Show review & band interview: Populusque Romanus
Date: May 16, 2015
Location: Rainbow Cinemas, London, Ontario, Canada
Keep reading, the name may be a tad complex if you are not up on your Latin, they have simply taken their name from Senatus Populusque Romanus, “The Senate and People of Rome”.
I was intrigued when I heard about a teenage rock band playing the lobby of a cinema before the movies get going. Part of me thought well done by the cinema to try something that helps the local artist community get exposure and well done for teenage kids to be playing rock music. I know for a fact that the management of Rainbow is not charging the band to play, nor are they paying them. This cinema is quite active in the arts community, so kudos to them.
The band is made up of:
Grace Grant (age 14) Lead Vocals, guitar, bass, Synth
Lucja Grant (age 12) Drums, vocals
Queena Liu (age 13) Guitar, vocals, synth
Connor Elgie (age 13) Bass, synth
They started as a 3 piece playing for Women’s Roller Derby in Woodstock, Ontario, Canada in Sept. 2014. After getting more requests for gigs, Connor was asked to join to add synth/bass and expand their sound.
Grace started her rock career playing bass and learning from Chase Bryant (bass player for Mammoth a prog rock group from LA)
While Populusque Romanus currently play non-original songs I was told they would be starting to write in summer of 2015.
These kids are well rounded musically as you will hear in the interview and their playing is tight, you can easily tell Grace is meant to front a band. She has the talent both musically and entertaining wise, something often lacking by the front person of a band. Connor plays bass with the confidence of a seasoned veteran. I was impressed that for a start time of noon with a set time of about 30 minutes before the movies begin, they attracted attention from people arriving to see a movie. Especially from their peers. I know I wouldn’t expect to hear a band playing as I rode the escalator up to the lobby, my only thought being popcorn/nachos/movie.
I highly recommend searching around your town for artists and events such as these, there are many gems out there, and often they are found in the least likely places.
The Populusque Romanus audio interview, as well as YouTube footage of their halftime show at The Western Fair Agriplex, appear below.
Blair De Abreu