In the end, it’s all about the music
With reviewers comparing the lead singer’s voice to Etta James, Janis Joplin and Amy Winehouse, expectations have been high for No Sinner.
Fronted by Colleen Rennison — yes, the band’s name comes from her surname — the Vancouver band has been busy making the rounds of music festivals and gigs across North America.
It will headline the seventh annual Music Makes Meals (MMM) fundraiser for the Kamloops Food Bank on Saturday, Nov. 10.
Rennison also has an extensive resume as an actress and was unavailable for an interview, responding to questions from KTW by email instead.
If you have seen the Bruce Willis-Michelle Pfeiffer movie The Story of Us, she was the daughter.
In the television series Stargate SG-1, she was Ally in season two and then took on the role of Cassandra.
She won a Gemini Award for her role in A Feeling Called Glory, in which she played the dying teenager Helen.
But, music has always been important to her, so much so that, when she was a student in a theatre school in New York, she quit because she wanted to study musical theatre and was refused.
Her voice was too low and untrained, she was told.
She signed a deal with Shady Records within six months.
That relationship didn’t last and Rennison returned to Vancouver, created the band Little Sister and played a show with Ian Brown of the Matthew Good Band.
The drummer was impressed, told his friend Parker Bossley of Hot Hot Heat the two should write songs and “Parker and I ended up meeting in January 2011 and had a few writing sessions, which now makes up the bulk of our EP,” Boo Hoo Hoo, Rennison said.
She’s writing with a lot of songs for the next release, expected in 2013, with guitarist Eric Campbell, Rennison said, although “there really isn’t a formula. We’re just making music however it comes.”
Rounding out the band is Matt Camirand on bass, a veteran of Black Mountain.
Rennison said the band draws its musical influence from “life, mostly, and the soundtrack to the lives we live.
“Whether it’s an old Lucille Bogan song, Tom Waits or Prince, we’re constantly listening to and showing each other new things.
“Ian and Eric have great taste. I’m so lucky to be constantly getting mu horizons expanded.”
Her own influences come from “the Tina Turners and the Otis Reddings and the Mick Jaggers and Janis [Joplins] of the world.
“I love it when you can watch a single soul stand in front of a band and communicate so much story and emotion with nothing but their body and a microphone.”
Rennison said her life may sound crazy, but “I manage. I thrive in chaos but am learning to make it a little bit more routine.
“Routine chaos, what a concept — but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I’ve always, always known I wanted to be a singer,” Rennison said.
“I was something I came out of the womb with. As soon as I had any sense of self, for as long as I can remember, I’ve know that singing on a stage was where I wanted to be.”
This is the first time the annual food-bank fundraiser has brought in a band from outside Kamloops.
Created in the aftermath of news reports of a dire situation at the agency, the goal has always been to highlight local musicians.
This year, the show includes Solara, a new musical venture by Earthbound’s lead singer Kira Gosselin. Matt Stanley and the Decoys are also on the bill, as is the Henry Small Band.
It was Small who recommended approaching No Sinner to join the fundraiser.
Small said beyond the total package of talent the band has is the simple fact it’s starting to make its name in places like New York City.
The fundraiser has also benefitted through the years from support from the Blue Grotto but, this year, it was decided to move the date from a weeknight to a weekend, so it has been moved to the Kamloops Convention Centre.
Admission remains $10 plus three non-perishable food items.
Tickets are available at the door, at the food bank (171 Wilson St) or at Kamloops This Week (1365B Dalhousie Dr.)
Doors open at 6 p.m., and music starts at 7 p.m., a change from the previously advertised opening and start times.