Got You Covered
by Heather Roberts
There are some very good original bands. There are some … not so good original bands. It is the firm belief of the members of Retro Statik that the same can be said for cover bands. So they are working very hard to be a very good cover band, because that’s what they want to do.
At its inception, Retro Statik was a duo, veteran cover band performer Kelly Buote formed a duo with Dennis Dunn who was a “friend of a friend,” easy to understand on the Island. They worked well together—vocally they were terrific—but a duo with two lead guitars was awkward at best, so the less experienced Dunn changed to a bass.
After a year of performing the Buote and Dunn wanted to per sue a heavier sound that was just not possible with their drum machine, so Dunn bought in former workmate Chris Acorn.
Retro Statik, as it is today, has been performing for two years. It all began with gigs in the smaller wateringholes at the Island’s northern Legions and Lions Clubs. “Turn it down, we can’t hear ourselves play cards,” jokes Buote. Not the ideal venue for the man who wanted to go back to his 70s and 80s hard rock roots.
But the gigs got better—the Kensington Club, Carrs at Stanley Bridge, and now, thanks to Corey Doucette at St James Gate, who gave them their first chance in Charlottetown.
They are building their following, with gigs at the Churchill Arms and fueling the ecstatic late night dancing at the Old Dublin. “If you don’t feel it, don’t play it,” says Buote.
And as their small but expanding group of loyal fans can attest, these guys really feel it. From their early influences like Creedence Clearwater Revival and ACDC to more modern bands like Pearl Jam and The Offspring, Retro Statik’s repertoire of rockers and blue collar anthems appeals to a wide audience.
These guys really mean the music, which is admirable coming from a cover band. They have no desire to write their own material—they like what they are doing. Its refreshing to see a cover band that is not using coverbanddom as a steppingstone to stardom, getting gigs to make money for studio time or to keep going to push their own songs. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but it means the emphasis and energy of the band is not 100% focused on performing their cover songs. Retro Statik are.
Retro Statik play regularly at St James Gate and have a page on Facebook with band dates and updates.