There is no doubt that Nelson band Vortex draws influence from the Queen City.
“I believe there is something magnetic about this place. It is almost a creative hub for Canada,” said guitarist Andy Parks.
“There is just a good overall energy here with the people. Everyone seems connect to living a good live and having a good time. There is not a lot of stress here and a lot of inspiration to be found.”
Vortex formed out of another West Kootenay-based band called P.A.N.D.A.
Parks met the band’s bass player Scott Milne one night at a Wednesday night open stage.
“We hit it off musically quite well and we started jamming with some people like Marty Carter out in Salmo, who is a good friend of mine,” he said.
The pair started incorporating different musicians into the mix and eventually it grew to (at times) a 10 piece band.
“We kept playing and we went through a bunch of different phases still doing the improv thing and in the course of about a year or so we had a core group of people and it formed into this band called P.A.N.D.A.,” said Parks.
“We started getting pretty cool gigs right away like at Shambhala. It had a bunch of different people from Wassabi Collective and all really good friends. I have a lot of musician friends but the whole thing got going out of friendship.”
While P.A.N.D.A. is more of a jam band with pre-written songs and material, Parks said that Vortex is just improvisation.
“We’ve written a few songs but it’s pretty much all improv. It’s just a four piece and it was the core people from the rhythm section of P.A.N.D.A.,” he said.
In their music, Vortex draws from old school funk, disco, house and modern electronic beats.
Vortex spent the summer touring the region playing festivals like Shambhala and Starbelly Jam in Crawford Bay.
They will take the stage for a special evening at The Royal on Saturday night.
Doors open at 9 p.m. and tickets are $5 to 10 on a sliding scale.
For more information on upcoming shows at The Royal visit liveattheroyal.com.