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Ottawa, Ontario, Canada | INDIE

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada | INDIE
Band Alternative Reggae


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"CD Review"

RUDEBOY - "Shut Up & Dance"

Although equally rollicking and infectious, Rudeboy's debut owes more to traditional ska stylings than the crop of skate-punk rudies currently peppering radio signals.

Tight, syncopated rhythms, horn eruptions and a clean guitar plinka-plink meet ragged vocals and Hammond organ infusions in the Ottawa quintet's skankfest.

True, they offer some twists beyond the conventional "Somebody Someday "or "Happy"- as on the Godfather theme ( "Ska Father" ) and Kiss' Detroit Rock City ( Detroit Ska City, natch)- but my money's on "Superspy". Tackling the 60's spy movie genre, "Superspy" enmeshes surf organ refrains and muted vocals, which evoke secret agent communiques, in its' pop-hopping rhythms.

And with mellow Caribbean-splashed tunes ("G'wan Wit ya", "Gimme Gimme", "Bang Bang") shuffling to the ragamuffin rhythms of the tropics, you're certain to stave off winter's chill.

By Karen La Rocca. - Capital City News

"Rudeboy reunites for new CD, Canadian tour"

Rudeboy is a ska band based in Ottawa. They will be performing in Sudbury for the first time Friday night at the Townehouse tavern.

The five-member ensemble began playing together in 1997 and, after some years apart, have reunited for a tour.

Scott Amey descibes himself as the "guy who writes and sings most of the songs".

Q. What can people expect from your show?

A. A combination of things. The kind of music we play is like the precursor to reggae music. It's like island rhythms with New Orleans R&B. It's also a nod to the '80s second wave when it hit England and you have The English Beat and The Specials. We're huge fans of stuff like that.

Q. Have you released any albums?

A. We put out our first album "Shut Up & Dance" in 1999, and this is our 10th anniversary and we re-released it with some extra tracks. We are going to release our second album and we're finished our third one.

Q. Are you with a label?

A. No, we are independent. We are looking for someone to liaison with like a licensing and managing thing. We really like producing ourselves and finding studios for ourselves. That's how we got signed in the first place.

Q. What are your plans for the summer?

A. We are planning to record our third album and then promote & press our second one. Right now we're planning an eastern tour for the fall.

Q. What is your touring style?

A. We've rebuilt a 30 year old motorhome and named it "The SkaV" so we're riding in style with our own toilet. We don't mind flying, though.


"Rudeboy's Future Sealed With A Kiss"

Sometimes, making it big isn't all it's cracked up to be.
Just ask Rudeboy, the local ska band caught the attention of KISS's Gene Simmons, who thought the band had potential to make it big after listening to their two CD's.
It was more than they had ever hoped to hear. But then the bubble burst when the tongued one asked them what their gag was.
Gag? At first they thought he was referring to something he saw on Just For Laughs.
But Simmons, one of rock's best marketing visionaries, said if a band wanted to succeed they had to sell their brand as well as their music.
In the case of KISS, a band known for their multiple gags, it was the costumes, fireworks and girls.
Sadly, Rudeboy didn't have a gag. No exploding reefers or dreadlocked dancers. All five members in the band- Scott T. Ska, Matt Wood, C. B. Burns, Marshal Stack and Steve Berndt- presumed their music, original tunes and covers of Bob Marley, The Specials, Toots and The Maytals and other Jamaican classics, were gag enough for the band. Even their ska version of KISS's Detroit Rock City wasn't enough to interest Simmons.
His idea of a hook for a band is KISS and we're not KISS, says Berndt.
Still, having a star in their corner galvanized the band to work harder and think bigger.
They got new mamagement in Toronto, which led to a mini tour in March, opening for The English Beat's Dave Wakeling. After, Berndt joined Detroit R&B legends The Funk Brothers for a tour.
Since then, they've been playing nonstop as well as recording their third album, launching their new website and are working on a east coast tour as well as a date at the Rainbow Nov. 13.
We've been in high gear since hearing from Simmons, Berndt says. The band is raring to go.
As well as being a full-time jazz musician, Berndt also fronts the swing band The Jivewires, who have been put on hiatus while Berndt focuses on Rudeboy.
Even though the ska scene has gone underground, there are lots of talented bands. We're happy to be among the top Canadian ska bands and seeing more of our country. Maybe we'll find our gag, he says with a laugh.
Just ask Gene Simmons. - The Ottawa Sun


Shut-up and Dance, 1998 Socan/Stomp records
Four on the Floor,2001, 4 track limited release EP
Ottawa Juno -fest indie compilation, 2002
Streaming audio and video available on Myspace. com/rudeboycanada



Formed in 1997 around singer/songwriter Scott Amey (Ska T. Ska), Rudeboy filled the gap left behind by The Specials , The English Beat and other bands from the two-tone era and took it to the next level. Melding purist early sixties style reggae with catchy pop driven dance numbers , add a dash of clever lyrical lament and you have Canada's best kept ska secret. Energy overload doesn't quite describe the live show and first timers are usually left stunned by the musicality and visual experience. Influences range from Toots and the Maytals to the Specials and Scott Ameys' vocals have been compared by more than one reviewer as Elvis Costello meets Dave Wakeling. Their debut release "Shut-up and Dance", released 1998, served as a template for many a Canadian Ska bands to follow