The Lions
Gig Seeker Pro

The Lions

Calgary, Alberta, Canada | INDIE

Calgary, Alberta, Canada | INDIE
Band Rock Alternative


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



"Xfm Scotland"

Sounding Great! - Jim Gellatly

"Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (Myspace comment 8th Jan 2008)"

you're welcome.

wish you guys the best.
- Myspace

"The 411"

Since 2003, The Lions have been kicking out the jams classic-rock style. After a hiatus, they're back in action and set to release their new CD, Sounds Familiar, on Friday, February 22. They'll be playing at The Palomino, supported by Illicit Business, Telly and Frankie McQueen. Visit to check them out. - Fast Forward Magazine

"ALBUM REVIEW: New Rise Of The Footsoldier"

Canadian rockers, The Lions, are back with their most recent release, New Rise Of The Footsoldier. A mix of Alternative and Psychedelic with a Blues jam edge. The music took a track or two for me to get into it, but midway through the album, it really opened up with some straight up Rock N’ Roll jams. A good album with a good rockin’ sound.

Tracks: 3,4,5,6,7 - WRUV Reviews

"Sounds familiar? You betcha!"

Sounds familiar? You betcha! The Lions are a quartet of young musicians based out of God’s Country, that is, Calgary. Their influences are listed as The Stone Roses, Oasis, Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin among many others.

And it shows; there are some good guitar licks reminiscent of Hendrix and a line of lyrics that reminds me of some of Neil Young’s good work. They’re obviously channeling The Beatles et al without actually ripping them off. And wait…did I hear a little Blues lick there too?

In spite of all of the above, my first impression was that these musicians were Punk throwbacks. Obviously very musically talented, their tunes remind me of what Punk could have been. The difference is that Punk had huge energy but lacked direction or focus…as in “I’m mad and inarticulate so I’m just going to make a lot of noise” whereas The Lions know what they’re about and aren’t scared to tell you.

All the players on this release are pretty skillful musicians. They handle tempo and rhythm changes without missing a beat (pun intended). Chris Millar, who wrote all the songs on the CD, has produced some good rhythms and a few cool melodies; I liked the spy music intro at the beginning of “In The Long Run”. I also dug the melody of “It’s Not Love”.

Enjoying this release was difficult for me because of the way it’s been recorded or mastered. The sound is very murky, with the singing voice being way at the back of the mix. At the front of sonic stage is a heavy distorted guitar playing lots of power chords.

This is obviously an intentional stylistic thing as I can’t believe it’s a mistake. The problem is that the listener has to pay really close attention to hear much of the lyrics and I found this very tiring after a while.

- BullFrogMusicReviews

"ALBUM REVIEW: The Lions - Sounds Familiar (4.5 out of 5)"

The Lions - Sounds Familiar
2008, The Lions

Familiar, indeed. Calgary’s own The Lions released their full-length debut CD in 2008 under the moniker Sounds Familiar. Sounds Familiar is a brilliant mesh of garage, surf, rock and Americana influences that sounds as fresh as it does familiar. Sounds Familiar is approached from styles that would be very comfortable on your local oldies station, but updated to sound modern and new rather than antiquated.

Opening with an ode to the 1960's - the guitar riff from Secret Agent Man, the Lions quickly bring you into today with In The Long Run. In The Long Run could be the working class anthem of today ("In the long run/we're gonna make it out of this hole"). Good Time Girl draws on a garage sound with a big full guitar sound and a bass line that will drive you around for a while.

The Lions show their easy-going, Orbison-esque side on It's Not Love, and their fun side on Yeah Yeah (Yeah Yeah). Here they come across as a Kinks/Clash hybrid. Other highlights include Girl Like You and the exquisite Doesn't Matter To Me, which is joyous and melancholy all at the same time.

