Nelson tribute band BCDC is hosting its annual Christmas Crank Off at Spiritbar this year, following close on the tails of their inaugural tour through Asia. Opening act Immune 2 Cobras will get the evening started before the quintet busts out a stream of ACDC favourites on December 20.
“We’ve always played the same songs, but we play ‘em a little louder and faster and snottier and more punk rock than a generic tribute band might do,” said lead guitarist Mad Cow, who is joined onstage by Brian “Bon” Johnscottson, Mangus Hung, Spliff Swilliams and P. Thuddy.
That’s an approach that’s winning them an international fan base, and their recent trip through China and Thailand was evidence of their growing audience.
“They’re stoked on what we’re doing. It was kind of like a fishing expedition. We’re rock and roll archeologists, or maybe prospectors. We had heard China was the new frontier for western rock and roll and we figured `why not get in at the ground level?’” he said.
He said their experience in China was surreal. At one point they travelled 700 kilometres on the bullet train without “leaving the city”, he said.
“The rate of progress of construction there is like nothing you can ever imagine. That’s the one thing that stuck in our mind. Being Canadian you can’t even comprehend this, unless you can see it with your own eyes,” he said.
Bangkok, by comparison, was quite mellow.
“In China its car horns going every second all day every day. Then we got to Bangkok and we didn’t hear the horns, people were respecting the lines on the road…I mean, China is insane. Surviving crossing the street is an accomplishment,” he said.
All in all, the trip was a huge success. Mad Cow said he was thrilled by discovering their unique ability to communicate with an alien culture.
“It’s quite something. Even though we can’t speak the language and they don’t know English, there was this common language of music. That energy transcends race, religion, language barriers. We deliver an energy that comes straight from rock and roll,” he said.
“To look into their faces and see them enjoying what we’re delivering? It was the best.”
BCDC has a fervent local contingent of fans, many who have seen them play since their creation 16 years ago. Throughout that time, very little has changed.
“Except for maybe my hair. It recently departed,” joked Mad Cow. “There’s not much you can move around without getting rid of a classic. I mean, you can’t take out Back to Black and put in some song only you and five other people know from some 1976 B-side. We love the whole catalogue, but the general public wants to hear the hits.”
He said fans can always expect to hear their favourites played with additional intensity.
“All of us come from punk and metal roots, so when we play the stuff comes out sounding like Motorhead or the Ramones. There’s an urgency there,” he said.
Doors are at 9 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door, and are available from the Hume Hotel at (250) 352-5331.
To learn more about BCDC visit bcdc.ca.