The Town Heroes
Gig Seeker Pro

The Town Heroes

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2010 | INDIE

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2010
Band Alternative Rock




"The Town Heroes claim Cape Breton's ECMA"

The Halifax-based alt-rock duo, featuring Mike Ryan, of Inverness, and Bruce Gillis, of Mabou, earned the rising star recording of the year award for their album "Sunday Movies." It's the duo's first East Coast Music Award and they're also in the running for two others this weekend — fan's choice video of the year, and rock recording of the year.

Their "Sunday Movies" album was recorded at the Sonic Temple in Halifax and released in September 2013. Recently, The Town Heroes have toured across Canada, Finland and played The Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg, Germany, as well as The Great Escape Festival in Brighton, UK.

The Town Heroes released their first album, "Birds and Fear," in 2010 and followed it up last year with the release of "Sunday Movies."

Other Thursday ECMA winners include Thom Swift who took home the blues recording of the year award for his acclaimed album, "The Fortunate Few;" Gordie MacKeeman & His Rhythm Boys earned roots/traditional recording for their album "Pickin N Clickin;" Alan Jeffries was awarded roots/traditional solo recording of the year honours for his album "Coffee 'til Midnight; and J-Bru's "Stranger in my Hometown" was named the African-Canadian recording of the year.

East Coast Music Week continues today with numerous showcase stages, award presentations and industry conference events. Cape Breton artists Chrissy Crowley, Maxim Cormier, and Rachel Davis are all in the running for the traditional instrumental recording of the year award, which will be presented tonight at the roots room stage showcase. - Cape Breton Post

"Town Heroes play big city shows"

Cape Breton rock duo, the Town Heroes, Mike Ryan and Bruce Gillis, are back from a wild trip to Hamburg to launch their new CD Sunday Movies on Saturday at the Seahorse Tavern in Halifax.
Cape Breton rock duo, the Town Heroes, Mike Ryan and Bruce Gillis, are back from a wild trip to Hamburg to launch their new CD Sunday Movies on Saturday at the Seahorse Tavern in Halifax.
If it worked for the Beatles, it must be worth trying, right?

The heads of Cape Breton rock duo, the Town Heroes, are still spinning a bit after a trip last week to the German port city of Hamburg, treading the same seedy streets where the Fab Four honed their chops more than 50 years ago.

This time the competition was a bit fiercer, with guitarist Mike Ryan and drummer Bruce Gillis facing off against hundreds of bands spread throughout the Reeperbahn Festival, but they had fun, played some packed shows and came home with a few good stories.

“I’ve determined Hamburg is the craziest city on Earth,” proclaims Ryan, who shared the Canadian Blast stage with the Stanfields and Moncton’s Motorleague.

“Take the craziest Saturday night in Cape Breton and multiply that by 50,000 or something, and then put in a couple thousand hookers into the mix.

“I’ve heard Hamburg has the most in the world, and you can’t go anywhere without them swarming you. You have to be good with your words to get away from them, they’re pretty clever.”

This weekend, the Town Heroes are back on home turf, launching the new CD Sunday Movies on Saturday at the Seahorse Tavern, with guests Willie Stratton and Floodland.

Feel free to drop down and yell “Mach shau!” like they do in Hamburg, a city that Inverness native Ryan sees as somewhat similar to Halifax.

It’s got a harbour, a vibrant music scene and the Reeperbahn Festival bears some resemblance to the upcoming Halifax Pop Explosion, with bands playing dozens of venues, trying to make contact with German agents, distributors and record labels.

“The fans there are just incredible, they came out and supported a Canadian duo from the middle of nowhere, like nobody’s business,” says Ryan, who made some handy music biz contacts for a future return trip.

“Our second show was on a boat, the M.S. Hedi, which turned out to be this really small boat, and at first we thought this would be kind of a crappy show.

“But everyone we told about it said, ‘You’re on the boat? That’s the best show at Reeperbahn!’ Only three bands get to play it, and people are really crammed on board.