The Lions aren't stuck in the 1960's, but they've definitely taken the tour a number of times. They've managed to take their interpretation of that particular era of rock and make it fresh and new for the twenty-first century. They come across as a high-energy band where the love of music trumps everything else. They are a pleasure to listen to, and Sounds Familiar is an instant classic.

Rating: 4.5 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about The Lions at or You can purchase a copy of Sounds Familiar at, or you can purchase digital downloads through iTunes. - Wildy's World

"LIVE MUSIC REVIEW: Jet, Kill Hannah, The Lions"

Calgary shows are notorious for starting up late. On October 15, on the other hand, Flames Central was absolutely packed by 8 pm.

Calgary locals the Lions kicked off the night, playing their signature Britpop sounds to a happy audience. Judging by the line-up at their merch booth after their set, it was evident that the crowd was stoked with their performance, which makes sense because the Lions are a very fitting band to be opening for Jet.

Kill Hannah, on the other hand, was a complete disaster. The overgrown emo band looked like they belonged on a Taste of Chaos tour. They were completely inappropriate for the bill and looked and sounded like a bad mix of Mötley Crüe and Fall Out Boy, two things that should never be combined.

Jet is a real rock and roll band. There was some question originally if a band that peaked four years ago could still put on a decent show, but suffice to say, they proved they can still deliver. Their set was fast and groovy and it reminded everyone why Get Born was such a badass album. In fact, the only misstep throughout the night was their choice in support act Kill Hannah, which makes them seem a little bit washed up and out of touch. - Beatroute

"ALBUM REVIEW: The Lions, New Rise Of The Footsoldier (4 out of 5)"

Get ready for an incredibly loud roar from The Lions. Not real lions of course but a band of wild musicians from Calgary, Alberta Canda that call themselves The Lions. This group plays with ferocious intensity with pure rock at the core of everything. Give way to these new rock soldiers as they get ready to scratch, claw and fight their way to the top!
The Lions are: Chris Millar on lead vocals & guitar plus sole songwriter, Justin Luchinski on bass and Liz Demenko on drums. They have two full length albums, two EP’s and one live album to their name already. The amazing part about all four of these projects is that they were all done within a time span of 1 year from 2008-2009. This trio appears to have the sheer tenacity, determination and driving force to write, record & perform songs at a ridiculous pace. Seems as though there is no stopping The Lions!
The very first thing that struck my interest right away was not the music itself but rather the disc inside the sleeve. I noticed that the CD was made to look like an actual record, which I thought was really cool. Talk about taking you back and giving you that retro feel right off the bat! The actual record started off with a short instrumental called “Ghost Dancer” that left you with a feeling of mystery & suspense. From the opening track, one listening would not know what to expect as we moved along to the march of New Rise of the FootSoldier. What you get is a smooth transition into track two, “No Other Way”, complete with a rocked out performance. On song six, “The Jam”, I’m hearing a bluesy rock approach at guitar and an all out jam session in full effect. The next installment, “You’re A Whiner!”, has a trippy feel to it with psychedelic-like elements. On the title track, “New Rise of the FootSoldier”, you get some cool guitar moments and meaningful ‘n’ catchy lyrics such as: “Your situation’s dire because you’re playing with fire.” The message is that you’re going to get burned in life if you’re not careful. So…BEWARE OF THE LIONS!!! One of my favorite numbers on the album, “Invincible”, actually turns out to be a song that took everything out of Chris Millar vocally. Millar happened to throw his voice out for 2-3 days after this recording and he claims that he will not sing like this again. I simply loved the raw energy that Chris is pouring out here as he sings at the top of his lungs. You can feel that Chris is singing out of his comfort zone, which he assured me was exactly the case. The end result worked though and worked well as you get a special type of vocal performance from Chris Millar. And this just may be a one-time deal for Chris & The Lions on “Invincible”, which makes this song even more appealing. Add in some killer guitar playing with some power-packed drumming and solid bass lines and you have a sure fire hit.
The Lions are a REAL rock band that play REAL rock ‘n’ roll music with no fancy gimmicks. This group definitely has an original vibe that comes across in a major way. The Lions give you refreshing tunes that you can jam to and have fun with, which is what music should be all about. This musical trio is rejuvenating the indie music scene with some good old rock ‘n’ roll fury. The Lions are ready to pounce and ready to make some serious noise all over the country! For more on this Canadian-based rock band and their new release, New Rise of the FootSoldier, SKOPE out - Skope Magazine

"INTERVIEW: Simply, a pride that should be full of pride."

