• Mark Janz

The Gentlemens Club

For fans of: Kings of Leon, The Killers, July Talk

Calgary is a city that is so rich with alternative artists, it’s almost as if there is some sort of secret society of alt/indie kids plotting to bless every weekend in town with their sounds. This month we are not talking about a secret society however, we are talking more about a club. The Gentlemens Club. My first experience with them was at The Rec Room in Calgary back in 2018, where college age kids had the stage swarmed. I couldn’t help but get in on it myself, as not only did the energy bring me in, but the sounds I was hearing were simply irresistible.

The sound of The Gentlemens Club paints images of those carefree summer nights in the neighbourhood, which is not far off from the real story of the group. Originating in 2016, the band began as guitarist and vocalist Brandon Patkau writing and strumming his own tunes. Impressed by the shimmering guitar wizardry of lead guitarist Brandon Garay, Patkau plucked him originally in a bassist position, soon shifting the dynamic to him back on the six-string. Drummer Eric Boettcher brought the Club a tasty heartbeat, along with the effortless cool of his iconic black shades (I have never seen his eyes in my 2 years of following the group). Through some evolving and changing lineups, and the addition of bassist Jon Boudreau, The Gentlemens Club continues to be a solid wall of sound in the Calgary alternative scene.

“We just love good music,” Patkau says when asked about the band’s influences. Among the list are trailblazing contemporaries The 1975, as well as classic rock royalty Fleetwood Mac. One listen of the band’s brand new single “Take You Home” showcases the timbre of The Killers and Kings of Leon, topped off with Patkau’s gruff baritone (reminiscent of July Talk’s Peter Dreimanis). Produced by Calgary industry icon Reed Shimozowa, “Take You Home” is the soaring summer anthem you’ve been craving amongst this bitter cold. It’s almost criminal that the song sat on the group’s backburner for a few years, until the audience response to performances of it in Kelowna inspired them to bring it to the masses. “[Kelowna] our home away from home,” Patkau says. “We hadn’t put out any music yet, and it was the fun sing along type song in our set that just felt so right at that time. When we got back home, I called up Reed Shimozawa and was like ‘DUDE, we have to cut this song ASAP.’ And that’s exactly what we did.”

The song’s accompanying video is an aesthetically pleasing ride through The Gentlemens Club live experience. Shot by Chris Doi at Slaughterhouse Studios, Patkau describes how the band’s initial nerves were quickly squashed by Doi’s knack for making his performers feel comfortable and loose. “I had no idea what to expect filming a music video,” Patkau says. “I didn’t think I was going to enjoy being in front of the camera like that. I think the whole band felt a little weird going into it being our first time, but we just kinda let loose and our awesome videographer Chris Doi simply just made it fun.”

“Every time we walk on stage, it is simply to just be the biggest wall of sound possible. We like our show to be enjoyable, but in your face at the same time. Every show is a new experience, and I’m grateful for all the opportunities that come our way.” The Gentlemens Club will be making their way across Canada in 2020, making their way into the studio for more tunes, including new releases very soon.

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