With nostalgia for the ’90s in full swing, it makes sense for a band as beloved as Thrush Hermit to reunite. Many felt the seminal East Coast indie band called it quits far too early in the midst of a creative peak in 1999, following the release of their second album, Clayton Park.
The whirlwind reunion mini-tour (shows in Moncton, Halifax, Waterloo, Peterborough, Ottawa and Toronto) is a “sort of celebratory jaunt” to loosely coincide with the anniversary of their demise, explains vocalist/guitarist Rob Benvie. “The idea had been kicking around in a half-assed kind of way for a while.
“Last summer I spent some time in India and while there suffered a bout of deep nostalgia, part of which involved listening to the old records and thinking wistfully of years past. I hit up the guys on the idea and we all agreed the time was right.”
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Their nine sold-out shows confirm that Thrush Hermit fans feel the same. Benvie says they “originally intended on only doing two or three shows. However, once the word got out, offers rolled in and we expanded the project.”
The members hitting the stage will be the most familiar lineup: Benvie, Joel Plaskett, Ian McGettigan and Cliff Gibb. Fully aware of the expectations that come with reforming after a decade, Benvie says, “We’re a bit older, but not that old. And we’ve all kept actively rocking in other forums since, so cascading back into the classic Hermit paradigm shouldn’t be too tough. We intend on making it just as mighty, if not mightier, than we were in our prime.”
In order to do it right, the band will have new merch on hand including “attractive new shirts” and a seven-disc set compiling their complete discography for sale. Containing six CDs and a DVD with a 1999 doc and unseen footage, Benvie considers it “the ultimate reward for those that still pledge allegiance to the Hermit.”
As for what happens after they close their last set at an all-ages gig on March 28 in Toronto, Benvie is unequivocal. As far as anything new, the band has “no desire to get that machinery rolling again. I think we’re pretty aware that this tour is all about fun and celebrating happy memories — for us, as well as those that come out.”