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- Posted on Dec 15th 2009 2:30PM by Joshua Ostroff
Almost exactly a decade ago, Canada's then-best '90s alt-rockers Thrush Hermit sadly played their final show. This week the Halifax-born band announced their decidedly not-sad reunion tour.
Singer-guitarist Joel Plaskett went on to an acclaimed solo career, which this year alone included being personally picked to open for Paul McCartney and releasing the Polaris Prize-nominated triple-album '3,' which has been his best-selling yet. But Plaskett was never sure why he succeeded where Thrush Hermit failed. "I think it's just years in the game," he recently told Spinner. "If Hermit had stuck around it'd be the same thing."
Thrush Hermit had been an early beneficiary of Halifax's brief next-Seattle phase in the early '90s alongside the likes of Sloan and Eric's Trip. But after landing a major label deal in the US, they were unceremoniously dropped due to disappointing sales of 1997's 'Sweet Homewrecker.' Thrush Hermit's response was to record one of the greatest CanRock records of all time, 1999's riff-tastic 'Clayton Park.'
"I think the Hermit made some great music, I love 'Clayton Park,' it's a great record and I'm real proud of it," Plaskett says. "People often thought the Hermit sold more records than they did so we were perceived as a bigger band than we were. [The shows] were packed and everyone perceived it that way, and that's fine.
"But it's hard to keep a band together, to always have the alchemy that the band brings. It's gonna ebb and flow, sometimes it's gonna work and sometimes it won't."
Of course, the music industry ebbs and flows, too, and if the kids were still busy raving in 1999, the Canadian indie scene would explode in the early 2000s with the arrival of Broken Social Scene and Arcade Fire.
But even though Thrush Hermit's terrible timing meant they missed out on what might have been their biggest decade, the band told Exclaim! this week that after kicking the idea around for a year, Plaskett and ex-bandmates Rob Benvie, Ian McGettigan and Cliff Gibb decided the time was right stage a brief reunion tour next March. He gave no hint that the reunion will result in new music, but longtime fans already have their fingers crossed for Clayton Park II.
3/19 Halifax, N.S. - Paragon Theatre
3/20 Halifax, N.S. - Paragon Theatre
3/24 Peterborough, Ont. - The Historic Red Dog
3/25 Ottawa, Ont. - The New Capital Music Hall
3/26 Toronto, Ont. - Lee's Palace
3/27 Toronto, Ont. - Lee's Palace