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Colour this band terrific

There are several unusual features to the band, The Colorifics, who will appear at The Club in Gibsons this Saturday, March 12.

There are several unusual features to the band, The Colorifics, who will appear at The Club in Gibsons this Saturday, March 12.

One of them is why they choose to explore a very Latin beat in many of their songs, when there is no Latino influence in their lives. As band leader and songwriter Bernard Boulanger quips, "It must be my Hungarian background." His own family was, as he says, "Von Trappesque," with all the members singing nine-part harmony at family gatherings.

Also, the four Colorifics, Boulanger on guitar and vocals, John Rule on drums, Eric Napier on bass and Patsy Klein (yes, that's her real name) on vocals, don't seem to mind that many of their original tunes, all written by Boulanger, sound just a shade like many other familiar tunes. Listen to the original composition Venezuela on their second CD, Where There's Smoke. You'd swear that Astrid Gilberto had sung it many years ago.

"Latin rhythms are super beautiful," says Boulanger. "And the eclectic style keeps the music interesting for us." But they don't perform just bossa nova beats. There's a healthy portion of rockabilly that makes up their performances. Along with the music, the members are also given to displaying whimsical humour on stage or quoting from their musical icons, Led Zeppelin or Lynnard Skynnard. In fact, their music has been described as a gumbo with elements of swing, a bit of jazz and an homage to Cole Porter. "This way there's a whole hundred years of musical history to draw from," says Boulanger. But the most unusual thing is that this group has not been sighted on the Coast more frequently, especially since Rule has moved from a condo in the east end of Vancouver to a rural acreage in Gibsons. Lately, he's stepped in to play with local musicians Randy Rayment and trumpeter Harry Busby who the band hopes will drop in to their gig Saturday. Apart from some past appearances at the Gumboot, this will be the first time the band will be together on the Coast, and Rule is looking forward to showing off his new town.

The Colorifics first formed in 1995 as a pop Latin jazz quartet and developed a West Coast following by fusing, as they put it, "hipster pop with slinky Latin jazz." The independent release of their first CD, Living City, sold well. After a break, they re-formed in 1999 with new vocalist Patsy Klein, the kind of smooth singer who would appeal at the club scene. Gigs at The Railway Club and corporate dances kept them together; most did not give up their day jobs.

"We appeal to a wide demographic," says Rule. Indeed, you get the feeling that a hip mom and a way cool teenager could both enjoy this group. The Colorifics appear at The Club in Gibsons tomorrow, March 12, with their most danceable music. Tapas and dinner menus are available. Tickets for $10 are at Gaia's Fair Trade, Roberts Creek Health Food Store and Ashley's Books in Sechelt. Doors open at 8 p.m.

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