Some of the best memories you’ll undoubtedly make during your university career come when you’re out on the town with friends. Unfortunately, if you’re not into laptop DJs or sweaty bodies looking to hook up in Victoria’s club scene, it might be difficult to find somewhere to get your groove on and let off some of that studying steam.
But one band is starting to change that.
Standing out from the hordes of mediocre electronic musicians, Victoria’s own Electric Sex Panther (ESP) has been putting an R&B twist on cover and original songs, both on campus and in the community. Their most recent university excursion came last week, when the UVSS hosted ESP, along with other local bands, for the Bands on the Roof portion of the 2017 Campus Kick Off event.
“We really enjoy bring[ing] the party, man. We really enjoy play[ing] music that we really enjoy, and play[ing] arrangements that we see in musicians who we think that are a lot better than us, and we try to make the whole thing just a big experience that people can come see,” said guitarist and singer Kiaran McMillan, speaking after their Bands on the Roof set.
Their usual set takes place on Thursday nights at Canoe Brewpub (450 Swift Street), where a sea of university students take to the dance floor every week. McMillan says the success is all due to their original sound.
“I think it’s mainly because we play a really modern R&B and hip hop sound,” said McMillan, “which is kind of really hot right now . . . but we try really hard—and succeed—just to do what we want to do and then people enjoy it. I’m super grateful for that myself.”
While ESP spend most of their time rocking at Canoe, they’re no stranger to the campus scene. Gaelan McMillan, Kiaran’s brother, was a music student at UVic a few years back, and earlier this year, the band took the top prize at the UVSS Battle of the Bands competition.
But big changes are on the horizon for the band, with a lineup switch as old members move on to other projects. The self-proclaimed “collective of dudes” now consists of Quinn Bates (vocals), Gaelan McMillan (keybass/synths/bass), Brennan Doyle (drummer), Kiaran McMillan (guitar/keys/trumpet/vocals), Mikey Huerta (saxophone/MC), and Vaughn Stokes (guitar/bass/vocals).
A new sound comes with the new additions, according to McMillan.
“We’re busting out original arrangements and original material that you can dance to, which I feel like is not too common in this kind of demographic and this style,” he said. “I mean, we got swag. Our singer Quinn is super present . . . It’s worth it. It’s just a good time.”
Not interested in the music? There are plenty of other reasons to check ESP out at Canoe Brewpub on September 21st, when the group comes back to woo the crowd.
“The beer is relatively cheap, there’s no cover, and there are lots and lots of beautiful people,” McMillan laughed.
“If you’re single or just want to look at people — I mean if you have any insidious intentions don’t come — but the crowd is just insanely beautiful.”
For more information and events check out the Electric Sex Panther Facebook Page.