With the release of their self-titled EP this past March and the subsequent unveiling of their debut full-length effort Erase You in October, Orillia alt-rock band Bleeker has been putting the pedal to the metal.
In some ways, however, the word “debut” is a bit of a misnomer when applied to the band. Under the name Bleeker Ridge, the group had previously made impressive in-roads both at home and in the U.S., opening for acts including Aerosmith and Iron Maiden.
Following two independent releases, the band released 2010’s Small Town Dead via American label Roadrunner before independently releasing Four in 2013.
At the outset of 2016 however, to reflect a change in the group’s membership, Bleeker Ridge became Bleeker and the rest is history in the making. The year has been understandably busy for founding members (and siblings) Taylor and Cole Perkins as well as bassist Mike Van Dyk.
Performing on Thursday night in Moncton as the special guests to Canadian rock band The Trews, Bleeker’s current cross-country tour followed a quick ten-day jaunt through Europe in support of Swedish rock band Royal Republic.
“We did approximately nine shows in 10 days throughout Europe,” Taylor says, noting the band was performing for 1000-strong audiences each night. “It was our first time there and an amazing time in general. We can’t wait to go back.”
The fact that Taylor is still enthusiastically talking of touring anywhere – Canada, the U.S., the U.K. – in light of the whirlwind year that has been 2016 shows the group is taking nothing for granted.
The group’s origins date back to 2003 when he and Cole were respectively gifted a guitar and set of drums for Christmas. Taylor says the group’s evolution to the present day largely involved setting realistic milestones for itself along the path of the last 13 years.
“At first, we just set out to play whatever shows we could and then it became about trying to open for a bigger Canadian band that we were fans of. We plotted a very deliberate path every step of the way to arrive where we are today. It’s been 13 years since we first started playing, but it still feels new and exciting. It’s gratifying to arrive at this juncture in our career. We’ve learned nothing is easy, but I feel like we’ve gained so much more from the experience of having had to work for what we’ve got rather than everything being handed to us on a silver platter.”
What: Bleeker, special guests to The Trews
When: Thursday Dec. 15, 8 p.m.
Where: Casino New Brunswick, 21 Casino Dr., Moncton
Tickets start at $19.99 plus taxes and service charges. Advance tickets are available at the Casino Gift Shop, by phone 1-866-943-8849 and online at casinonb.ca.