The Metro Moncton music scene is home to a number of diverse bands and genres covering just about every kind of music possible. You’ve got bands influenced by heavy-metal, punk and rock n roll all co-existing peacefully within the scene. Groups of an international flavor seem to be among the minority however it hasn’t stopped them from making a name for themselves regardless.
Formed in the vicinity of 1998, the Latin-Cuban-influenced El Fuego has made a rather reputable name for themselves over the years. Over the past five to six years, the band has been dormant as other commitments tore the nine-man band in various directions, leaving them often unable to coordinate schedules for shows and rehearsals.
“We were fortunate that back in the day as the band was able to play a lot of festivals and great shows,” El Fuego member Glen Deveau says. “But with so many musicians in the band, we weren’t able to draw a regular salary so naturally, everyone started looking outside of the band to help make ends meet.”
“Gradually, those side projects started occupying more of our time. Many of those side-jobs ended up becoming full-time jobs so when it came to scheduling El Fuego shows, it became a bit difficult to coordinate the schedules of nine people to allow that to happen.”
Ironcially, it was the talent within the band that would ultimately keep them apart and busy with others for so many years. The band, comprised of Deveau, Stephane Basque, Denis Hachey, Chris Mersereau, Steven Haché, Jesse Mea, Brian Coughlan, Roland Bourgeois and Francois Emond each went on to play with other bands including Louder Gabriel, Pascale Lejeune, Jazz generation and La Viree.
Fast forward six years to the 2010 Eloizes, held this past May in Moncton, an event that would help reignite the El Fuego flame. The awards are conducted every two years and serve to recognize Acadian music, literature, film and art and are capped by a gala awards ceremony (the Soiree des Eloizes) at the conclusion of the weekend.
Deveau says that when El Fuego was asked to perform at the post-gala party for the Eloizes, it was an offer that they simply couldn’t refuse.
“The Eloizes is a huge event for French performers all throughout the Maritimes so for them to think of calling us was excellent. We looked forward to it; the fans looked forward to it. The show ended up being a lot of fun. It was an excellent night all around.”
El Fuego’s next performance will be on Thursday July 22 in Downtown Moncton on the Atlantic Lottery Mainstage as a part of the opening night festivities for the Mosaiq Music Festival. Also performing Thursday evening is Moncton band The Divorcees as well as Star Academie finalist Wilfred LeBouthilier.
Once this show on Thursday is wrapped up, the future of the band still remains uncertain but Deveau admits that anything is possible.
“We are definitely available for shows and are keen to take on future work if everyone is available to play,” he says.
“Where we hadn’t played for so long, it took us a few practices to get the rust out, so to speak. Now that we are a little more fine tuned and rehearsed, we’re ready to go for just about anything.”