WEYBURN – A popular Moose Jaw-based group, the Bromantics, will bring their unique sound of the songs of the 50s and early 60s to the Cugnet Centre stage on March 1, as a part of the Weyburn Concert Series.
The show will kick off their tour of Saskatchewan venues with the Organization of Saskatchewan Arts Councils (OSAC), which had originally been planned in 2019, before COVID hit in 2020 and shut everything down.
The group is comprised of lead singer Tim Linchuk, Robert Haakenson, Kurt Gillett, Jim Mitchell, Gregg Gower and drummer Justin Hauck.
They play a variety of instruments, including keyboards, guitar, bass, drums and saxophone, and as Haakenson pointed out, for some songs the guitarist and bassist will switch up instruments as one picks up a horn.
The group started up in 2013 in an unintentional way, explained Haakenson, as at first they filled in for a group that cancelled out for a rooftop series of concerts put on by Bobby’s Place in Moose Jaw.
Haakenson called his cousin Tim, knowing he had a good voice, and asked if he would be willing to fill the role as singer for a one-shot gig. He also knew Hauck as drummer, and the rest of the band members were friends of friends, or were contacts referred to him, and in the end they had a six-member group formed.
They rehearsed for one week and got 10 songs together. “We hit it off quite well,” said Haakenson, noting they picked songs they grew up with from the 50s and early 60s that were easy to learn and sing.
“We put on the show, and we were immediately inundated with requests to come play, and people saying, ‘I’d like to book you’. So I asked the guys, ‘do you wnt to do more shows?’” he said. “It kind of snowballed from there.”
Today the Bromantics have over 200 songs in their repertoire, representing hits by such performers as Ritchie Valens, Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, the Drifters, the Beach Boys and many others.
In addition, they have been writing their own songs in the same style, and will have about eight to 10 songs ready for performance for this upcoming tour.
“We’re going to release a vinyl record,” said Haakenson, noting they have been in the recording studio putting their songs together.
Asked how they weathered COVID and the shutdown of live music shows, he said it was difficult as they couldn’t perform or even get together to practice.
The lockdown didn’t enable them to work on their own songs until they were able to be together to collaborate on the music, he added, promising the audience in Weyburn will get to hear their original tunes as well as the old favourites.
“I’m really looking forward to being on the road again. We just played Danceland, and people drove in from Manitoba just to see the show,” he said.