Jampacked at Habitat this week: The Oh Wells, Nuuka, Dubtrub, Ballista, The Dudes and Northcote

The Oh Wells began with acne, corrective dental wear, and the inability to look the opposite sex in the eye without panicking and/or falling in love. In other words, the Oh Wells began with high school. At sixteen, Sarah Jickling was your average super-shy suburban teen. She spent most of her time baking cupcakes, re-reading the Harry Potter series and quoting Meg Ryan. Then, one day, everything changed. Sarah and one of her super-shy friends decided to start a band.

It happened over the winter break of Grade 11. The girls recorded their very first songs with the help of Garage Band and made themselves a little MySpace page under the name “The Oh Wells”. That’s “oh well” as in: “The boy I wrote these songs about probably thinks I’m gross…oh well!”

Flash forward to one week later. The Oh Wells returned to school and suddenly people who had never talked to them before were stopping them in the hallways. The guy who sat in front of Sarah in math class turned around during a lesson and said “I love your band.” Even “beard guy”, Sarah’s biggest crush ever, had heard the Oh Wells’ tunes. Their lives would never be the same.

During the next few years, The Oh Wells went from playing the school’s Terry Fox run, to White Rock’s coffee shops, to venues where they had seen their own favourite bands play. These years contained some agonizing heartbreaks (see “beard guy”), a couple of equally painful line-up changes, and several boxes of “do-it-yourself” hair dye. But most importantly, these years gave way to a whole slew of catchy indie-pop songs that sound like they had been originally written in a diary. In a good way.

Now the Oh Wells are CITR Shindig winners, EMP Soundoff finalists, and made the PEAK Performance Project 2011 Top 20! Sarah is currently a blonde.

Nuuka’s aim is to provide a soundtrack for that road trip, dance party, walk in the sun, sleepless night, airport layover, Vancouver City bus ride, and of course, live show!

Known as Indie/Pop/Rockers with strong melodies, catchy hooks and harmonies, Nuuka will have your ears and maybe even your hands and feet.

Anthony Martens and Norrie Henderson, former bandmates from a noteworthy Indie/Folk project calledTreelight Room, have joined forces once again, along with accomplished and eclectic drummer Zac Gauthier and seasoned artist Jeremy Vautour on bass. You can expect to hear piano driven arrangements from Anthony, accompanied by soaring lead guitar lines and harmonies from Norrie, all ramped up by the undeniable percussion section.

“It’s music that explores off the beaten track, while still remaining accessible.”


DubTrub headlines a local DJ night at Habitat featuring Electronic, Glitch & Dubstep sounds with local up-and-comer Ballista (Quinn Mcgraw) who we hear is crushing beats. In fact, he is potentially obliterating them.


The Dudes are a Canadian indie rock band, formed in 1996 in Calgary, Alberta. Danny Vacon is The Dudes’ major creative force in the band. The group also includes guitarist Bob Quaschnick, drummer Scott Ross and newest member Brock Geiger on bass.

Critics have likened their musical style to Modest Mouse, although band members cite their influences asThe Flaming Lips, The Descendents, Joel Plaskett, Thrush Hermit and Weezer.

Rock and Roll is important. VERY important. The Dudes learned that lesson early. It’s one of those things that gives more than it takes. It ain’t easy, but once it’s in your bones it’s in there for good.

Take it from your body?… you leave yourself lifeless and lame. Remove it from your life?… you risk your very soul. SO. That’s why the Dudes have been rocking non-stop together since they were little nobodies. Now they’re huge somebody’s.

You’ve just absolutely GOT to see them play. You’re gonna laugh, you’re gonna dance, you’re gonna pump your fists. It’s gonna sound like a miracle sharing a pair of pants with a hurricane. There’s not a person on earth that croons like Danny. There’s not a human in your life who bangs the drums like Scott. There ain’t a frat boy in college that can party harder than Bob. There’s not a bird in the sky singing sweeter than Brock. They’re coming to your town soon. They hope to see you there. Maybe let them sleep on your couch?

Northcote is the project of Saskatchewan born singer/songwriter Matt Goud. A unique voice in Canada’s broad musical aesthetic, Goud is no stranger to movement having years of North American touring under his belt in an influential post-hardcore group all beginning while in high school. Since the groups disbanding in November of 2008, Goud followed a number of different personal and musical paths, which lead to the arrival of his debut solo effort, an EP entitled Borrowed Chords, Tired Eyes. With the new EP, Goud took to the road and continued to build his audience across Canada while gaining experience along the way.

Touring took many forms, including solo in a two-door car or riding backbench in the overflowing van of a headlining act. His ability to connect and adapt to a broad audience is what many say sets him apart. The material offers a unique commentary on life, its movement and stages told as an aspiring young prairie poet. ‘I think of my writing as thoughtful but fun, it’s something I enjoy and that I think I need,’ laughs Goud.


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