Chris (from The Lions)
Simply, a pride that should be full of pride.
Phillip Hong
June 12, 2010

When you're named after a confident, important animal, there is clearly a reputation to maintain. But this pride of musicians should be gleaming with pride, because they definitely have some great chemistry and a sound that provides similar amazement to a lion's roar.

For your information, I'm speaking of The Lions, a band out of this great nation that has a uniquely perfected form of rock. Now, I'm not going to speak of how the band is related to its namesake, but they do have quite a few similar qualities. Let's just hope one of them isn't an abundance of facial hair.

In this interview, we talk to Chris, rumoured to be the non-mute member of the band. It's also the first time that my signature "completely ridiculous" question seems... remotely possible!

PHIL: How did music become a major part of your life?

CHRIS: I don't really know how it did, I just know when it did. I'd always listened to The Beatles and Stones because that's what was usually on in the house. For me it was in the 90s and that's when bands were real and we didn't have the Jonas Brothers and Hannah Montana nonsense. I would've made fun of Nickleback but everyone knows they're excrement so I thought I'd say something else.

I used to listen to all the American bands like Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Soundgarden, et cetera. It was when Oasis came along I really started to make music a major part of my life. I was writing songs at the time and as soon as I heard them I knew I wanted to write songs like theirs and be in a band.

PHIL: How was "The Lions" formed? Do you believe you have a winning formula?

CHRIS: The Lions was formed after a member of Black Ocean left, what we were originally called. I took my two favourite bands at the time, BRMC and Oasis and somehow turned it into that. I also think I named it after a pint of Guinness because it looked like it came from a black ocean. We needed a new name because Black Ocean was a bit to... well you know... and I saw the Scottish flag and dubbed us The Lions back in 2003. I'd known Liz for years and years and asked her if she'd like to play drums, and I knew Justin from another band and asked him if he wanted to be in ours. Luckily for me they both said yes and we've been friends ever since.

As far as a winning formula goes, according to me anyway... I don't think so. But it depends on what you mean. Some people think a band's good if they're on television and other people think a band's excrement if they're on TV. You know?

I think all our albums are quite different so I don't think we make the same songs every time or the same album. I like lots of different music so we could be a hard rock band one night or a 60s rock n roll band the next or both in one night. If you listen to all our albums like "The Lions (2004)," "Sounds Familiar (2008)," "Rock N Roll Lounge (2008)," "Live Love Laugh (2009)," "Live at MacEwan Hall (2009)" to "New Rise Of The Footsoldier (2010)", they all sound like us but they're all different. On "Sounds Familiar" we have songs like "Something To Do" (Zepplin/Hendrix) and "She Looks Lonely" (Beatles/Oasis) on the same album. So no I don't think we have a winning formula because otherwise we'd be rich and famous and popular and on TV... ha ha ha...

PHIL: What is the most exhausting song your band has ever recorded, in your perspective?

CHRIS: None. I love recording, I think we all do, it usually goes quick, "Sounds Familiar" was recorded and mixed in 15 hours. "Live Love Laugh" was done in two days and "New Rise" took a couple of weeks. Getting in the studio with Brad ( is a riot and we really enjoy it. I think that's why we've made so many albums in a short time.

PHIL: Did any artists play an influence in your unique style of rock?

