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The Worst Pop Band Ever

With influences ranging from Wayne Shorter to Levon Helm to J Dilla, The Worst Pop Band Ever is a Toronto based quintet that tries to combine a love of improvisational jazz and indie pop. Featuring multiple award winners (and losers), the members of the WPBE have worked with a who's who of Canadian and international musicians, including Ernie Watts, Brad Goode, Feist, Blue Rodeo, Chantal Kreviazuk, Laila Biali, Holly Cole, Kevin Clarke and the Shuffle Demons. Together, whether it be blending acoustic bass with turntables or analog synths with the saxophone, the WPBE sets out to twist and bend both originals and covers, straddling genres and butting heads with expectation. They have played festivals and packed clubs throughout North America from IAJE to NXNE; St. John’s to Seattle; NYC to Taipei. They were called “highlights of the festival ” at the 2012 TD Canada Trust Toronto Jazz Festival by the festival’s own website, were showcased in Canadian Musician Magazine and shortlisted in NOW Toronto’s Soundclash competition. Their music has also been used for film and videos for CBC, the National Film Board, the UN, the Toronto Public Library and even Disney. Allaboutjazz.com described their live album, “Sometimes Things Go Wrong” recorded live at the Cellar in Vancouver, as “…music for people, whether they dig jazz or not…a tight band playing with substance and feeling for an appreciative audience.” (Mark Turner, July 2012).

The Worst Pop Band Ever is: Chris Gale – saxes (Mike Murley, Barry Elmes, Blue Rodeo, Johnny Reid) Tim Shia - drums (Rich Underhill, Elizabeth Shepherd, Nick Zubeck, Holly Cole) LEO37 – turntables (Shan VDP, Robot Swing, S.O.S.S., Tanika Chawlz) Adrean Farrugia - Keys (Brad Goode, Matt Dusk, Ernie Watts, Ernesto Cervini) Drew Birston – Bass (Amanda Martinez, Sultans of String, Justin Hines, Chantal Kreviazuk) Dafydd Hughes - Keys (Feist, Esthero, Christine Bougie, the Deborahs)


Provided music for "Peggy Baker" for the National Film Board of Canada as part of the Governor General Awards. Provided soundtrack for 2016 Canadian Screen Award Nominee, "BAM". Theme song for Disney Pilot - "Hood". Theme for Toronto Public Library Podcast. 


Album Review

The Worst Pop Band Ever: Sometime Things Go Wrong (and other songs we shouldn't play)

Read "Sometime Things Go Wrong (and other songs we shouldn't play)" reviewed by Mark F. Turner

Recorded live at Cory Weed's Cellar Jazz Club in Vancouver, The Worst Pop Band Ever's Sometime Things Go Wrong (and other songs we shouldn't play) is music for people, whether they dig jazz or not. The group delivers a set that cares less about genres, as heard in its breezy cover of Sly and the Family Stone's 1973 hit single, “If You Want Me to Stay." There's no crossover message here; just a tight band playing with substance and feeling ...

Album Review

Worst Pop Band Ever: Dost Thou Believeth in Science?

Read "Dost Thou Believeth in Science?" reviewed by John Patten

The Worst Pop Band Ever may not live up to its name, but this Canadian combo is working hard to produce some innovative sounds melding jam-band jazz with sound effects, courtesy of turntablist Leo37, on Dost Thou Believeth in Science?. The release features nine original compositions and makes use of Leo37's skills to varying degrees. Bassist Drew Birston and drummer Tim Shia sets up the soloists--keyboardist Dafydd Hughes and saxophonist Chris Gale--admirably throughout; the band has been together for awhile, ...

Album Review

Worst Pop Band Ever: Dost Thou Believeth in Science?

Read "Dost Thou Believeth in Science?" reviewed by Mark F. Turner

The Worst Pop Band Ever's title displays a sense of humor and frivolity, but in name only. The Toronto based group consists of a talent pool whose members have performed on the fringes (groups like The Shuffle Demons) or with traditionalists (Wynton Marsalis). And since WPBE's formation in 2005 they've taken it to the streets with music that “amicably reconciles a love of both 'Indie Pop' and improvised music." Though their mantra humorously states to “Imagine the ugly love child ...

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“Blackout is a fresh and successful take on a genre-hopping approach to music making that has seen a growing number of exponents in recent years…. the group grafts wide-ranging musical elements onto each other that serve to subtly or not so subtly transform the source materials. Peachy Keen features modern jazz piano comping over a reggae feel that creates a surprisingly ideal setting for Chris Gale’s soulful saxophone solo. The abrupt switch to a full-out rock groove with electronica for the tune’s ending somehow seems completely appropriate. “

Ted Quinlan (Wholenote Magazine)

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