Korkscrew play the Cambie on New Year’s Eve. (Photo courtesy RMS Media)

Nanaimo rock band Korkscrew heralds the new year at the Cambie

Nineties tribute band has big plans for 2020

Mike Harrison is celebrating New Year’s Eve at home for the first time in around seven years.

That’s because Harrison, founding drummer for local rock cover band Korkscrew has been ushering in the new year at out-of-town venues. That changes when he and Korkscrew – Harrison, vocalist Ashley Harrison, bassist Nyck Machura and guitarist Darren Dings – play the Cambie on Dec.31.

“We’ve done the laid-back, hard rock, audience is crazy-as-could-be New Years parties, last year we did a big corporate thing so it was tuxedos and shirts and ties and ball gowns and that sort of thing,” he said. “So it varies.”

Harrison said ’90s cover groups are becoming more popular as the generation that grew up with that music is now “hitting the clubs.” In recognition of that trend Korkscrew will be drawing from the repertoire of the last decade of the 20th century. He said the band members are all “headbangers” and vocalist Ashley “kills” doing Alanis Morissette and Sass Jordan.

“Lately we’ve been focusing harder on the rock thing, the ‘90s thing,” Harrison said. “Because that’s what we know and love and that’s what we can do really well.”

Looking back on the year to which the band will bid farewell, Harrison said 2019 was a year of growth. He said Korkscrew has become a “family” that’s in it for the long term.

“We all stepped up our game in performance, we started playing bigger shows, newer venues and we all kind of grew as individuals, too, with just some life changes within the band,” Harrison said.

He said the band’s resolution for the new year is to continue to improve and try to break into new markets. In January some of the bandmates will be attending a music trade show in California where they’ll be hoping to make connections with some production companies to help them line up gigs in new cities.

Harrison said the band plays the Island pretty heavily and they don’t want to “overplay” the region.

“We don’t people to get sick of us,” he said.

So far audiences don’t seem to be tiring of Korkscrew. Harrison said the band is already booked two to three weekends a month through October 2020.

“I think it shows hard work and dedication will get you the job if you’re looking for it,” he said.

WHAT’S ON … Korkscrew perform at the Cambie, 63 Victoria Cres., on Tuesday, Dec. 31. Doors at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 at the door or $12 in advance from Fascinating Rhythm.



arts@nanaimobulletin.com

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