CHRIS: For me it was all about Hendrix, Oasis, The Beatles, Stones, Pistols, and stuff like that. I'm not sure what it was for Liz and Justin. Liz likes horrible music though all heavy, heavy stuff and Justin likes good music like me. But if Liz didn't listen to that stuff there is NO WAY our drum beats would be as cool as they are. Her drumming is like the lifeblood of this band, she's no Meg White, but she'll do.

PHIL: If you weren't completely passionate about music, what do you see yourself doing?

CHRIS: Probably just playing guitar and being an Electrician and going back to the trades, which is probably what will end up happening if we decided not to do the band. If we can make money off the band though I'd be happy playing bars and recording albums the rest of my life, if not it'll be back to the trades.

PHIL: Say you have a concert promoter that takes "The Lions" too seriously, and provides you with a fake mane for one of your performances. Within your band, who would step up to wear such a ridiculous item?

CHRIS: Are you having a laugh? I can't believe you'd ask that, it's so weird. Who have you been speaking with? That's already happened!

We used to have 5 members in the band and two of them got in a big argument over it. Euan and John used to play guitar and keyboards in the band and one time a promoter asked them to wear these Lion-mained costumes. None of us wanted to. They looked like something out of The Lion King! Problem was, is that there was only one because they were on a tight budget. So a big sigh of relief swept over the band.

However, Euan and John both wanted to wear it. They both asked me to step in and make a call on who gets to wear it and I just thought they were kidding around. Well... funnily enough it ended up in a fight and instead of playing the show they fought over the costume. I couldn't break it up. When it was time to play the show we went on stage as a three piece and played one of the worst shows of our lives. John and Euan never made up and I haven't seen them since.

When we went back to the dressing room I found the costume... I knew they weren't coming back. I took it home that night and hid it in the back of my amp so Liz and Justin couldn't see. Sometimes when I want to remember the good old days, I'll wear it and remember what it used to be like with those two in the band.

Euan and John, you'll be forever missed, I hope you guys found what you were looking for.

Phillip Hong is a presenter on AMPM, combining some great indie music with quotes and interviews. - Fab! Indie

"Mobile (myspace comment 30th Jan 2009)"

Hey guys...yes we'll be in Calgary on the 24th...we need to go out for a drink!


PS:Love your stuff! Me and Mat are roommates and we listen to your band all the time. - Myspace

"GyL: The Lions – New Rise Of The Footsoldier (english & spanish)"

This review was originally in Spanish for the orignal please see the link.
Like each 1st of July since 1879, the Canadians celebrate their independence from the UK. This celebration is known as Canada day and equivalent to September 16 here in Mexico or like 4th of July in the US. Because of these celebrations, in Free and Legal review, a band of Alberta ironically abusing eighties musical movement belonging to the United Kingdom: Madchester sound.

The Lions is a trio that retakes the old sound of the Rock n' Roll and experience magically with it, one can sense the rhythm section of Madchester and accent almost identical to Ian Brown (The Stone Roses) or Tom Meighan (Kasabian) in its singer Chris. This would have to add their own virtuosos who immediately remind us of the old engineers based their guitar notes in the blues, re-inventing Rock n' Roll. The effects on 7-string guitar and the rhythm changes a bit as we come to modern times and the lyrics remind us that dreams and desires are carried out with a strong will not with pretty attires neither hours combing yourself to just to display yourself being unkempt.

With a discography that dates from the 2004 EP the beach; The Lions have only 6 years of promoting their sound. Their latest long-term material called New Rise Of The Footsoldier where they trigger the whole attitude of a band that really gives meaning to DIY (Do It Yourself).

