Petunia and the Vipers is a difficult band to categorize. Conservatively they could be called a country swing, steam punk band but that seems a bit tame in light of the descriptions heaped upon them from reviewers around the world. Touted by one reviewer as “one of the best bands in the world today, of any kind,” they have been described as a “hillbilly –flavoured, swing inflected, ragtime, goodtime, thunderously rolling, one-of-a-kind, you-don’t-want-to-miss-this-sort-of-show” band. Even the CBC, always cautious in its praise, described Petunia and the Vipers as “one of Canada’s best indie bands.”
Currently Petunia and the Vipers are starting out on a marathon tour across Canada from west to east and back again and through the USA. Fortunately for Kimberley, Kevin Amy has brought the band here early in the tour for a concert at the Elks Hall on Thursday, August 29. The concert starts at 8 p.m. according to the posters, although I hear it might actually be closer to 9, and tickets are incredibly cheap at $20, available from the Elks Hall, Old Crow Emporium, and the Snowdrift Café.
In addition to Petunia himself, the band comprises Stephen Nikleva on guitar, Jimmy Roy on lap steel guitar, Joseph Lubinsky-Mast on bass, and Paul Townsend on drums. Much of the music they will be playing on this tour comes from their latest album, ‘Lonesome Heavy and Lonesome’. If the lavish praise for this quintet is not all hyperbole, this will be a memorable concert. Don’t miss it.