That the vocals avoid any obvious references to these bands' very, very famous singers makes the Cripple Creek Fairies a pretty unusual specimen, one that deserve some plays by any fan of the aforementioned bands.
(Transistor 66)
- Exclaim or something

"CCF release the best album ever."

Live, the Cripple Creek Fairies are an leather cap wearing, goggle sporting force that demolishes anything in their path. Led by Cam Hayden, the Fairies play strafing rock and roll, the kind that must emulate flying open-cockpit fighter biplanes in the Great War. There’s almost no room to breathe as the CCF descends on you, looming large on stage.
It’s a credit to them, then, that they managed to capture that same energy on The Suction. The album opens teeth bared and guitars loudly overdriven: “edge of Everything” operates along it’s namesake, bleeding right at the limit of the abyss, forcing you to look down every now and then to feel the vertiginous rush. “Country Girls” follows, a distorted salve of rock and roll with a modern polish, which memorably features Hayden singing in a tortured tone, “Country Girls with summer curls/ They got computers now/ They got computers now.”

Some may be turned off by the “modern” description of the album, but The Suction does have a mid-2000s rock and roll tone to it, similar to some of Velvet Revolver’s best work. In fact, some of the riffs on the album sound like Dave Kushner’s rhythm work – that down tuned riffing along the low E string that propels the song forward with a ballsy groove. Cripple Creek Fairies manage to sound modern without sounding cheesy or desperate.

The album closes with the strong “I Choose Rock & Roll,” which has a glam vibe on the chorus as the entire band comes in for the shout-along namesake. By the end of the twelve track album, it’s hard to disagree with the Cripple Creek Fairies: I choose Rock and Roll too.

Sabastian Buzzalino
- Beatroute

"CCF Hit Canmore"

SummitUP (Canmore, AB) Tuesday July 03, 2007
Brendan Nogue

Prepare for a party evening with the Cripple Creek Fairies

• When the Cripple Creek Fairies come to Canmore for a show they have a few simple expectations. They expect the crowd will be there to party and after their show they will get to party until the early hours of the morning.
So far in many other excursions out to Canmore to play at the Canmore Hotel they have yet to be disappointed, and for their Friday show with Damn Dirty Ape they expect nothing to be different. In fact, one of the major reasons to make the trip with Damn Dirty Ape was for the party.
“The kind of bands that you choose to bring to Canmore, obviously you want them to be good, but almost more than that you just want them to be people that are fun to hang out with because you’re going to inevitably party with them at the Canmore Hotel until three in the morning,” said the band’s bassist and lead singer who goes by Les Izmoore. “That’s kind of a priority so no church choirs will be coming with us to the Canmore Hotel.”
The rock band fashions themselves after classic rock acts like AC/DC, Motorhead and Black Sabbath, but also features a garage rock sound, according to Izmoore.
This came from much of the band’s background being in small Alberta towns and listening to rock records.
“We’re all sort of small town farm kids who all kind of ended up in Calgary together. Sort of the mutual rock nerd things goin’ on because we all grew up in towns where there’s nothing to do except listen to records and stuff,” said Izmoore.
The hard-working band is around the prairies most of the time, and is constantly working on new recorded material in Izmoore’s home studio. Currently they are working on their fourth album which they expect to be out sometime in the late summer or early fall.
Izmoore said that the band is constantly recording new songs while they practice and always “chipping away.”
He said he would actually like to release a few EP records a year rather than full-length albums just to keep constantly recording in this fashion.
Although the band is in a bit of a constant state of change with some alternating members they have still been able to sign on with a new record label, make their way out to Vancouver for a CBC radio session and play the Pop Montreal festival.
Coming up to Canmore to join Izmoore will be other similarly stage named members 66 and Monster Zero on guitars and Le Rouge Baron on drums.
- Canmore Weekly

"Cripple Creek Fairies - A Drunkard's Dream"

