Hard-touring indie-rock songsmith treading that classic fine line between heartfelt and balls-out. One hand immersed in the traditions of pop songcraft, the other tossing conventions out the window in favour of vintage keyboard soundscapes and jangling, driving guitars.


NOTE: Petkau has recently relocated to Montreal.

Petkau is standing next in line to wave Winnipeg's flag as a hotbed for literate and crafty DIY songwriters. This hard-touring songsmith is blurring the lines between bitter and sweet, balls-out indie rock and heartfelt laments.

Poetry is poison.

"Don't Say A Word" finds our boy championing a quick and cutting anthem only to turn it on its head with a morose soundscape. His broad shoulders matched only by his voice, Petkau is cutting a direct line to your heart.

The feelings are getting fuzzy.

How many broken relationships fall between the lines of a conversation that no one wants to have? How many times are we betrayed by another's lack of confidence, by our city's spinelessness, by our lover's indifference? Like images, the true meaning of words is ultimately found in the negative-space. In what wasn't said.

Don't Say A Word.

Don't Say A Word was released in summer 2005 on Head In The Sand Records. Themes of silence, regret, and the inconsistency of human interaction dot a landscape filled by gritty, jangling guitars and electronic manipulations. The songs are focused and poetic descriptions of the people and places around Petkau, alternating between driving indie-rock and hushed intimacy. But don't be put off by any apparent bitterness. This album is surprisingly (even disarmingly) romantic -- in a "getting-the-silent-treatment" kind of way.

Petkau's critically acclaimed debut EP, Parapet, features performances by Greg MacPherson, Mimi Orr, Vava Kolinski (Toronto's Evil Twins), Ryan Yurich (Sudbury's Nickelbender), and Joanne Lawton (London's Sirens) among others. A diverse album of acoustic impressionism, folksy soundscapes and driving rock-n-roll romance, Parapet announced a creative new voice from a creative city.

Mike primarily tours solo, though band shows happen sporadically. Dave Quanbury plays bass, Steve Martens plays drums, Graham Epp and Jesse Warkentin add all the extra keyboards and guitars, El Chico plays loops.

While all this hubbub goes on, Mike doubles as a small-fry record-label owner, recording engineer and burgeoning first-call producer.


"Don't Say A Word" (2005)
"Parapet" (2002)

Set List

Feels So Good
Interview With A Contract Killer
Winter Waits
The Girl With A Great Idea
Silent Treatment
Stacey Microphone's Theme
B People
Patch Me In
This Place Owes Us

These make it into the set every so often:
I Claim These Streets
Lipstick Vinegar
Its A Chance You Gotta Take

"Gouge Away" (Pixies)
"Radio Radio" (Elvis Costello)
"Jackie's Strength" (Tori Amos)
"Chocolate Jesus" (Tom Waits)