Damn Pigeon
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"Damn Pigeons!"

Musical Peeks
by
Kevin Taylor

Happy Friday folks. Finally, some of the talented people in our community are starting to contact me for interviews.

One of the bands I've been waiting to contact me finally did.

Local rockers Damn Pigeon are the focus of this week's column. Anyone who has spent any amount of time on Talbot Street should understand where they would come up with a name like this. This group is by no means new on the scene. They have been kicking around the local scene for years, and have been working together with this lineup for about a year and a half.

There is one thing that sets Damn Pigeon apart from most of the other locals. Originality. This band wants to be themselves. That goes from writing the type of music they want, playing what they want, and playing when they want. If any of their fans have been wondering where they've been for the past few months, Damn Pigeon have been on a bit of a song-writing hiatus.

The band has recently recorded a three-song demo in the home of one of the members. The eight-track demo turned out very well. It's handy having a recording engineer in the band. They have submitted the tape to the FM96 On Track contest in hopes of winning some more recording time. All of the band members seem really pumped up about the whole songwriting and recording thing. It's kind of addictive once you start.

The band only gigs about once a month, and usually it is to open up for a bigger act, which is a great stepping stone to becoming one themselves. They have opened for Harrem Scarrem, and tomorrow night at The Pelican's Nest will be the fourth time they have opened for Helix. The group also takes part in some pretty big parties, like the MeltDowns during the summer and campground gigs.

Let's meet the guys. Steve Phillips is the band's lead vocalist. He has been in several local groups for about eight years. Steve has been working diligently for the past three years on his vocal technique with instruction from Brian Vollmer of Helix. This training has really paid off.

The beat-keeper for Damn Pigeon is long-time local drummer Wayne Blair. I had to throw that long-time thing in. Wayne's got seventeen years of drumming in and the rest of the guys tease him about being the old guy. Wayne has always played in rock bands around town. As a matter of fact, Wayne and I were in our first real band together when we were about fourteen years old. Some stories there, I can tell ya!

Wayne grew up on the same rock influences that I did, like Rush, Yes and Max Webster. Not exactly easy drumming styles.

Steve Proud is the bass guitar player for the band. He has been playing for eleven years, and has one of the most unique styles of playing that I've ever heard. As a bass player myself, I wish I could play that well.

The next Steve is Steve Proctor - guitar man. Steve has been quietly getting really good on the guitar for about eight years now. He has been involved as a studio session player and has spent a lot of time practicing. His lead guitar playing is a great asset to the band.

Let us not forget Joe. Joe Edmiston has also been a busy boy. He's been playing guitar for nine years and is a graduate of the recording engineering program at Fanshawe MIA. Joe also does live sound for many bands in the London/St. Thomas region. Joe has honed his engineering skills in Los Angeles and at several smaller studios in London.

Check them out Saturday night or call Steve at 631-7735 or Wayne at 633-4239 if you want to book them for a gig.

*(Kevin Taylor is the owner of Art-Tec Production and Recording Studios in St. Thomas.)

*(photo - D.M. Nancarrow - Caption: Anyone who's walked down Talbot Street knows where this band got it's name! Damn Pigeon members include, from left, Steve Proud, Wayne Blair, Joe Edmiston, Steve Phillips and Steve Proctor. The band is opening for Helix Saturday night at The Pelican's Nest on Talbot Street.) - St. Thomas Times-Journal - Friday, March 4, 1994


"Those Damn Pigeons! Local Band To Gig At The 'Nest"

by Craig Bradford
Our Community Press

ST. THOMAS -

If you frequent the city's downtown you know all about those damn pigeons, especially at the corner of Talbot St. and Princess Ave.

But there's one Damn Pigeon different than the rest.

That bird is a rock & roll band comprised of vocalist Steve Phillips, guitarists Steve Proctor and Joe Edmiston, drummer Wayne Blair and Our Community Press Au Naturel columnist and bassist Steve Proud. They play a brand of heavy rock that won't make you curse as their sonic flight passes overhead, unlike those Talbot St. at Princess Ave. foul-feathered tenants.

