The Cunninghams
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The Cunninghams

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2007 | SELF

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | SELF
Established on Jan, 2007
Band Rock Alternative





The Cunninghams recently performed some searing sets during Indie Week 2015. Their “Fuzz In Your Face” attitude left one with no doubt that this is a band that will be moving up in the charts. Watch out for them. - The Spill Magazine

"This Is Why I Love Live Music: The Cunninghams!"

Hey kids.

What were you doing Saturday night? I’ll tell you what I was doing. I was watching a band rock out on stage at the El Mocambo in Toronto. A band that you’re going to be hearing a lot from in the future. The Cunninghams.

These 4 guys took the stage and rocked it like they owned it. And the crowd was appreciative. This is the same stage that has seen the Rolling Stones, The Police, U2, Stevie Ray Vaughn and Jimi Hendrix wow audiences. And while those are names that you know and love now, The Cunninghams is a name that you’re going to know and love in the future.

Nigel, Pierce, Clapsbury and Reggy Cunningham call themselves the Royal Family of Rock and Roll. And after seeing them on stage Saturday night I can’t argue, except for one thing, they aren’t pretentious and bitchy. These guys love what they’re doing. There’s none of that disconnected, we’re better than you, feeling when they take the stage. No body guards, no parade waves, no garbage. What you will see is an audience having a good time, dancing on the floor and on the stage (audience highlight of the night was a combo of 2 girls and a dude hoping up to dance behind Pierce and shaking what their mama’s gave them). You’ll see beers being chugged by Clapsbury on a break from rocking the bass, heck you might even see him jumping down into the crowd to bring everyone one step closer to the action. And through it all you’ll see people having a good time. From the front row to the back, eyes were all on the stage, feet were tapping and heads were bobbing on non-dancers, like me.

The reason for the show was the video release for “Gunblaster”, listen to the track here: the video premiered to the audience before the boys took the stage and the crowd dug it. There were fists pumping, hips shaking and eyes glued to the big screen behind the drum kit. Not a bad way to give a first look. Thumbs up from me.

And when you see the video, I’ll give 1000 bonus points to the first person who can tell me who the 1980’s icon rocking the shades is. Remember that, 1000 points are up for grabs.

Other show highlights included Reggy pounding on the drums in a way that makes me realize my skills on Rockband do not translate to real life. The shared vocal duties of Pierce and Nigel who make the rock and roll sound real. And the fact that the crowd showed up minutes before The Cunninghams took the stage. This was clearly a crowd that came to see these boys play.

I’m glad I was with them. $5 dollars at the door is a bargain compared to what ticket prices are going to be in the future. I promise you that. And even then, it’s going to be worth it.

I snapped a few pictures from my BB, I know they aren’t great, but there are real pictures coming from a dude with a real camera who knows what he’s doing. I’m going to throw some of those up with some more links and such later this week. They’ll also be on the twitter feed don’t forget to add me so we can talk music.
If you want to find more info on the boys who take the stage as The Cunninghams hit up their website there you’ll find the links to Myspace, Facebook, Twitter and Youtube. And as an added bonus, when you go to the Myspace page you can download the EP and rock out whenever you want.

All said and done, Saturday night was a good time. I got to rock out while E-ve was at work, got reminded why I love live music. And remembered to write down the links so that I could find the tracks when I got home. Throw it all together and you get a big bucket of win.

High fives kids, have a great day. And remember, when you find something that you like, share it! - The Long For Musings

"Explore Music Indie Track of the Day"

June 4, 2010 Indie Song of the Day: Gunblaster- The Cunninghams - Alan Cross

"Sam Roberts with The Cunninghams - Opera House, Toronto, April 8, 2008"

This being my first time at the Opera House, I did not know what to expect. I was very excited to get to see Sam Roberts in a smaller venue, and he definitely delivered!

A group named The Cunnighams opened for Roberts. They were the lucky ones who won The Mazda Muzik Tour contest to get the privilege of being the opening act. The Cunnighams delivered to an audience that seemed to know them and their music quite well. Their song “Black & White” got a lot of fans in a tizzy. Many of gyrating women and hopping men were belting out the lyrics along side them.

