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PEAK bands rise to charity challenge

The Matinée and Redgy Blackout are in the same boat.

The Matinée and Redgy Blackout are in the same boat.

Both bands, which have members that graduated from Coquitlam's Centennial and Gleneagle secondary schools, knuckled down this summer for the PEAK Performance Project, a prestigious professional development program sponsored by 100.5 FM The Peak that helps new and emerging artists in the music industry.

Twice, both bands had tried to get into the competition but were successful only this year when their names - along with 18 others from around B.C. - were picked out of 400 applicants, automatically winning them $5,000.

And next Friday, their final assignments are due.

The contest has been nerve-wreaking to say the least, with the bands having to check off a series of boxes for their homework to get to the top spot.

Last year, the $100,500 grand prize was awarded to the rapper Kyprios while Juno-winner Said The Whale, which played the Port Moody Festival of the Arts last Saturday, reaped silver.

But heir fears will likely be allayed on Oct. 26 when the Vancouver radio station announces on air the top five artists who will go on to the finale at the Commodore Ballroom on Nov. 17.

Since June, the 20 bands took on compulsory challenges such as penning new songs, playing live shows and attending a week-long boot camp in Princeton, where they learned from the pros.

This Saturday, The Matinée will meet another contest target by raising awareness for a charity when it performs at the John B Pub in support of the Coquitlam Animal Shelter (Redgy Blackout and Fera, also of Coquitlam, will be the guest acts).

The Matinée's guitar/vocalist Matt Rose said the shelter was an easy pick for the band, given four of the five musicians are owners of pets from the Mariner Way pound; a couple of them also have volunteered there.

Rose said getting chosen for the PEAK Performance Project came as TheMatinée was one of 20 bands taking part in another radio station contest:The SHORE 104.3 FM's Summer Song Search.

Its song,Sweetwater, made it to the top 10 and allowed the four-year-old band to work with - and open for - Jim Cuddy of Blue Rodeo, in Whistler, in June.

"It took us by surprise to be involved with both radio stations," Rose said, adding the summer was "incredibly busy but very rewarding."

Though the indie rock band known for its solid live showsdidn't include Sweetwater in the PEAK Performance Project (they chose their popular single The Road instead), Rose said it will be re-recorded for TheMatinée'snew full-length album, due out next year.

As for Redgy Blackout, whose Scott Perrie graduated from Centennial in 2001, its non-profit of choice for the Peak Performance Project is BC's Children's Hospital.

It's donating all of its proceeds from its song When U Were A Kid to the hospital foundation and is currently setting up some live gigs at the facility; its goal is to raise $5,000 for sick children through online donations (

Project 'amazing'

Perrie, 28, said the song was easy to write and proved to be a perfect fit for the band's charity.

"It's about how joyful kids are and as we get older, we tend to get caught up in the day to day, 9 to 5," Perrie said of the song. "We just forget to live in the moment."

Redgy Blackout's roots-rock sound is infused with "a theatrical flair," continued Perrie, who used to sing with the Coastal Sound Music Academy, has a theatre diploma from Capilano University and will be appearing at the Vancouver Playhouse this Christmas as Jean-Paul in La Cages Aux Folles.

He and band mate Jeremy Breaks, a Prince George native, include different instruments in their performance such as the banjo, kazoo and trumpet and"people don't really expect to hear that from a young, traditional rock band," Perrie said, adding that being involved in the PEAK Performance Project "has been an amazing experience. We're so proud."

The Coquitlam Animal Shelter fundraiser, featuringThe Matinée, Redgy Blackout and Fera, will happen on Saturday, Oct. 8 at the John B Pub (1000 Austin Ave., Coquitlam) from 2 to 5 p.m.

Tickets at $20 include a burger and beer; all of the proceeds will go to the shelter. For more information, visit

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