By Tim Leeds
The Headpins were back in Havre Monday night playing to a crowd of their fans in Shamrocks Bar and Casino.
Singer Darby Mills thanked and congratulated everyone for coming out on a Monday to a rescheduled concert. She said she couldn't believe as many people came out for the show as were there.
"If I was coming to see me and it was a Monday, I'd stay home," Mills said.
The Headpins started at about 10:30 p.m., playing a selection of their songs from the albums they recorded in the 1980s including their theme song, "Turn It Loud."
The band returned to the stage after the audience raised enough noise with applause, cheers and shouts of "encore."
Bass player Ab Bryant said it was a lot of fun after the show was done. It was a smaller audience than the Headpins generally play, but drummer Bernie Aubin said they like to do a smaller show once in a while.
Laurie Curley and Stuart MacKay were reunited as Groove House to open the show after a four-year hiatus. David Carlson, bass, and Paul Chute, drums, joined them for the performance, with a range of songs from Aretha Franklin to Heart and Alanis Morisette.
Curley said it felt pretty good to be opening for a band like the Headpins. MacKay said they used to cover Headpins songs when they played as Groove House.
The Havre show was in the middle of a tour of Montana, North Dakota and Idaho arranged by Pardi Gras owner June Erickson. All of the other shows have sold out, some as quickly as in two days to fill a 500 seat venue in Lewiston, Idaho. There was such a demand for a second show in Billings that the band rescheduled the Havre stop. It was originally planned for the last show on Saturday, March 24. The band will now play a second show in Billings on that date.
The Headpins, from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada just finished a tour of their home country before starting the U.S. tour. Bryant said they enjoyed that tour, too.
"That was a good one," he said. "It was fun we did a lot of spots we don't normally do."
He said the tour was very successful as well. Bryant said they did a spot in Edmonton with two shows.
"You usually expect one night to be a dog," he said, "but it was packed both nights, 700 or 800 people."
He said the band is thinking about working on recording a new CD.
"All of us have a bunch of ideas we want to do," Bryant said.
He said if there's any possibility of putting the music together for a recording, they want to work on it. Aubin said the earliest that could possibly happen would be next fall, however, in September or October. He said they definitely want to find the right direction before they start recording, to compete with what's out there on the market now.
The band formed in Vancouver in the early 1980s when Bryant and founding guitarist Brian "Too Loud" MacLeod's band Chilliwack kind of "went into limbo," Bryant said. The problem was that the president of the record company Chilliwack had a contract with died, he said, so the band had a contract with a company that had no personnel. He said MacLeod and he formed the Headpins as their new project.
The original lineup was soon filled out with Aubin and Mills, and their first album, 1983's "Turn It Loud" went gold almost immediately. Aubin said it went gold in Alberta alone in about two weeks.
MacLeod died of cancer in 1992. The band re-formed with Aubin and Mills and Vic Nickiforek taking over on guitars. Bryant rejoined the band in 1998, and he said that kind of jump started the group again.
"It kind of added energy to the band," Bryant said. "I didn't play for eight years, and I had the same attitude I had 20 years ago I didn't care, just want to play."