You can go home again, bigger and better.
That is certainly the case for The Dreamboats, a Mississauga ’50/’60s retro band that play at Hammerson Hall on September 30, opening for the legendary Robbie Lane and The Disciples. Lane, a rock steady in the Toronto music scene since the ‘60s, likes to showcase emerging groups, in this case, The Dreamboats. Keith Hampshire, who had hit songs with Daytime, Nighttime, and The First Cut Is The Deepest, is the guest star and will jam with the Disciples.
The Dreamboats is comprised of lead singer/guitarist Chris Van Hummel (Sir Ritchie Hummins), bassist Brian Fligg (Fliggers B. Lewis), guitarist/singer Matthew Bestvater-Tennison (Matthew Best, also called The Prodigy) and drummer/singer Gianmarco Fiacconi (Johnny G. Wiz), all of whom grew up in Mississauga. Some members of the current lineup were playing in other groups that were part of the Battle of the Bands in 2007 at Hammerson HalL. The Dreamboats was launched in 2009 after the four members jammed songs from a Beatles’ song book of chords. Now, all these years later, the Hammerson Hall gig is like going back in time.
“Here we are coming back to rock the main stage as The Dreamboats,” Van Hummel told Peel Region Review. “I would definitely say it’s a milestone concert for many reasons, almost like the reuniting the day I met Gianni and we played together and also being one of the more prestigious venues in Mississauga. It just feels like a very homecoming type of event for us.”
Wherever they go throughout the world, in particular in Europe where they are popular, The Dreamboats proudly let people know they are from Mississauga.
“We could easily say Toronto, but we really want to make an effort of really pushing Mississauga as our home base,” Van Hummel says. “That’s not to say we’re trying to put Mississauga on the map – there’s tons of bands that put Mississauga on the map – but as far as from our point of view and our pride standpoint we always want to make sure we let everyone know we are from Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. If anyone asks ‘where is that,’ we’ll say ‘it’s close to Toronto.’ We could easily do what everyone else does and just say Toronto to have everyone know where we come from, but no, we’re really not from there.”
The Dreamboats are unique because they play and look the part of a ‘50s/’60s band.
“Our look is a combination of everything we loved from that era,” Van Hummel said. “It’s something very important to us to look that part so that it defines us off the bat when the audience looks at us.”
And unlike many retro/throwback bands, The Dreamboats are not 50- or 60-year-olds playing music from their era. The average age of The Dreamboats is 28.
In May they toured Europe, the second time the band has done that, and also played a gig in California. Earlier this year the group released a vinyl record, Vocal Warmup, and re-released it as an EP. The group released its first vinyl record in 2014 with two original songs, Love Control and Don’t Go Home, then re-released it on CD in 2015.
The band drew its name from a scene in Back To The Future, in which Fox’s character, Marty McFly, is described as a dreamboat riding a skateboard to run away from the bully Biff.
When the band first began, it wore sweaters and ties similar to the early days of the Beatles at the famous Cavern Club, a place incidentally in which The Dreamboats played two years ago in what was a seminal moment for the group. The band has steady booking from the corporate world that wants to see cover songs, but the original material is starting to receive commercial air play
“When we did the first European tour, that’s when we really tried to let everyone know we were trying to define ourselves as an original band and we ended up getting on some original bills,” he said.
The September 30 show runs from 8 p.m.-10 p.m. Tickets range from $30-$50. For more information, contact 905-306-6000 or visit www.livingartscentre.ca.
There’s a pre-show dinner buffet at Live Restaurant. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. For reservations call 905-306-6116.