“The Polka Dogs are a boiling pan-cultural stew that bastes you, roasts you and serves you up well done. Please, Polka Dogs, can I have some more?” – Tom Allen, CBC
AFTER AN OVER 25-YEAR HIATUS
THE POLKA DOGS
TORONTO’S BELOVED THEATRE BASED BAND RETURNS WITH
A BRAND-NEW ALBUM AND ONTARIO TOUR
NEW ALBUM THE BEE WILL BE RELEASED JUNE 1, 2018
LISTEN TO TRACKS HERE
JUNE 2, 8PM AT BURDOCK, TORONTO
JUNE 7, 8PM AT ARTWORD ARTBAR IN HAMILTON
JUNE 8, 8PM AT SILENCE IN GUELPH
TORONTO – The revived, renascent, and reformed Toronto theatre-based band, THE POLKA DOGS, have returned after a 25-year hiatus, with a new album THE BEE officially released on June 1, and an Ontario tour. Starting as a theatre pit band in 1989, the band wowed the world in the 90s with an explosive, raucous, joyous sound of trombone, tuba, banjo, drums and that sultry, fantastic voice of theatre staple John Millard. The band returns with the same original sound, and features all five of its founding members including, Tom Walsh on trombone, Tiina Kiik on accordion, Colin Couch on tuba,John Millard on banjo and vocals, and Ambrose Pottie on drums.
THE POLKA DOGS new album THE BEE will be released on June 1, 2018, and THE POLKA DOGS will be playing shows on June 2, 8pm at Burdock in Toronto, June 7, 8pm at Artword Artbar in Hamilton, and June 8, 8pm at Silence in Guelph.
“Re-exploring the old material has been a fascinating experience in physical memory. We can actually play faster and tighter now than we did then. We are steadier, more mature, intelligent and in ways, better players. Our risks are more calculated. Yet there is still a certain sound, a sound that we and members of the public are thrilled to hear.” – John Millard, lead vocals / banjo
The band was conceived as a pit band for an outdoor spectacle which animated the history of Toronto’s Kensington Market. After a short run at The Cameron Public House as The Polka Dots, the band reformed as THE POLKA DOGS. The group went on to perform regularly at many local Toronto venues. A demo recorded at the Music Gallery gained attention and airplay and in the summer of 1990, the band was recorded in concert at Earl Bales Park with a CBC music series called The Entertainers. The group went on to tour Canada and Europe. In 1991 and 1992, THE POLKA DOGS were part of a dance piece calledSleeping Dogs Lie. They also collaborated with Martha Ross in the musical Ratbag, which was produced by Theatre Columbus and Canadian Stage Company in 1993. After a successful run at the Bluma Appel Theatre, the group toured Ontario one last time before ceasing operations in1993.
Mostly self-taught, John Millard (vocals, banjo) has been active in the Canadian music and theatre scenes for the last twenty years. He has toured Canada and Europe with his bands THE POLKA DOGS and John Millard & Happy Day, and has released five CD’s. Previous work includes John & Waleed at Theatre Passe Muraille, and The Ballad of Weedy Peetstraw at Caravan Farm. Current collaborations include The Cave with Tomson Highway: a song cycle to be performed live via webcast in June 2019.
Lauded as one of Canada‘s most creative musicians, the music of Tom Walsh (trombone) blends memorable melody with fearless experimentation. As a trombonist, he has worked with such popular acts as the Barenaked Ladies, Cowboy Junkies, MC Solaar, Bran Van 3000 and even Zappa’s Don Preston as well as improvising with Jean Derome, René Lussier, D.D. Jackson, Fred Frith and Evan Lurie. On record, he’s featured on more than 50 national or international releases. Since 2002, he’s been nominated three times as “Trombonist of the Year” for Canada’s National Jazz Award.
Ambrose Pottie (drums) is currently one of the curators of the Toronto Improviser’s Orchestra and was a founding member of Toronto pop group Crash Vegas, recording three albums and touring Canada and U.S. extensively. He also has recorded and/or performed with: Fred Frith, Andrew Cyrille, Eugene Chadbourne, Chris Brown, Bill Grove, Flaming Dono Drum and Dance Ensemble, Pete Dako, Mary Margaret O‘Hara, Plasterscene Replicas, Eric Schenkman, Sleepers and poet Bill Bissett. Ambrose is also a phonographer and electroacoustic performer/composer.
Tiina Kiik (accordion) is an accordionist and teacher residing in Toronto. She has worked with the Soulpepper Theatre, Audiopollination, Tapestry Opera, Arcana Ensemble, Hemispheres, and Dusk Dances, and has toured both Canada and internationally. Since 1995, she has taught accordion, piano and chamber music at the University Settlement Music and Arts School. She is performing a co-created piece with choreographer/dancer Julia Aplin for solo dancer and accordion.
Colin Couch (tuba) is a carpenter and family man by day, and tuba player by night. Colin has worked with Kevin Breit, Cowboy Junkies, Bruce McCullough, Bob Snider, NOJO, Allison Cameron, Kyp Harness, Guh and many others.
POLKA DOGS NEW ALBUM THE BEE will be officially released on June 1, 2018
LISTEN TO TRACKS HERE
Also available on Spotify
June 2, 8pm at Burdock,1184 Bloor St. West Toronto, ON
June 7, 8pm Artword Artbar,15 Colbourne St. Hamilton, ON
June 8, 8pm at Silence, 46 Essex Street, Guelph, ON
THE POLKA DOGS
THE BEE SONG LIST
Peaceful and Quiet
Dry and Bony
If I believed
Will You Wander
With These Lips
THE BEE MUSIC VIDEO HERE