What caught my attention about The Cunnighams was their attire. Maybe I am showing my age here, but it was reminiscent of the T.V. show Happy Days. Corduroy blazers with skinny ties, white dress shirts. I just could not let it go. I approached Clapsbury Cunningham, the bassist for The Cunnighams, after his set and asked him if their band name had any reference to Happy Days. He was coy and elusive, and said that I will never know, and they’ll never tell. So I have to draw my own conclusions and I am going to stick with Ritchie, Potzie, Ralph, and Bag forming a band to try and make it in the music world. Good luck to them!

After what seemed quite a bit of time, Sam Roberts and company got up on the stage. Right away, you knew he was a presence. Sam Roberts knew how to get the crowd going. When he played “Something in the Air” the crowd went absolutely wild! The energy from both the stage and the audience was electric.

Sam Roberts - Opera House, Toronto, April 8, 2008

A couple of crowd favourites were “Bridge to Nowhere” and “Brother Down”. Roberts is definitely living “life on easy street”. The sound was amazing and his voice was spot on! What added to the show were the spectacular lights. You could see every spot of sweat on Roberts’s forehead, and he earned the right to sweat! He busted his ass on stage to deliver to his audience, and the audience showed their appreciation.

I had one problem with this show, and it had nothing to do with Sam Roberts. My problem had to do with the fact that the Opera House was not filled to capacity for such a big name. I’d venture to say that out of an 850 people capacity venue, maybe only 500 people were present. I blame Opera House for this. Of all the people I told I was going to see Roberts, not one of them knew he was in town. There was very little promotion done for this gig. Shame on you, promoters! - Fazer

"Montreal Show Review" - Artistic Things Blog


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE-SUNDAY, November 22, 2009 [TORONTO, ON]-Toronto indie band “The Cunninghams,” have completed recording their much anticipated second EP, entitled “High Class Rock and Roll”, which is set to captivate audiences nationwide on November 28th. The record, a convincing follow up to 2008’s debut EP “That Oughtta Hold ‘em,” was recorded at Toronto’s revered Phase One Studios (Bono, Bob Dylan, Rihanna, Sting) by renowned recording engineer Mark Renner, best known for his work with The Trews and Joel Plaskett. The record will be showcased for the first time at Toronto’s legendary El Mocambo for the band’s CD release party, which is expected to draw large crowds from all segments of Toronto’s top musical brass. High Class Rock and Roll features an eclectic collection of blistering rockers such as Gunblaster and the fan favourite Better than Bullets, as well as soulful acoustic ballads On a Mountain and Celebrate The Sun, sure to be instant stand outs. The band, who opened for Canadian rocker Sam Roberts in Toronto in 2008 and who are regulars at Toronto’s 102.1 The Edge’s Steamwhistle Indie Music Nights, says it set out to record an album that would have an immediate impact on listeners everywhere.

“We wanted make an album that not only transcends audiences, but transcends what the band has done in the past,” proclaims bassist Clapsbury Cunningham, “This is a record that truly ‘has everything’ and we felt that it was our obligation to deliver a record of this quality to our fans, who have supported us from day one.”

The performance at the El Mocambo (464 Spadina Ave., Toronto, Ontario) on Saturday, November 28th features several of Toronto’s top indie artists, with doors opening at 9:00 P.M. sharp. Please visit the band’s website at the address listed below for further details.

The Cunninghams are a Toronto-based indie rock band who gigs regularly throughout the GTA, Canada and Northern United States. Consisting of Nigel, Pierce, Clapsbury and Reggy, they are considered by many to be the newest sound of indie rock to hit the torpid Toronto rock scene in the past decade. With their infamous brown blazers quickly becoming a staple around Toronto nightclubs everywhere, The Cunninghams have been dubbed “The first family of Rock’n’Roll" by many within the industry.

For more information on The Cunninghams and “High Class Rock’n’Roll”, please visit
- Broken Hat Management

"All about ‘Family’ for Thornhill rock band"

August 21, 2008 12:14 AM
Meet The Cunninghams
By: David Fleischer

Are The Cunninghams a quartet of nice, suburban kids or brash, effete rockers?

You decide.

The Thornhill rock band has its music nailed and the look to match.

Similar to The Ramones or Traveling Wilburys, the band members have chosen new names, marking themselves as a faux musical family.

So guitarists Justin Abrams and Mike Levine are reborn as Nigel and Pierce Cunningham, respectively.

Drummer Mike Almos becomes Reggie and Zack Weinburg is now Clapsbury.

“We wanted to embody or symbolize an attitude of pretentiousness,” Nigel said.

