Are they singing the Stonecutters song? Winnipeg’s Legion of Liquor in action.
Danny Michel returns to Winnipeg’s West End Cultural Centre, where he recorded a live album earlier this year.
Ash Koley is an alt-pop duo featuring Ashley Koley, for whom the band is named, and Phil Deschambault. Koley graduated from the University of Winnipeg with a degree in biochemistry.

Legion of Liquor

Local band Legion of Liquor is the best get-drunk-quick scheme since the invention of the playing-card drinking game.
Many of their song titles serve as self-declarations, such as Haters of Sobriety and Warriors of Wine.  However, some dive deeper into the more important questions in life like Bottles or Cans, for example.
“The band is going make you want to drink and party your face off and have a really awesome time,” said Matt Soprovich (a.k.a Hippie), a stand-in choir member and self-proclaimed Legion “pitch-hitter.”
Legion of Liquor is a 12-piece band featuring a “choir” of guys behind microphones because, basically, nobody can sing.
“It’s kind of supposed to sound like a bunch of dudes singing along with their favourite metal album,” said Jared Weiss, drinker and songwriter.
The riffs are catchy and the eight-man choir is a successful novelty, as evidenced by a look around at a Legion of Liquor live show.
Visuals of the show include a drink in the hand of every patron, hard partying and (maybe) an intoxicated writer trying to drink beer from a broken-necked bottle.
However, Legion of Liquor does not support such dangerous behaviour.
“We want to make sure you have a reasonably safe, disgusting time,” Soprovich clarified. “So much music is all party, party, party, but how many bands will just try to extol the virtue of the booze itself?”
Legion of Liquor will play Friday, Sept. 10 at The Zoo with High Five Drive and Kill Katie. Visit

—Samuel Swanson

Danny Michel

The West End Cultural Centre’s favourite Ontarion finds himself playing the rejuvenated venue once again.
Michel was one of the first to play on the new Ellice Avenue stage, and recorded a live album there this past Feburary, aptly titling it Live in Winnipeg.
This time around, Michel brings with him songs off his latest and eighth studio album, Sunset Sea, written and recorded, he says, “all over the place” – including Belize, Costa Rica, Canada and the U.S.
“I’ve never had a regular pattern of writing,” Michel said in a recent interview with Winnipeg music blog Painting Over Silence. “I write when the feeling strikes … but I did go to Belize with the intention of sitting down to just write.”
The result is an eight-track effort laden with the tropical summer sounds and carefree groove of a Caribbean sojourn.
“The sound is more influenced by the culture, places and energy of the people,” Michel said. “I can hear music in the silence of the Mayan ruins or a sailboat cutting through the waves out at sea.”
Catch Michel at the West End Cultural Centre on Saturday, Sept. 11 with Romi Mayes. The venue will once again be offering its bike valet service.

— Matt Preprost

Ash Koley

Local New Wave/alt-pop duo Ash Koley performed at the four stops Sarah McLachlan’s Lilith Fair tour made in Canada this past summer – not bad, considering it was the group’s first-ever tour.
“To go on our first tour ever with all those big artists was pretty lucky (for) us,” said Koley, 26, who is joined by 34-year-old Phil Deschambault in the duo that bears her name. 
“I’ll never forget it. From being in the studio for four years ... to getting to perform for people and actually have them come up and say that they drove from the States to see us, it was just so weird and surreal, and really cool.”
It’s sure to be one of many surreal moments the duo will face in the coming months. Their debut CD, Inventions, will be released in stores on Tuesday, Oct. 5 by Sony Music Entertainment Canada and Nettwerk.
The first single, Don’t Let Your Feet Touch Ground, is already climbing the charts at radio. A second single, Brighter at Night, goes to radio on Monday, Sept. 13, and a North American tour is in the works for the fall – something Koley is preparing for.
“I had to start going to the gym because I realized I was getting out of breath pretty quickly,” Koley said of performing live on the Lilith dates. 
“Playing live took some getting used to ... but other than that, it was pretty good.”
See Ash Koley live on Sunday, Sept. 12 at the Scotiabank Stage at the Forks when they play The Big Show. Visit

—Aaron Epp

Published in Volume 65, Number 2 of The Uniter (September 9, 2010)

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