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CASINO NOVA SCOTIA PRESENTS
Platinum Blonde LIVE AT THE SCHOONER SHOWROOM
Tuesday, December 31, 9:30pm
September 10th, 2019 – Halifax, Nova Scotia – Ring in the New Year with Platinum Blonde at the Casino Nova Scotia Schooner Showroom. Having sold out every show they have played in Halifax, be sure to get your tickets early!
Platinum Blonde is back, but don’t call it a reunion. In reality, it’s more like the band has simply taken a finger off of the pause button with the release of its new album Now & Never. With five albums that have all gone Platinum seven times over and garnered multiple Juno Award nominations, along with an induction into the Music and Broadcast Industry Hall of Fame, it’s easy to wonder what else is there for Platinum Blonde to accomplish. As it turns out, quite a lot. “There’s been no resting on the laurels of the past successes,” says frontman Mark Holmes. “I appreciate every last thing I’ve got, but you have to embrace what’s coming towards you. The golden age is forever, it’s right now.” Indeed, the re-ignition of the band has been a very long time coming. It wasn't for lack of demand - the appetite for the signature new wave rock sound that swept up throngs of fans has hardly waned since the boys pressed pause in 1991.
As the years passed, the band became somewhat of a cult mystery. When electronic dance tastemakers Crystal Castles teamed with Robert Smith of The Cure in 2010 to record a cover version of Platinum Blonde’s “Not in Love”, an entire new generation of fans began clamoring to discover the band’s music. In January 1983, at the beginning of a decade where pop music was often adrift in flash and kitsch, the Torontobased outfit consisting of Holmes, Sergio Galli (guitar), and Chris Steffler (drums) emerged from the club scene with a more substantial offering. At the core of their unremittingly danceable new wave influence were three musically fluent artists who had something relevant to say. Instantly, Platinum Blonde became one of the biggest commodities of the burgeoning new wave landscape. Six Track Attack became the ground on which the triple-Platinum selling LP Standing In The Dark was built. Before the close of 1984, the band had invaded radio airwaves with four hit singles – "Doesn't Really Matter", Standing in the Dark", "Sad Sad Rain", and "Not in Love".
In 1985, the release of the follow-up album Alien Shores saw Platinum Blonde expand more broadly. With the addition of bassist and keyboardist Kenny MacLean, the band became a full-fledged four-piece. The lead single "Crying Over You” peaked at #1 on the charts, helping propel the release to go Platinum five times over. The impetus for a Platinum Blonde renaissance came in the form of bassist Kenny MacLean who playfully prodded Holmes to get the band back together. After a series of one-off shows in the early 2000s it seemed like the time for a full-blown revival was ripe. In 2008, while in the middle of navigating the prospect of reuniting, MacLean suddenly suffered a fatal heart attack in his recording studio. The sudden passing of their bandmate left Holmes and Galli stunned and grief-stricken, temporarily derailing the plans to record new material. To Holmes, the memory of their dear friend and bandmate had an enormous impact on the new life Platinum Blonde has taken. “He left this world on a positive note; that energy is in everything we do now.” Holmes and Galli enlisted the expertise of bassist Rob Laidlaw and drummer Dan Todd to round out the reinvigorated lineup. They teamed with producer and engineer Murray Daigle and immediately it was apparent that things were finally falling into place. “When we got back together it really felt like no time had passed,” says Holmes. “It’s all fresh, and it all came together perfectly.” The panache and passionate soul of Platinum Blonde’s music is vivid in the 10 tracks that comprise Now & Never. A finely wrought mélange of crisp rock and sultry electro-pop, the leading single “Beautiful” entwines highly evolved strings and guitar work over an intense beat that is capable of holding any dance floor captive. Throughout its entirety, seemingly contradictory rock and dance influences melt together seamlessly. Holmes credits his métier as a DJ for informing the fresh spirit of new Platinum Blonde material, “It’s bound to influence the music. As a producer and DJ, we are the ones at the very edge of music movements. I live for the future. All the bands that I was doing remixes for lately seem to sound like Platinum Blonde. So I thought it might be the right time for a dose of the real thing”. That sentiment of forward thinking spills directly into tracks like “From Here” where Holmes belts the line “…time for me to be a thousand years from here.” It’s a call for freedom from outdated thinking, he says, in a world that doesn’t always bear a lot of hope for the future. “To be free is a right everybody has,” he explains. “It’s a song of independence, and about facing the fear of being on your own.” Across time, the one constant of Platinum Blonde has always been an unquenchable yen to evolve. With Now & Never, the band that’s made a career of forging its own path continues to roam free.
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