Iconic tribute band gears up for Invermere show

For those about to rock, famed AC/DC tribute band BC/DC will be in town next weekend.

BC/DC last rocked Invermere six or seven years ago, and will be appearing on Saturday, August 22nd at Bud’s Bar and Lounge.

It’ll be loud, it’ll rock and your ears won’t forget it the next morning. We’re looking forward to being back in Invermere, said lead singer Brendan Raferty, better known by his stage name Brian Bon Johnscottson (yes, that stage is a combination of both legendary AC/DC singers, Bon Scott and Brian Johnson).

The band is based in Nelson (which gave rise to the BC part of the BC/DC name) and since starting 16 years ago has played rowdy shows all across Canada, in Las Vegas, and last year, even in China and Bangkok.

We’ve been going strong ever since 1999. It’s been a really good run. Basically we picked a good band to rip off. We thought it would last six months, since we didn’t think anybody would come to a show more than once. Turns out that was wrong. We thought it would be fun and funny that that would be it. But to our amazement it’s taken off, said Mr. Raferty. Our second or third show sold out and we were shocked. And it just keeps going.

BC/DC was born out of Nelson house party jam session between Mr. Raferty and the band’s rhythm guitarist Magnus Hung.

I sang classical music, opera in fact, at the time, but a group of girls at the party kept screaming for us to sing AC/DC, so we did and it just spawned from there, said Mr. Raferty. When he (Mr. Hung) first suggested the name BC/DC, I said ‘that’s terrible’, but it stuck.

The band’s iconic status among Canadian rock fans comes not just from their high-energy, authoritative stage presence, but also from their comedic approach to being a cover band. The band rarely gives serious interviews to larger media outlets; has been known to claim they play only their own original tunes and that some group of Australian rockers going by the name AC/DC has being doing tribute covers of their songs for some time; and have a lead guitarist who often wears a cow suit during concerts.

We don’t take it as seriously as 99 per cent of tribute bands do. Most are trying to clone the band being paid tribute to, but we prefer to put a little bit of tongue and cheek into it, said Mr. Raferty. We just have fun with it.

In the process of having that fun the band has played at all sorts of venues, including many not typically associated with rock bands, such as the Shambala rave (Mr. Rafterty’s personal favourite) near Salmo and small town country bars. The band even played a full-out big arena show at the Bell Centre in Montreal, along with a Led Zepplin tribute band and a Pink Floyd tribute band.

The band’s five shows in China, including one in Shanghai, and its one night stand in Bangkok (There’s got to be a song title in that, said Mr. Raferty) happened last fall, and came about after the band’s drummer did a Chinese tour as part of Vancouver punk band DOA. The drummer became friends with DOA’s China booking agent and not too much later BC/DC was on it way there too.

It was surreal and quite awesome. Our Bangkok show was on the 39th floor of some skyscraper, said Mr. Raferty. In Shanghai there were a lot of expats, but beyond that when we went deeper into China it was pretty big culture shock. When you don’t really know if you’re buying preparation H or toothpaste at the store, that’s when you know you’re having a memorable experience.

The band’s Invermere show promises to be every bit as memorable. For more information on the band check out www.bcdc.ca .

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