“That’s how we feel about our music: it’s bold, it’s confident.”

“We also all had brown blazers,” Clapsbury said.

For public appearances, the band members don the corduroy jackets with jeans, dress shirts and private school-type ties.

“We wanted to do something that show us as one unit, one family,” Pierce said.

“The Cunninghams embody a certain message. Mike Levine, Zack, Mike...those names don’t convey that message.”

"Music brought us together,” says Pierce, explaining how he jammed with Nigel when they were in high school.

“Music was the glue,” counters Clapsbury.

Nigel knew the other band members and discovered musical synchronicity after bringing his mutual friends together to jam last year.

“We’re a tighter unit now but, right from the beginning, all the ingredients worked. We baked a damn good chocolate cake,” Pierce says.

After three months of practice, they began playing shows and have earned some impressive achievements in less than a year.

Their sixth gig was opening for rocker Sam Roberts at the 800-seat Opera House in Toronto. It came as the result of winning the nationwide Mazda Music Tour contest.

They beat 400 other bands in an online vote, culminating in a Battle of the Bands at Ryerson University.

“It was like a sea of people,” Reggie recalls of the Sam Roberts show. “The first song, I probably looked like a ghost.”

They describe the experience as a huge rush they didn’t want to end and take pride in having put on a perfect show.

The band members talk effusively of the excitement of playing in a venue in which they used to see shows and of the great opportunity to sit with Mr. Roberts and his band, simply talking music and drinking beer.

At the same time, they claim they expect to headline at the Air Canada Centre before the end of the year and feel sorry for Mr. Roberts having had to take the stage after them.

“We’re a difficult act to follow,” Nigel says. “You can write that down.”

Until world domination is complete, they are watching their website grow, seeing more people they don’t know at each show and hoping a newly-recorded six-song EP can take them to the next level.

The increasing work makes it harder to find the time to book shows and the other minutiae of self-management and they are happy to hand the reigns over to the major label or professional management company able to handle them.

The Cunninghams take pride in having music that can’t be nailed down, sounding alternately rocking or quiet, appealing to all ages.

Despite their young age, it is The Beatles who they cite as their key musical touchstone.

- Vaughan Citizen

"The Changing of the Guard in Indie Music Has Arrived with The Cunninghams"

The Changing of the Guard in Indie Music Has Arrived with The Cunninghams
Published: 4/6/08 at 7:04 PM ET
Written By: Johnny Tucco

(andPOP) - They're brash, bold, pretentious and are the newest sound of indie rock to hit the torpid Toronto rock scene in the past decade. With their infamous brown blazers quickly becoming a staple around Toronto nightclubs everywhere, The Cunninghams' unique confluence of Indie and Classic rock, have taken Toronto's clichéd music scene to a whole new level and have brought with them the attitude and confidence to boot.

Already dubbed "The first family of rock and roll," Nigel, Pierce, Clapsbury and Regibald have proven their prolific songwriting abilities to be a much needed breath of fresh air to the stale and often contrived cacophonies permeating Toronto's airwaves.

"I Am Nothing," a thunderous rocker with its blistering intro and soulful lyrics, pays homage to The Strokes and their sound that could be heard in CD players and I-Pods everywhere in the former part of the decade; while the infectious "Black & White" echoes the heartfelt sentiments and riff-driven melodies reminiscent of Coldplay's "Talk" from their landmark 2005 "X&Y" LP.

Songs such as "Shot Through a Postcard" "Baby, Baby, Baby" & "Keep Moving Like a Butterfly" are a triumvirate of blistering rockers that according to one recent Cunninghams Concert goer: "Will hit you like a heart attack and scare the living daylights outta you!"

However, The first family has also shown their softer side on ballads such as, "Tonight You're a Star," "Hey Virginia" and have paid tribute to renowned artists Bob Dylan and Carlos Santana in "The Ballad of Bobby Bright" and the aptly named, "Tribute to Carlos."

Although their inimitable songwriting abilities have caught the ears of Toronto's listeners, it is their infamous live performances in Clubs all around the Toronto Landscape that have had audiences pleading for more. Often wowing audiences for up to an hour and a half at a time and belting out as many as 15 or 16 songs in any given concert, there has yet to be a live act with as much passion and energy in their live shows since a young Bruce Springsteen took the world by storm in 1975. The Cunninghams eclectic mix of rockers, ballads and unrivaled stage presence makes any live performance by these ostentatious four lads one that simply should not be missed.

