The Runs get punky at the Northern

The Runs guitarist and vocalist Greg (G$) Barrow making some good music at The Northern Bar and Stage Saturday night.   - Photo by P. McLachlan
The Runs guitarist and vocalist Greg (G$) Barrow making some good music at The Northern Bar and Stage Saturday night.
— image credit: Photo by P. McLachlan

By Phil McLachlan

Legendary local punk-rock band, The Runs took the stage at The Northern on Saturday night.

A unique band with a great sense of artistic freedom, The Runs never fail to provide an entertaining show full of twists, turns and comedic surprises. Dressed in prison uniforms with toilet paper around their mics, the group of four brought an explosive vibe to The Northern, which visibly changed the mood of the night.

Edge Of The World owner and The Runs guitarist and vocalist, Greg Barrow, or G$, came to Fernie from North Carolina in ‘99, to pursue his love of snowboarding.

The Runs came together by accident. When he first came to Fernie, Barrow joined a group called Not Dead Yet. This group stayed together for a few years, but when Not Dead Yet died, Barrow formed a new band. G$ got his name from his days as a basketball icon, and has had this name as long as he can remember.

Commit owner and The Runs lead guitarist and vocalist, Adam Laurin, came to Fernie from his home town of Calgary for a similar reason; snow. Also a musician and punk-rock lover at heart, Laurin started to attend jam nights, which is where he met Barrow. This was 12 years ago; although the line-up has changed bassist and drummer, Laurin and Barrow have stuck with it.

“It was divine intervention,” said Barrow with a smile.

“The real, original Runs, is G$ and I because that’s where the heart of the band has lived,” said Laurin. “I’m with him the whole way on it because it’s always been our journey. We’ve always made good music together.”

Fernie has treated The Runs well since their formation 12 years ago. With a solid community following, there’s always someone at their show to dance along. Currently, the band is made up of Barrow, Laurin, Alanna Bamber, bass and vocals and Scott Deydey on drums and vocals.

The Runs released their first studio album in July of 2016, titled No Solid Hits, which they made available in both digital and vinyl format. Their first album was made in a band room and had a sound that both Laurin and Barrow believe is amateur. However, in their new album they wanted to increase the production quality without losing the sound of them playing live.

“We played all the music together and then did the vocals,” said Barrow. “We wanted it to have the energy of seeing us live. We’re pretty pleased with it.”

Inspiration for their music is found in many different places; from songs about Wall Street, to songs about snowboarding, The Runs cover a variety of topics. For Laurin, punk-rock is something he grew up with and he appreciates it for many reasons.

“Punk-rock, when I grew up, had a lot of attitude,” he said. “I write songs with attitude, I write them about society and I write them about what’s right with it and wrong with it. Whether people agree with me or not, at the end of the day it’s my music and it should serve a purpose. G$ has always supported me on this.”

The Runs hope that people who attend their shows, “just have a good time, let off some energy, just have fun. That’s all,” said Barrow. “We’re not trying to ‘make it’, we’re just trying to entertain people and have a good time.”

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