“If I moved an inch to my left or right I would hit someone. I could basically reach out and touch probably 10 people in the crowd if I wanted to, so it was an amazing show as we rocked out while the boat took us on this tour of the harbour.”

As a duo, the Town Heroes still manage to crank out a big sound, demonstrated by the ambitious combo of pop harmonies and rock crunch on Sunday Movies. But they can also travel light, which has helped them adapt well to touring abroad.

For example, last November the pair embarked on a two-week tour of Finland that was basically a blur of train stations, clubs and accommodations.

“We don’t have very many needs, whatever happens happens,” says Ryan. “We just take things as they come, and we don’t mind living on peanut butter and jam sandwiches or sleeping on floors if necessary.

“You’ve gotta make those little sacrifices, to make up for the awesome things that happen in-between. I mean, the fans (in Finland) were incredible, and they bought our merch like crazy. They’d come up and ask for a CD, but then they’d ask for three, so that was good.”

Ryan and Gillis chronicle one of their travelling adventures in the new video for the first single off Sunday Movies, New York City.

Viewable on their website,, the clip shows the pair roaming wide-eyed around Manhattan, interacting with skaters at Rockefeller Center and breakdancers in Central Park.

“It’s an amazing city, especially to someone who comes from a small town in Cape Breton, pretty much every block you walk there’s something to stare at. It’s the exact opposite of where I’m from, and such a contrast that it’s overwhelming, in a good way,” says Ryan, who was actually inspired by an off-night the band had endured back home.

“This guy in a suit came up to us and said he was an agent from New York, and he told us, ‘There’s room for you guys in New York City, y’know.’

“We’re thinking, jeez, we just played for a pitcher of beer to next to no one, but then we started imagining that what this guy said could be possible. It’s kind of nice to think that you might fit in in what they call the greatest city in the world.”

Tickets for the Town Heroes’ Sunday Movies CD release show at the Seahorse are $10 advance (via outlets) and $12 at the door. Doors open at 9 p.m. - The Chronicle Herald

"The Town Heroes" - CTV


Sunday Movies (2013)

Birds and Fear LP (2010)

This Way EP (2008)



The Town Heroes are an alt-rock power duo crafting catchy, lyrical, hard-hitting and anthemic songs that sound like a party you wish you were at. The band was awarded two 2014 East Coast Music Awards (ECMAs) for Rising Star and Music Video of the Year. They were voted Best Band in The Coasts 2012 Best of Music poll, twice performed at The Reepherbahn Festival in Hamburg, Germany, have toured Finland, played The Great Escape Festival in Brighton, UK and Summerfest in Milwaukee, USA. They've showcased their talent at Canadian Music Week in Toronto, Nova Scotia Music Week, the East Coast Music Awards and were selected as the Nova Scotia Regional winners for the National Radio Star Song Writing competition.

Although minimalist in terms of numbers, their sound is anything but that. Self-described as The most noise two Cape Bretoners can make, that noise is a cascade of passion, urgency and belief in their songs. On stage they move like intense caricatures soaked in sweat, pushing every chord, note and beat to the limit. A structured wall of sound emerges; familiar yet distinctive.

The Town Heroes have fully embraced the ideals of a two-piece rock band. Camaraderie shows in their musicianship, the song-writing highlights what they are: Two friends, playing music for the love of it, in it for the long haul.

Their songs are an honest approach to the trials and tribulations of life, taking into consideration small town values, coming of age, intriguing people encountered, friendship, hope and the various conflicts that arise from a jobless island and its steady outflow of people.

After touring throughout Canada, the U.S.A., and Europe, the band has garnered various accolades for their passionate and energetic live show. They've shared the stage with acts such as Grouplove, Wintersleep, The Trews, Stephen Page, Mother Mother, The Sheepdogs, Hey Rosetta, The Ataris and The Stanfields.

The Town Heroes released their first full length album Birds and Fear in May, 2010. The band's follow-up album is Sunday Movies an 11-song collection of clever, well-crafted songs. The album was released in Canada on October 1, 2013 on GroundSwell Music/Warner Music Canada.

Band Members