An intimate evening with NQ Arbuckle

(Jody Waardenburg -- Lead Photographer)
(Jody Waardenburg — Lead Photographer)

Jane Bond, a compact venue tucked away on Princess Street, welcomed a Juno nominated band known as NQ Arbuckle on Saturday, March 15. Before the night began, Jane Bond’s capacity had already been reached as every available ticket was sold. As the band members organized the stage and repeated “check 1, 2” into one of the many microphones, lead singer Neville Quinlan, sat down for an interview.

At first glance Quinlan appears to be an average Canadian sporting some blue jeans, a tuque and a beer. A former student of McGill University, Quinlan revealed he has been to Waterloo a number of times.

“We are big fans of Starlight and Jane Bond. It is always a joy for us to be here,” Quinlan said.

Admittedly, despite traveling to Waterloo Region multiple times as well as across Canada throughout their musical career, NQ Arbuckle is not necessarily a famous band.

Quinlan admitted, “We are outside of the mainstream scene. I book all of our shows. We do not have a Twitter account or even a webpage. We all have 8 billion other things to do. I have two kids, I have a job. [Our upcoming CD] is not a side project but in some ways we have treated it as one.”

Undeniably, the small group has experienced immense success. Their fourth studio album, Let Us Stay Here, was released in 2009 and earned NQ Arbuckle a Roots and Traditional Album of the Year Juno nomination. Now, the group is excited about the release of their imminent fifth studio album release. Entitled The Future Happens Anyway, the record will have 12 new tracks with an additional musical interlude.

“This time we brought in our keyboard player, Jason, [to help write]. We have some tracks that are just piano; we are trying to change it up,” said Quinlan on the band’s new sound.

The new album is entering the mastering stage of production on March 17 with an expected release date of April 2.

The performance itself was absolutely brilliant. Jane Bond filled up comfortably and the band has an authentic Canadian style, which reverberated perfectly in a live setting. The band consists of Quinlan (whose initials constitute the NQ of the band’s name) as well as Mark Kesper, Peter Kesper and bassist John Dinsmore. Together, they played tracks from the upcoming album.

Jane Bond provided an intimate experience for their audience as the small venue does not have a large stage for musicians. Instead, the band was tucked neatly into a corner of the dimly lit bar. Their new music offered a perfect juxtaposition with this ambient atmosphere.

Before the performance, Quinlan reiterated that “we are just starting again.” He seemed incredibly excited for the release of The Future Happens Anyway and was humbled at the thought of a sold out show. Previewing their upcoming tracks, NQ Arbuckle offered brilliant ballads and an unforgettable stage presence. An all-round Canadian group, NQ Arbuckle is definitely worth checking out.

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