Salt Spring Music & Garlic Festival: The Odds

The following article was written by Jessica Harkema as part of a series of articles about performers coming to the Salt Spring Music & Garlic Festival on August 6-7, 2016. For more information and tickets, go to

The Odds, closing down the night on August 6th, will bring you to your feet as they rock the evening away. Founded in 1987, the band had their first break in 1990 after the crew traveled to LA doing show cases and finished signing with Zoo Entertainment. The Odds played together for over a decade, and were nominated 5 times for Juno Awards. In 1999, the group split but in 2007, the band members Craig Northey, Doug Elliott, Pat Steward came back together with new guitarist Murray Atkinson. The band continues to play at festivals and events across Canada. In 2010/2011, the band was named Vancouver Canucks House Band during the NHL Playoffs.

The Odds took the time to sit down with a Salt Spring Music & Garlic Festival Producer and run through a short interview, keep your eyes peeled, there is a lot of Salt Spring insight here.

SSMGF: What is your favourite aspect about the music you play for your audiences?

ODDS: I guess there is joy in just physically playing these songs with my brothers in the Odds. After all these years we look forward to every chance to make music together. Our audiences come to have fun so when the music sets that in motion and you can see smiles and watch the bodies moving in front of you creates a positive feedback loop. The music gets better as people react.

SSMGF: What’s a favourite or top 10 moment from performing or seeing a show on Salt Spring?

ODDS: As a trio we once played the Treehouse - I was disappointed it was not way up in a tree like the Swiss Family Robinson but it was still fun. All Salt Spring shows come with a hint of the magic of the natural world. For us urbanites it's like going to do a gig in the garden of Eden except instead of apples the snakes hand you garlic! People just wear fig leaves everywhere so in that way it's the same. People come to enjoy the music and afterward the air and sky and ocean consume your senses in a glorious way.

SSMGF: How much do you like garlic? Do you grow garlic? What is your favourite recipe?

ODDS: I don't grow garlic but it's a staple in our house. It makes everything taste better except ice cream. I know someone will try to sell me on that, and I'm willing to try, but for now it is a base that starts almost every savoury meal I improvise.

SSMGF: Do you believe garlic grows better when music is played to it? What would you play to your growing rows of garlic?

ODDS: All music is good for growing. Some think heavy metal is too much but some hardy head banging garlic is sometimes required in this world.

SSMGF: As with the Salt Spring Music & Garlic Festival who supports local farmers, how do you give back to your community?

ODDS: Over the last few years we've thrown our efforts behind youth mental health (LGH Foundation new youth mental health facility), Vancouver Adapted Music Society- to level the playing field and make music accessible to all - , the Odd Squad outreach arm of the VPD (at risk youth) and the causes of the Vancouver Canucks Alumni Foundation. Musicians are socially minded and many of the shows one plays each year have a community charity attached.

SSMGF: What are you looking forward to at the Salt Spring Music & Garlic Festival?

ODDS: I am looking forward to basking in the Salt Spring vibe, connecting with family and friends, having some fresh and tasty food and rocking our garlic cloves off! Maybe Tom Hooper is in town to sit in with us. He's the dreamiest hunk in Canadian rock!

SSMGF: Where do you think we’ll find you the morning after the festival?

ODDS: Doug's dad lives there. I am going to be sitting at his feet at the top of Mt. Maxwell and getting advice. He's kind of a guru. His son is one of the best bass players in the world and we tricked him into joining our band 29 years ago. I want to learn how Mr.Elliott groomed such a fabulous beast and then pass that on to my children. I will, however, ask my kids not to take up the bass. They broke the mould with Elliott and Hooper.

I also love to go running so I will probably be running in the woods with as little clothing on as possible. That's the rule of Salt Spring right?

Salt Spring - The Odds

For more info on the band:

Loving the Odd’s excitement? So are we! Check out to see who else will join the Odds at this year’s festivities.

July 14, 2016 4:09 PM

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