Beatroute Magazine (Calgary, AB)
Jesse Keith

Cripple Creek Fairies - A Drunkard's Dream

• Snorting coke off of groupies' thighs, legions of adoring fans, limos, entourages. It's all part and parcel of the rock 'n' roll lifestyle. Or at least that's how The Cripple Creek Fairies' heroes, Motorhead and Kiss, live. The Fairies themselves have been fighting it out for ten years on the Calgary music scene, in slightly less glamorous circumstances. Struggling to save money, find time to rehearse between conflicting day jobs, and replace exiting band members, the Fairies have held out longer than most would consider sensible.
"Actually, I think as a general rule for a Calgary band, the best thing you can do is break up," head Fairy Les Izmoore says, half-jokingly, "because everyone will love you. When you start a band all your friends are super-pumped for you, and you play some shows, everyone comes out and they all love you. Then, if you break up, they all miss seeing your band and they've got all these fond memories of you. But if you stick around, your friends remember just sort of getting sick of you and you bugging them to come out to your shows all the time. They've got other things to do at that point. They don't care anymore. You sort of go past this best-before date, and then you're sort of these old hacks.
"To any young bands out there: break up and ensure fond memories in the Calgary music scene."
Izmoore, though realistic, is anything but cynical about the Cripple Creek Fairies' prospects. With the band's expiration date ostensibly well behind them, they have continued to set new milestones each year. They've kept it together solely for the entertainment of throwing on their aviator helmets and goggles, rocking out and seeing just how much ground they can break.
"I think initially you want to make an impression and you want people to like you," says Izmoore. "But when people stop giving a shit, you ask yourself, 'why are we doing this?' It's because it's entertaining to us to see how far we can take it."
After a handful of albums, countless shows and even a comic book behind them, the Cripple Creek Fairies seem to find a little more unexpected success each year. Last year they were invited in for a CBC studio session. The recording of their recently-released album, Fire In Yer Hole, was funded by an Alberta Arts grant, and now they have the possibility of their first music video on the horizon.
"Like, a real one," Izmoore says with a laugh. "Not somebody with their Handycam."
"If it works out, there is going to be CGI animation in it, and we're going to be flying around in a blimp and rappelling out of it. It's going to be pretty awesome if it happens. Maybe we'll get played on the Wedge one day at four in the morning."
- Beatroute Magazine

"Superhero rockers out to save showmanship: Calgary's Cripple Creek Fairies put focus on fun"

Calgary Herald (Calgary, AB), Friday Feb. 10/2006
Heath McCoy

Superhero rockers out to save showmanship: Calgary's Cripple Creek Fairies put focus on fun
The Cripple Creek Fairies perform tonight at Broken City.

• The Cripple Creek Fairies are more than just a rock group. They're an adventure cut from the pages of an underground comic book.
The band, which plays tonight at Broken City, sells itself as a gang of punk rock super heroes.
Take their wacky stage presentation, for example. The quintet dresses like First World War flying aces in aviator caps and goggles and attacks their instruments like they were locked in some sort of cosmic combat, complete with flying rock-kicks, courtesy of keyboardist Conrad Montana.
Or, how about the video concept the Fairies are developing with a Regina production company, for the song Convoy Creep? The treatment includes a computer generated robot, ninjas and time travel. The proposed story will feature the popular Calgary band jamming in an aircraft hangar, which doubles as their club house. Because, of course, all good super hero teams need a club house.
On a previous CD release, the band even put out a comic book to accompany the disc, entitled The Fist, in which they all had super powers. Montana was depicted with elastic limbs, appropriate for his lanky six-foot-five frame. Bassist Les Izmoore was able to launch a missile from his arm. Guitarist 66 wielded a mystic hockey stick while drummer Phil Inne was the gang's techie genius. As for axeman Monster Zero? "He controls a team of girl ninjas," explains Montana over a beer at Original Joe's pub in Marda Loop. "Sexy ninjas, of course. We're a sexy band."
While the Fairies' sex appeal may be questionable, their knack for showmanship isn't.
"Our lyrics and personae are all based on the fact that we want to conquer the world in some shape or form," Montana jokes, adding: "We all grew up with comic books and extrapolating that into (our stage show) was the perfect fit for us. We're entertainers. We do whatever it takes to entertain, whether it's jumping around like maniacs or wearing (the costumes). You've got to do something to grab people."
Montana cites great rock showman from the Sex Pistols to AC/DC as his influence. "They were all caricatures of themselves and that's what we want to be (onstage). We take that and run with it."
That's not to say that the band is all style and no substance. The Fairies have been one of the hottest bands on the Calgary indie scene since their formation six years ago. As for their latest disc, Fire In Yer Hole, its a solid slab of genuine garage rock fun with deliciously catchy hooks. The Fairies' pedigree is none too shabby either. The band members have been linked (by their real names rather than their pseudonyms) with top Calgary bands of today (Agriculture Club, The Gigantics) and yesterday (The Shinolas, Anxious Poets). Behind the scenes, rock 'n' roll is serious business for these guys.
You'd never know it to see them live though. Last November, at the Fairies' CD release party, they indulged their inner child when they were accompanied to the stage by evil Star Wars characters Stormtrooper and Boba Fett. While the band played, the impeccably costumed characters stood guard at the side of the stage, pointing their laser guns (with actual laser lights) at the audience. "They were part of an actual Alberta-based Star Wars (fan club) we found online," Montana says.
The entourage was supposed to be bigger that night, set to include several Stormtroopers and a Princess Leia in her slave girl costume from Return of Jedi. Unfortunately, most of the cast backed out at the last minute. "It was a school night," Montana shrugs. "But we got Boba Fett and the Stormtrooper drunk, so they were happy.
"They didn't appreciate it if you touched their homemade costumes though. Nooo. They didn't like that at all. But they were awesome. Basically, they were our bodyguards that night."
While there are no planned Star Wars cameos at tonight's Broken City gig, Montana promises plenty of thrills. "We have a blast every time . . . and we always leave the crowd wanting more."
- Calgary Herald

