Blues-rock duo finds bond through similar music tastes

NANAIMO – This is the Shoes return to Nanaimo as part of a three-city tour on Vancouver Island.

Vancouver based blues-rock band This is the Shoes are returning to Nanaimo in what will be their final stop in a series of Vancouver Island performances.

“We are so excited to come back to Nanaimo,” Sabrina Robson said. “We’ve played there about three times and every time we come it’s always a good time and we meet all kinds of interesting people. It’s a great little city.”

This is the Shoes was born when Robson and Jereme Collette met in a Vancouver sports store and instantly recognized that they shared a common interest in music styles.

“We instantly bonded because we were the only ones who gave a damn about music that wasn’t poppy,” Robson said.

In 2011, This is the Shoes was officially formed and have since performed throughout the Lower Mainland and across Canada.

Robson explained that they originally wanted to be called The Shoes, however that name was already taken and so they became This is the Shoes.

“We’re big Beatles fans and there was this John Lennon interview and Jereme was watching it and in the interview they asked Lennon why they call themselves The Beatles and he basically said it doesn’t matter, it’s just a name. We could be called The Shoes for all I care,” Robson said. “From that moment we knew that’s the name we wanted but as it turns there is another band in France that is called The Shoes, so we thought we’d do an ode to Spinal Tap.”

Robson described their sound as a mix of blues, rock, soul and country.

“Overall if I had to describe it in one word I would say rock ‘n’ roll, but it has got elements of other stuff in it – lots of blues with a southern sort of vibe to it as well,” she said. “I take a lot of influence from some of the older ladies like Big Mama Thorton, who influenced people like Janis Joplin, but we also take influence from the modern psychedelic-rock scene to punk.”

This is the Shoes have released three records since they formed in 2011. Their most recent album, Burnt, was released in September.

“It has got everything from straight blues to rockabilly stuff to psychedelic burst to even Pink Floyd type sounds,” Robson said.

This is the Shoes performs Sunday (Jan. 12) at the Corner Lounge, 121 Bastion St., in Nanaimo.

Nanaimo News Bulletin