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Langford's Deep Sea Gypsies rise to surface

Deep Sea Gypsies singer and guitarist Johnny Regimbal yowls out during a rehearsal. The band is releasing a new album, Chilco Rd., at Sugar Nightclub on Friday, March 1. - Kyle Wells/News staff
Deep Sea Gypsies singer and guitarist Johnny Regimbal yowls out during a rehearsal. The band is releasing a new album, Chilco Rd., at Sugar Nightclub on Friday, March 1.
— image credit: Kyle Wells/News staff

With a new album coming out, a host of devoted fans plus about 40-odd gigs and a couple of tours under their belt, Langford’s Deep Sea Gypsies are starting to make a name for themselves.

The new album, Chilco Rd., continues the band’s commitment to hip-hop-flavoured blues numbers, with a generous serving of barroom rock ‘n’ roll. The title is a love letter to the Langford road where the band wrote and recorded the album and the continuation of a trend started with their first album, 2011’s Clement Rd., again a reference to the location of the recording.

All four members went to Belmont secondary school, met through skateboarding and formed a bond through music. They’ve been playing together now for about 10 years.

“We’re all Langford guys,” drummer Greg Moore said. “We all love Langford.”

 

“Our core group of supporters from that area have absolutely carried us. Phenomenal turnouts all over the place,” vocalist and guitarist Loke Webb said. “The people from out on the West Shore area, we can’t even explain how much support they’ve given us, it’s crazy.”

 

While the band holds their West Shore roots near and dear, they lament the reality there isn’t a thriving music scene in the area. They’re one of the few bands from the West Shore making a name for themselves and that’s something they would like to see change.

How to make that change is the challenge.

For a starting point, the band members all agree there needs to be better venues for live music on the West Shore. There isn’t really a space big enough for them to play in their own community. They started out playing in Ma Miller’s and other local bars, but most have now shied away from live music.

“It’s not as simple as handing a bar owner a demo anymore to get to play in the West Shore,” vocalist and guitarist Johnny Regimbal said. “It’s such a hassle to set up a show.”

“It’s weird, because you go downtown and there’s like eight million bands, and it’s not that far away,” Webb said. “There’s a lot of music fans out there. … Some owner out there is missing out on an opportunity to make a lot of money, because it’s way too difficult to set up a show.”

The band is thrilled with the new album, but say there’s always room for improvement. Like their first, they recorded it themselves, but this time sent it off to Ontario to be professionally mastered. Webb said there are pros and cons to home recordings, the pros being the price and the freedom, the con being no matter how good your gear and even with the mastering, it still has that sound of a home recording.

Still, the members are proud of it and say they had a blast recording it.

“We just naturally hang out with each other,” Moore said. “We just hit on the recording button every now and again. It’s amazing, what we’ve made so far.”

All four, including bassist Marty Boggs, write the music, with Webb and Regimbal behind the lyrics and general concepts. Webb contributes the hip-hop vocals, while Regimbal brings his gritty blues-rock voice to the mix.

Deep Sea Gypsies will release the album at Sugar Nightclub (858 Yates St.) on March 1 with Mindil Beach Markets, who are also releasing a new album. Tickets for the show are $15 and available at Ditch Records and Lyle’s Place, or online at ticketweb.com.

The band is set to go on a couple of small tours again this year and play some music festivals in the summer. They’re also starting work on a third album, which they plan to record live off the floor.

Chilco Rd. is available at Deep Sea Gypsies shows and online at the bands website after it is released March 1. Go to deepseagypsies.com for music samples and, as of today, the band’s first music video.

 

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