"CD Review"

Exclaim Magazine (Toronto, ON), Dec. 19/2005
Stuart Green

• The pride (or is that shame?) of Calgary return with a follow-up to last year’s The Fist EP/comic book release that finds the profane and prolific quintet on a mission to rock the panties off rock fans far and wide. The production is bigger and cleaner but the lyrical content and underlying intent are most certainly not. Recalling the motor city mayhem of the Stooges and MC5, their updated brand of garage rock is a definite treat. And more importantly it is proof that in spite of Nickelback, Alberta still knows how to rock it old school.
- Exclaim Magazine

"Live Review"

Beatroute Magazine (Calgary, AB), Dec. 2005
Charles Farley

• The star attraction this night was the Cripple Creek Fairies. Well I'm here to tell you that the opening band made the already fantastic Cripple Creek fairies even better. Yeah, yeah, yeah, they rocked and they rocked and then they rocked some more. Always the consummate showmen the CCF didn't fail to impress this time either. From the moment they were escorted to the stage by the most realistic Boba Fett and Stormtrooper I've ever seen, to the last skybound hop from keyboardist Conrad Montana, they rocked the house with more energy than any drumming pink rabbit could imagine. Their trademark vintage leather fighter pilot helmets and goggles seemed less gimmicky than the opener's glam make up, mostly because they truly embody the quirkiness of the costume with every move they made on stage. Their CD release show was tight, seamless, loud, and, well, you need to see them. You really do.
- Beatroute Magazine

"CD Review"

VUE WEEKLY (Edmonton AB), Nov. ??/2005
by Eden Munro

Cripple Creek Fairies
Fire In Yer Hole
(Catch and Release)

On Fire In Yer Hole, the Cripple Creek Fairies blast their tunes from the speakers with all the subtlety of an air raid. Throughout the album, they rock out like they've been mixing up a concoction that harnesses the aggressiveness of Motorhead with the fun of AC/DC. Pompous attitudes are left behind in the dust as the Fairies play their rock ‘n' roll with gusto, delivering it all with their own unique touch—due in large part to the use of an organ as a major component of the music.

The lyrics take a decidedly cinematic approach, be it in the twisted chorus to the macabre love song “Graveyard Fox” (“She pulls me under sheets of fog and puts me in her hole”), or the democratic chorus in their ode to hot girls on the bus, “Elected,” (“You've been elected by us/As the best looking girl on the goddamn bus”). It would be easy to accuse the Fairies of relying on a shtick, with their penchant for air force headgear, but it suits the music so well that it works. And, when they can write something as awesome as the boogie rock of “Shin Pow On Our Tail” (how many other songs can you name that feature throwing stars?), they should be allowed to wear whatever the hell they want on their heads. - Vue Weekly

"Choppin' blocks and breaking hearts"

FFWD Magazine (Calgary AB) Oct. 21/2004
by Christine Leonard

Choppin' blocks and breaking hearts
With new album, Cripple Creek Fairies prove that the pen is mightier than The Fist
Friday, October 22
Broken City