The band has been together in this line-up for about a year and a half, Proud said, and are playing a number of original songs to compliment their selection of covers that include songs from Seattle heavyweights Soundgarden, Pearl Jam and Alice In Chains, plus classics from Hendrix, Queen, Max Webster and Neil Young.

But Proud said the band wants to concentrate on their original material that doesn't easily lend itself to the plethora of labels out there.

"The songs don't all sound the same," Proud said. "They're all a little different."

He said the song writing is a co-operative effort. The band has been writing together for about eight months and have come up with six originals, five of which will be featured at their show with the reunited headliner Coney Hatch and opening band Fist Funk, a band from Fingal, at The Pelican's Nest on Saturday. More originals are awaiting the finishing touches, but day jobs keep the five band members from putting additional energy into the writing process.

But working more original songs into their live set is part of the agenda, and so is recording an independent cassette by the end of the year. The band has recently purchased some recording equipment that will hopefully produce a good quality product, along with Edmiston's previous recording experience. Edmiston is a qualified recording engineer and has worked in Los Angeles with such acts as Heart and Alannah Myles.

Proud said the band will sell the cassette at shows and hand some out to college radio stations and hope for some airplay. Does this mean the group is trying to do the traditional "let's get out of this town and make it really big" routine?

"It's a hobby," Proud said of what he and his bandmates are doing. "But it's a serious hobby."

IF YOU GO:

* The return of Coney Hatch, with special guests Damn Pigeon and Fist Funk, a Southwestern Ontario exclusive show, Pelican's Nest, St. Thomas (formerly Eddie's) on Saturday, May 14, 9 P.M. Advance Tickets $7, available at The Pelican's Nest - $9 at the door.

*(photo/D.M. Nancarrow - Caption: Joe Edmiston, left, Wayne Blair, Steve Proud, Steve Phillips and Steve Proctor of the St. Thomas band Damn Pigeon. The band will play with the reunited Coney Hatch and another local band called Fist Funk at the Pelican's Nest on Saturday, May 14.)





- Our Community Press - Wednesday, May 11, 1994


Discography

The Lamb, Autumn Years, Leave, Pissed Out, Guilty, Slow Me Down, Dismal Reviews...

Photos

Bio

Damn Pigeon is a versatile guitar-rock band from St. Thomas, Ontario. Originally put together in the early 'nineties, the band gigged fairly regularly from 1993 to 1996. We played a blend of covers and original material and managed to garner a strong local following and good press reviews. In addition to headlining some good-sized events, such as the first and second Iron Horse Festival Concerts In The Park and two Midsummer Meltdowns, we were honoured to open shows for established bands like Helix, Coney Hatch and The Kings, amongst others.

During this three-year period, the band bought some recording equipment (such as it was, in those days - you know - eight-track reel to reel, yada, yada, yada...) and installed it in the home rehearsal space. Three original songs were recorded during these sessions - The Lamb, Autumn Years and Leave. You can find these songs in the audio section of this EPK.

Shortly after completion of the recording, the band went through a couple of lineup changes, and eventually found itself ending off in early 1996 as a one-guitar band, having written some ten songs, but only having recorded three.

Intermission - jobs, kids, reality, responsibility, etc...

And now, back to our movie...

Damn Pigeon re-formed in 2009, ostensibly to 'finally finish the record', but frankly, we were having so much fun in the first couple of rehearsals that we decided we might as well be a band again, and play some shows as well.

Our current lineup features four of five original members, complemented by the addition of veteran drummer Bill Higgs. Our influences are all over the map, and we all have very big, thirsty ears!

So here we are. We're working on the record right now, as well as writing some new material. We have, in addition to the original material, a fairly wide range of rocking covers to fill out any night's set list, and we're eager to play.