Band brings on dance fever at every gig

Aviva Armour-Ostroff


Name: ElastoCitizens

Occupation: Musicians

« We would just park the car down by St. Mary’s river, jump out, and have a dance party »

If you were to whip David Bowie, George Clinton, Prince and Beck into a blender, add a dash of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and serve up the concoction with the zaniness of Deee-Lite in an old Sly And The Family Stone pair of pants, you’d get the ElastoCitizens.

“I think our image is somewhere between depraved-orgy-revival meeting and Sesame Street live,” says lead singer Steve McCarthy (shown at left with a crown of roses in a white suit).

Like his nine other band mates — all of whom are aged in their 20s and 30s — he is baptized with a funk moniker. McCarthy reigns as Grand Pooh-Bah Groove, while drummer Gareth Bennett is dubbed G-Spot. Tenor sax-man Gordon Hyland goes by Geelicious. You get the idea.

Then there’s my personal favourite: The Ladies Foundation for the Motion of Hips, which encapsulates both the slick Motown moves and vocal prowess of the three gals in the band. And yes, I said band.

The 10-piece outfit sings, plays instruments, writes its own material and stages some serious kick-off-your-shoes dance fests, the most recent being a jam-packed gig at the Horseshoe Tavern.

Recovering from a broken femur, McCarthy was rocking the house in a wheelchair. Now that’s commitment.

Though the band was formed three years ago, McCarthy stumbled across the sounds of James Brown and P-Funk with his friends as a teenager.

“We would just park the car down by St. Mary’s river, jump out, and have a dance party,” he recalls.

“With a band like this, no one is doing it for the money,” explains McCarthy.

Still, the band’s following has generated enough cash to not only cover costs, but also enough to help finance its debut CD simply entitled: ElastoCitizens — Album.

Together with producer Adam Harendorf, the band opted to record the CD the good ol’ fashioned way: Straight off the floor to get the edge and the grit, the unclean sound.

Wires and guitar cables snaked through the ducks and vents of the producer’s East York bungalow down to the basement studio where the finished product was concocted.

The wild and wooly process, however, ought to leave listeners impressed, for the album embraces a maturity unsuspecting of a band playfully draped in ruffles, beads and sequins.

“No one is doing what we are doing,” adds McCarthy. “We are creating joyous, sex-filled, gritty rock and roll funk music that people can dance to. People lose their minds at our shows.”

For more on the band, check out

ElastoCitizens — Album is available through HMV, Play De Record, Soundscapes, Rotate This!, and iTunes.

ElastoCitizens’ next gig is at Lee’s Palace on May 10.

An award-winning and multi-faceted media personality, Lawrence’s career spans journalism, television (hosting, acting, producing) and public relations (event management, publicity). Log onto for more buzz.

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