Canada has decorated with excellent proposals from the early music, making their groups and gangs that bring together melodic, badly, in a genre known as Indies misrepresented The Lions. While not meant to be a common Canadian band the way in which they present their raw art is an escape to the lightness and music synthesizers that crowd today, escape to the past to remind us of the ideals that youth had almost forgotten today and perhaps to the future when those ideals were summarized or mutated new. Download free and legally, New Rise of the Foot Soldier and tell me that they don’t transmit the fury and determination that we enjoyed as adolescents. - Rock and Radio (Por Kurko)


The Lions - EP - (2004) - The Beach
Sounds Familiar - (Jan 2008) - MCC
Rock & Roll Lounge (Sessions) (Sept 2008) - MCC
Live Love Laugh (May 2009) - Taylor Sound
Live at MacEwan Hall (Nov 2009) - Taylor Sound
New Rise Of The Footsoldier (March 2010) - Taylor Sound
Groove -EP (April 2011)
Iconoclastic (Sept 2011)



Sonicbids is still having issues with uploading videos.

For all music videos and live performances head over to, clips from SXSW, performances with Jet etc.


The Lions are a real rock n roll band, not rich kids who try and look poor but really live in fancy houses their parents bought. They don't rely on smoke machines, lazerbeams, gimmicks, and props screens. Chris Liz and Justin show up to play a rock n roll show have a laugh, say hello, greet the audience and have a go! If you grew up loving British music and wonder what it would sound like with a 7 string guitar, you've found The Lions.

In the last year that's when things started happening for the Calgary trio. In 2009 The Lions, opened for Mobile and The Arkell's twice, Jet and Our Lady Peace. They played "The Grey Cup Street Festival" and "NXNE." Radio icons like Jim Gellatly, BBC Radio Scotland and Alan Cross, Ongoing History of New Music, have helped propel the bands popularity and get their music heard by a larger audience.

This year 'Groove' was released part of their 7th studio recording getting played on X929, Rock 105 and TheGrind, before the albums release in August 2011. The band have recently just come back from their SXSW showcases in Austin,Texas at the Austin Convention Center and The Dizzy Rooster and are now set to finish off the new album.

People respect The Lions, because they do what other bands don't have the gaul to do! In 2009, they drove from Calgary to Toronto to play NXNE and did it on a Friday night. The thing is though, is that they weren't asked to play, they just got to. The Lions have always been a blue collar band and have influenced other Calgary bands to follow the same attitude even although most of them never stepped foot on a job-site!

The Lions released New Rise Of The Footsoldier in March 2010. Skope Magazine said "The Lions are a REAL rock band that play REAL rock ‘n’ roll music with no fancy gimmicks." The trio have started taking over American college radio charts and beating out bands like Pearl Jam, Norah Jones and John Mayer in the month of May 2010 charting at #104 on the RIYL college radio charts.

They have toured incessantly, getting good radio play and just got back from a tour through Western Canada and America playing Vancouver, Portland and Seattle to name a few. This is a real band that's been around since 2003 paying their dues and along the path of inevitability, they'll get to the places their meant to be going.

Some kind words from our press...

"they present their raw art [as] an escape to the lightness and music synthesizers that crowd today...tell me that they don’t transmit the fury and determination that we enjoyed as adolescents!"
Kurko, RockandRadio, July 1st, 2010 (Mexico)

"The Lions, a band out of this great nation that has a uniquely perfected form of rock."
Phillip Hong, Fab! Indie, June 12th, 2010 (Canada)

"The Lions are a REAL rock band that play REAL rock ‘n’ roll music with no fancy gimmicks."
Jimmy Rae, Skope Magazine, April 20th, 2010 (U.S.A)

"I see a lot of potential in these guys"
Alan Cross, Explore Music, April, 2010 (Canada)

"I do like the rawness of 'The Lions' album [New Rise Of The Footsoldier]..."
Jim Gellatly, BBC Radio: Jim Gellatlys New Music (podcast 76 2010) (U.K)

"Judging by the line-up at their merch booth after their set, it was eviedent that the crowd was stoked with their performance"
Tanner Holthe, Beatroute, Live Music Review (on opening for Jet, Oct 15th 2009) (Canada)

"They're local and they're fabulous...raw working man's rock 'n' roll!"
Charles Gunn, CBC Radio 1: The Key of A (June 2008) (Canada)