Arts & EventsOttawa Gnarly Rockers Still Going Strong

Ottawa Gnarly Rockers Still Going Strong

Ottawa Gnarly Rockers Still Going Strong

Photo credit: Rick Arbuckle Photography


It’s Ottawa, dinner time on a Saturday – the place is full of rock ’n’ roll retirees - hoppin’ and a boppin’, strutting their stuff. What’s wrong with this picture? Do your parents know what you are up to?

A strange phenomenon - like a flashback to 1969 – same people, same energy, same passion for classic rock – but with a twist – these anti-establishment-inspired “rebel rousers” are older. They have long since inherited “the establishment”, and now have passed it on to their children – which, of course, provides for a little loose time to “kick it up” and “get down.”

They are today’s seniors. They rock like never before – but they have discovered one important thing: bedtime.

For Ottawa classic rock band, “The Gnarlys”, the Atomic Rooster’s matinee show fills the bill.

Audience ranges from grandchildren of would-be-Woodstock-ers to 95 years of age. And the older patrons are still teaching the "younger ones" how to “groove.”

Having clocked over 50, Rowan Alcock, Gnarly sound tech, is the youngest of the gnarly Gnarlys.

Gnarly drummer‎, Dan Carrière, thinks it “is the quiet ones that really come out of their shell – good to watch!”

“People don't come out to see the band, they come out to be the band…deep down, we are all Gnarlys," indicates Gnarlys’ manager, and guitarist, Buck Newman. “The song list is inspired by a call for participation.”

From 4:00 p.m., things start to sizzle, then dancing gets a little “vibrant”, followed by a little “crazy” – even passers-by start dancing in the street. And it all winds up at dusk. When the older rockers head home to bed, the fresh crop of today’s “defiant youth” take the late shift.

Cyndi Kennedy is the Gnarlys’ high energy front person and award-winning long-distance runner. There is nothing she can't run away from - except maybe her husband, and Gnarlys’ Keyboardist, Ken Hatcher.

Amidst the mayhem, Engineer and Gnarlys’ guitarist, Mark Seely, raised the obvious with Atomic Rooster owner Don Botham - integrity of the supporting floor structure. Don scientifically deduced, "big beams, keep them hopping, no worries.”

When asked what’s next, Reg Clements, Gnarlys’ Bassist, replied, “Geriatric Rock Ward‎ - there is no end!

Like a collision between “Woodstock”, “the Gong Show” and those Zombie movies we see on TV, Ottawa’s Gnarly citizens continue their rock and roll rebellion, albeit, before bedtime! Are you a gnarly?

To learn more about the Gnarly's and see where they're playing next visit thegnarlys.com.

Comments (0)

*Please take note that upon submitting your comment the team at OLM will need to verify it before it shows up below.