Indie foursome will play classics from last 16 years

Torstar News Service


Halifax hipsters Sloan will be performing at the CNE Aug. 25. Fans can expect to hear many of the band’s hits spanning the last 16 years, says guitarist/vocalist Jay Ferguson, far left.

When Sloan take the stage at the CNE Bandshell Aug. 25, expect to hear a lot of the indie rock quartet’s hits, says band guitarist/vocalist Jay Ferguson.

Yet, since the group is still touring 2006’s well-received Never Hear The End Of It, fans can also anticipate an earful of the 30-track release.

With songs ranging from 50 seconds to just over five minutes in length, a lot of the melodies on Sloan’s latest self-produced album bleed into each other, making for a powerful and fluid live performance.

“Sometimes (on the tour) we’ve even blended other songs that didn’t normally blend on the record. But, yes, we’ve definitely been doing that just to keep a pace going,” explains Ferguson, 38. “It’s a bit of a nod obviously to the second side of Abbey Road by The Beatles or something like that.”

Another new direction for the Halifax hipsters is the addition of friend and piano/organ player Gregory Macdonald, who has joined the band on stage over the last few months.

Macdonald, along with their new record label, U.S.’s Yep Roc Records, will likely follow the band into their next album, says Ferguson.

As for now, he and his interchangeable band mates are enjoying promoting their eighth studio album (in 16 years), which saw them supporting such legendary acts as The Police and The Rolling Stones.

One of Ferguson’s favourites to play is Never Hear The End Of It’s Fading Into Obscurity, which guitarist/vocalist Patrick Pentland penned.

“It’s sort of three songs strung together in a way to make a full five-minute song,” muses Ferguson. “Those are the kind of songs I like the most, where it changes, almost like it’s going through little passages, different songs all compacted into one little mini epic.”

There’s a good chance the Ferguson-penned Who Taught You To Live Like That?, the album’s first single, will also make it to the stage.

The poppy, hand-clap-infused tune came about after listening to a lot of Bob Dylan, T. Rex and an unexpected Fred Astaire line, explains the songwriter.

“There’s actually one line that kind of started the song, the first line ‘She came through inspections, toward me in sections’ was actually adapted from a Fred Astaire movie.

“I just thought it was such an interesting line. I’d never heard that before so I kind of stole it from Fred Astaire!”

With plans to record a new album this fall, the longevity, relevance and quality of the band continues to impress fans and critics alike.

“The advice is split the money four ways,” says Ferguson with a chuckle. “The other side of it is that (this band) is an artistic outlet for everybody in our band. Nobody feels like, ‘Oh, I have these 20 songs but I can’t get any of them on the album, I’m so annoyed so I have to go and start my own side project.’”

He adds: “It’s a little corner family business we’ve managed to maintain for 16 years.”


  • The Aug. 25 Sloan concert is free with CNE admission. The concert begins at 7 p.m. with opening act Golden Dogs.

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