In 1991, a group of future Canadian music icons was launched out of Kingston Ontario.
It’s easy to immediately think of The Tragically Hip. However, at the same time that the Hip were rising to prominence, The Arrogant Worms were also finding their collective voice. This voice sang not about poets, but rocks and trees, and the vastness of Canada, encouraging the country to find a little humour in the things that connect us.
And on Friday, February 7, they’ll be making a tour stop in Hamilton at The Pearl Company with a concert beginning at 8pm.
Originating in 1991 on college radio, Mike McCormick, Trevor Strong and Chris Patterson comprise the group. Originally started as a sketch group with interspersed music, the collective began focusing solely on the musical aspect after receiving audience feedback.
Their name originated after getting a big break- an early hit, “The Cross-Border Shopping Song,” was to receive airtime on CBC Radio. Realizing they had no band name to provide, the group headed towards the local bar, where they proceeded to write adjectives and nouns on a piece of paper. As the night wore on (and drinks continued), words were continuously crossed off until only two remained; “Arrogant” and “Worms.”
To date, the Arrogant Worms have produced nine studio albums, four live albums, two compilation albums, and one video album with orchestra. Combined, they’ve sold over 160,000 albums and become a staple of the Canadian folk scene. More recently, the band has joined others online by providing benefits to fans through Patreon, a popular online subscription platform.
With titles like “I am Cow,” “Celine Dion,” “We are the Beaver” and “The Prescription Drug Song,” the songs of The Arrogant Worms offer a humorous perspective on the daily life of a Canadian. The group is renowned for their onstage presence, with the funny, quick-witted satire that their songs are known for spilling over into the onstage banter and storytelling. Their humour and content has won them fans from coast to coast, and across all demographics. The band even counts astronaut Chris Hadfield as a fan and collaborator.
Friday’s show at The Pearl Company marks the band’s only stop in Hamilton, and one of the few in Southern Ontario. The group will perform in London on Saturday night before heading out west for most of the month of March.
Who: The Arrogant Worms
Where: The Pearl Company (16 Steven Street)
When: Friday, February 7, 2020
Tickets: $30 for adults; $25 for students at https://www.ticketscene.ca/events/27418/