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Marvest Review: Tribe Royal

By Terry Steeves on September 18, 2016



Friday and Saturday during Cityfolk boasted some amazing Ottawa talent featured as a part of Marvest… a showcase series organized by the festival. Several Bank Street businesses were the site of these shows, and on Friday night, I dropped by FarmTeam Cookhouse to catch a couple of our local artists, the first one being Tribe Royal.

Outside on the restaurant’s large patio and parking lot was where it was all happening, looking every bit like a vibrant campground scene with Adirondack chairs and tables scattered below the raised porch area, and the band set up on a section of the parking lot. A four-piece indie band, named Tribe Royal, had just started their set and the music grabbed me instantly.

The scene at FarmTeam Cookhouse, with Tribe Royal. Photo by Terry Steeves.

The scene at FarmTeam Cookhouse, with Tribe Royal. Photo by Terry Steeves.

Their sound covered a diverse spectrum of rootsy alt-rock flavours that delved into off-shoots of country, blues, folk, and classic rock. Laid back, easy listening, and dance inducing, every song delivered a feel-good vibe, and completely memorable melodies with catchy hooks.

“Blood Red Rose,” a song about travelling and being out on the road, had some of that country/folk Blue Rodeo goodness, as did one of their newer pieces, “Sunset Band,” which had some nice changes into the bridge, and great 3-piece vocal harmonies during the chorus. Their current single, “Wasting Time,” triggered some hand-clapping from the audience, with its uplifting rhythm and melody. The band also showed some great stage interaction, which turned the warm fun factor up a notch. “My Kind Of Girl,” “Catching Up” and “What You Do To Me” were laced in an infectious 60s psychedelic pop-rock flavour, reminiscent of bands like The Zombies. I enjoyed the Alice In Chains rawness of “Serpent Queen,” and the very Chris Isaak feel of their three-quarter timed set closer, “Don’t You Change,” which had a gorgeous flowing vocal melody.

Look for Tribe Royal’s new album, Colours Of The Sun, coming out October 17, 2016. Visit their website at