• Gearing up for a big CD-release event is always a thrill for the musicians involved; doubly so when that release is accompanied by its very own comic book. Looking to top their dynamic live performances in more ways than one, the winged brook-hoppers known as Cripple Creek Fairies (CCF) have come forth with a one-two punch, that not only provides ample visual entertainment, but delivers a heavy dose of phlegm-loosening rock 'n' roll to boot. Bassist and moon-howler Les Izmoore is proud to see that the distinctive image he and his bandmates have endeavoured to develop has now been immortalized in permanent ink with the unleashing of The Fist.
"Our new CD comes with a comic book about a monster called The Fist," explains Izmoore, who admits the band grew up as comic fans reading Mad Magazine. "I guess the gist of it is that a lot of the songs are in the vein of The Fist - fighting, superheroes, explosions... more explosions. We are all big comic fans.... We had been kicking around the idea of doing our own comic book for a few years, when we met up with artist Tim Huesken, who is known for his fancy colour poster designs, and we started chipping away at a script. We loosely hold onto the thread of the comic-book theme throughout the album - all of the songs are about explosions in some way." The band had produced a few limited-quantity EPs in the past and were included on a few compilations, including Saved By Radio's B.Y.O.P. Calgary Does Connors. The Fist, originally slated as a three-or-four-song EP, quickly ballooned to 12 songs. "You can think of it as a four song record with eight bonus tracks," says Izmoore.
While their newly adopted artist set himself to work on their graphic debut, CCF busied themselves with the musical half of this multimedia frenzy - a process that was all-too-often retarded by the steady procession of players who filtered through the band's personnel roster. This revolving door of recruits made it increasingly difficult for Izmoore and his cohorts to solidify their positions and bring their latest sonic triumph to fruition.
"I never thought I'd wind up being the only original member left in a band, which probably means I'm the next to be replaced," he says with a chuckle. "Our lineup has changed at least six times. Stupid us, we just keep on adding people. So, we've been regaining our footing since then and trying to keep things together. It's like herding cats. Most of the songs on the album were written before our last guitarist (66) joined the band. For his audition we asked him to put down guitar tracks to those songs and that's what wound up on the CD. The whole thing came together haphazardly, so it's rough around the edges, which is an accurate reflection of our live show."
Attacking Calgary's alternative-music scene from a garage-rock angle, CCF adhere to a bass-heavy esthetic. Guitars squeal and keyboards rumble as Izmoore, Monster Zero, 66, Conrad Montana, Phil Inne and Le Rouge Baron gather their awesome powers and prepare to do battle with The Fist. Churning up chords and beats like they were white-water rapids, the Fairies muddy the waters with such tracks as "Biff Bang Pow!," "Who Was That Masked Man?," "Choppin' Blocks & Breakin' Hearts in the Shin Pow Clan!," and the memorable "Rock Your Panties Off!" Now that's what I call an explosive lineup! And while life as a superhero can take its toll on the average citizen, the members of this anything-but-average team of thrill-seekers are well-equipped to confront their foes and stand tall in the limelight.
"We love bands who do the whole package - bands like KISS who put the extra effort into presentation," he says. "We admire the Von Zippers for that and The Mants and Forbidden Dimension. They just look like they're having way too much fun. People say that Calgary has a reputation for gimmicky bands and that the whole trend has gone downhill. We try to perpetuate that shtick-rock mystique. We like to think of ourselves as a group of Super Friends, with plenty of reserves waiting in the ranks. Soon we will mobilize our branches across the country!" (Insert maniacal laughter here.)
by Christine Leonard
- FFWD Magazine


Cripple Creek Fairies Self titled full length

CBC Radio 3 New Music Canada Vol 1. included Greenroom from s/t

The Southern Invasion Comp featuring the CCF, The Neckers, The Dudes, Agriculture Club, The Red Hot Lovers & The Jalopies

BYOP, A Calgary Tribute to Stompin Tom Conners featuring The Martin Hartwell Story covered by the CCF featuring guest guitarist, Whitey Kirst (of Iggy Pop's touring band, The Trolls

The Fist - the CCF's second full length (plus comic book)

Smilin Jay's Happy Hour - live recordings from cjsr, Edmonton's campus station

Fire In Yer Hole - 3rd full length

Curl Up & Die - 4th full length

War Amps - 5th

Metal Arms - 6th

Eater of Astronauts - 7th

The Suction - 8th

CCF Devastators - 9th



The CCF are a rock & roll band from Calgary. They look like WWI pilots and strafe you with music inspired by bands like Motorhead, Alice Cooper, AC/DC, Aerosmith and Sabbath.

The CCF have shared bills with Mudhoney, Nashville Pussy, The Gossip, The Donnas, Anvil, Face To Face,The Supersuckers, Fucked Up, Monotonix, Corb Lund, White Cowbell Oklahoma, The Headpins, C'Mon, Deadbolt, Tricky Woo, Bionic, Forbidden Dimension, The Spitfires and countless other bands since hitting the stage in 2000.

The CCF have also been featured on CBC radio doing a studio session in 2005 and in 2006 the band was selected to represent Calgary at the Pop Montreal Festival.