The Lowbellies

The Lowbellies

BandRockPop

The Ottawa-based Lowbellies put on an infectious, hyperactive show, with a varied mix of guitar-based tunes with insightful, quirky lyrics.

Biography

“Where do you guys get all your energy?” is the usual comment The Lowbellies receive as they grab a few frosty pints before their next set.

The Ottawa-based five-piece puts on an infectious, hyperactive show, with a varied mix of guitar-based tunes with insightful, quirky lyrics. The band avoids the monotony which can sometimes plague the two-guitars-bass-drums genre by incorporating the influences of five players, songwriting contributions from four of them, and years of experience on stages across eastern Canada. The varied influences and near-democracy of the band creates for variety in both live set and on CD, though every song still has that “Lowbellies sound” – driving rhythm, smokin’ guitar and that Canadian vocal drawl. A mix of styles from heavier blues-influenced crunchers to pop-rock to an occasional acoustic song (including the politically incorrect and particularly topical “Stoned” which closes the album) make for an collection which is enjoyable from beginning to end and which translates into an incomparable live set.

The songs on their just-released self titled CD are peppered with quick-witted remarks and keen observations on life, as if made by the class-clown who finds all the mundane banter a goldmine for smart-assed interjection - often with the victim left staring blankly at the laughter around them not knowing whether it’s directed at them or ….actually it’s always at them.

The album opens with the nearly anthemic “Asleep on the Lawn”, an all-too-familiar tale (at least to some). Its lyrics “Have you met my girl, Carmen Shrub?” - or “Even though I wasn’t there / to see you swim in your underwear / I guess the image will have to get me by” from Flattered & Confused are just a couple of examples of off-the-wall visual images that the songs convey. The Lowbellies are wise-crackers and they play off each other like a veteran comedy troupe, creating an undeniable chemistry and camaraderie on and off the stage.

No strangers to live performance, The Lowbellies have graced the stages of all the usual rock bars and pubs (Barrymore’s Music Hall, Zaphod Beeblebrox, Heart & Crown) in the national capital area, as well as playing larger festivals like the official City of Ottawa Canada Day festivities the last two years, to crowds of over 10,000. Whether it’s a small pub or large festival setting, The Lowbellies energy and adaptability ensure a memorable show every time.

The Cast

John Cormier is an amazing guitarist period. Cormier hails from Antigonish, Nova Scotia, and has played in blues bands most of his career as a member or session player. John brings his Clapton-Knopfler-esque style to wailing heights on “Asleep On The Lawn” and “All Time Low” in particular. John also penned “Going to Mexico”, an escape from frigid Canadian reality. Originally a mellow reggae tune, a burst of manic energy from drummer Geoff Hobson transformed the tune into a happening party song.

Hobson is originally from Montreal where he played in veteran club-rockers Animal House. He adds technical precision on the drums and super-human backing vocals to many of the tunes.

Steve Donnelly, ex-Jimmy George, contributes a big chunk of the pop-rock songs which comprise The Lowbellies debut, as well as manning the controls for much of the recording and mixing. His contributions are alternately hopeful or ironic snapshots of relationships and the turns they can take, whether they be with significant others or band-mates, usually delivered with a sideways smirk as evidenced by lines like “I never really meant to hurt you / But I’ve been told to use my potential” from “Potential”, or “Call me your disease / One more time please / It fits you to a tease” from “Call Me Your Disease”.

Bobbay Powell plays both acoustic and electric guitars throughout the record, bringing a melodic richness and the catchy tunes “Unwound” and “Single Word” to the mix – again adding to The Lowbellies trademark acerbic wit with lyrics like “My span of attention is rather quite small… I’m really thinking about our naked Truth or Dare” from “Single Word”. Powell also collaborated on both the album’s opening and closing tracks.

As for lead singer and lyricist Clark Lawlor, well, there’s not much to say except that he is the guy you always want to show up to your party… and who won’t leave. He is also responsible for the memorable lines “I woke up with a dog at my head / A Gnome says, ‘Hey man, that’s my bed’” from “Asleep On The Lawn” and “Stick a fork in me ‘cause you know I’m done” from “Stoned”. Lawlor injects an infectious energy into the band, while only occasionally injuring himself onstage.

www.lowbellies.com.

Publicist: Lisa Lupynec, Toronto, (416) 803-0151

Booking: Clark Lawlor, Ottawa, (613) 282-6744

Discography

THE LOWBELLIES - Self Titled, Independent CD

Enjoying airplay on All In A Day (CBC), Indie Air, CHEZ, The Bear and other local stations. Features in The Ottawa Citizen and The Ottawa Sun are in the works.

Track listing:
1. Asleep on the Lawn
2. 21 Days
3. Going to Mexico
4. More Than This
5. Unwound
6. Falttered & Confused
7. Keep Me on the Highway
8. Single Word
9. Call Me Your Disease
10. Potential
11. All-Time Low
12. Stoned

Set List

SET LIST

Originals:
1. Asleep on the Lawn
2. 21 Days
3. Going to Mexico
4. More Than This
5. Unwound
6. Falttered & Confused
7. Keep Me on the Highway
8. Single Word
9. Call Me Your Disease
10. Potential
11. All-Time Low
12. Stoned

An example of covers which the band has played, in their own inimitable style:
Video Kiled the Radio Star - Buggles
Patio Lanterns - Kim Mitchell
Funky Music - Wild Cherry
Jenny (867-5309) - Tommy Tutone
Midnight Hour - The Jam
Viva Las Vegas - Elvis
Henry - Lowest of the Low
Blowin' at High Dough - Tragically Hip
The Weight - The Band
Sympathy for the Devil - Rolling Stones