These four lads from Toronto are also the recent winners of the first ever Mazda Muzik tour competition in which the winning band, as chosen by the fans, garnered an opportunity to open for Canadian rocker Sam Roberts at a free concert in the winning band's hometown. Via online voting, The Cunninghams were obtained the most votes from fans from all across Canada and as well as a battle of the bands which took place on March 19th, 2008 at the Ram and the Rye pub at Ryerson University. The concert will be held Tuesday, April 8th, 2008 at the Opera House in Toronto with the Cunninghams taking the stage promptly at 9:15 P.M; a show that should not be missed!

Entering the studio in the spring of 2008 to record their debut EP, the music world is waiting with baited breath and an unparalleled anticipation not witnessed since Oasis' Definitely Maybe captured the world by storm in the summer of 1994. Quite simply, a resurgence is long overdue to awaken the catatonic and often insipid Toronto Indie scene and it is ever apparent that these four blazer-clad rockers are here to deliver a knock-out punch.

Long live the first Family of Rock and Roll!!

All pertinent information and liver performances regarding The Cunninghams can be found at:

For info on how you can attend the Sam Roberts/Cunninghams concert this Tuesday, visit - andPOP

"NXNE Interview with The Cunninghams"

During NXNE 2010, the Cunninghams will be performing on Thursday June 17th, at 9pm, at Rancho Relaxo... - The Take Media Blog

"The Cunninghams interview – Toronto band at NXNE talk about their plans for the festival, Iggy Pop and Earl Grey tea"

The Cunninghams are one of the hundreds of independent Canadian bands performing at NXNE (North By North-East) festival this week in Toronto. On the eve of all the ensuing madness at NXNE, I caught up with three-quarters of the Cunninghams to find out about their preparations and hopes for the festival. Nigel, Regibald and Clapsbury also defined their “high-class rock n’ roll” sound, and spoke of their appreciation for Iggy Pop and good tea.

Listen to the interview in full via MP3 podcast - Music Vice


"Come On" single released June, 2015

"L.S.D." (a tribute to The Beatles) released October, 2014

"20th Century Communist Blues" single released June, 2012

"I,I,I" single released March, 2011

"You Don't Know" single released June, 2011

The "High Class Rock and Roll" EP - November, 2009

"That Oughtta Hold 'Em" EP - November, 2008

On ALAN CROSS' Explore Music:

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In November 2007, the First Family of High Class Rock and Roll was born.

Since then, The Cunninghams have made some stunning achievements. In April of 2008, they were the winners of the cross-Canada Mazda Muzik Tour Contest, which gave them the opportunity to open for legendary Canadian rocker Sam Roberts to a packed Opera House in Toronto. The band had several times taken the coveted Edge 102.1 street-front studios stage as part of its Steamwhistle Indie Music nights and were a regular act at some of Toronto's most prestigious venues such as, The Horseshoe Tavern, The Hideout, and El Mocambo.

In November of 2008, the band released its debut E.P. entitled "That Oughtta Hold 'Em" to mass critical acclaim; an album that the band felt, at the time, would be an almost insurmountable feat to surpass. However, the First Family of Rock and Roll, with their aptly-named sophomore effort entitled "High Class Rock and Roll", has delivered. Recorded at Toronto's legendary Phase One Studios, this unique accompaniment of thunderous rockers and soulful ballads had fans salivating continuously for just under 28 minutes. 

In 2010, Alan Cross asked The Cunninghams to feature their single "Gunblaster" on his Explore New Music Podcast, and the band was subsequently featured on in several articles (see Press section of this EPK). In the summer of 2011, the band released their latest E.P. for free electronic download, which included the singles, "I,I,I" and "You Don't Know".

In late 2011, the band went into the studio with accomplished producer/engineer Mike Langford (Age of Days) to record their high-energy single, "20CCB". They went on to perform at Canadian Music Week '12 and NXNE '12 in support of their new material. After a few line-up changes, the band continued to play all over the GTA (and beyond) and began writing new material for an upcoming release.

Recently, the band has performed at Indie Week '15 and Canadian Music Week '16 to promote tracks from their upcoming record (currently in production), "#WeCareWhatYouThink". They released the first single, "Come On" in June of 2015.

Band Members