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Don’t sleep on Waking Up Biscuit

The Halifax-based band resonates with students

A new Halifax-based student band is bringing in crowds to local music venues. On Mar. 3 they played to a sold out crowd at Gus’ Pub.

The band is made of Tasha Moller on drums, Olly Lawson on saxophone, Chardy MacDougall on keys, Ewan Fotheringham on bass, Kieran Sabsay on lead guitar and Charlie Graf as the lead singer and rhythm guitarist.

The six students in Waking Up Biscuit set up their gear—two guitars, a bass, a keyboard, a drum set, a saxophone and a mic stand—in Sabsay’s bedroom. 

Sabsay leans his mattress against the wall so they have enough space. 

“Biscuit” is the nickname for one of Sabsay’s roommates and Graf’s girlfriend. The band’s name jokes about their playing loudly in a shared house. 

Waking Up Biscuit has played shows at King’s Wardroom, RadStorm and Gus’ Pub. At a show in early March at The Gus’ Pub, Waking Up Biscuit opened for The Satisfactory and played to a sold out crowd.

The spirit of the band

All shows turned out crowds of students who cheered and swayed along to the music. 

“I’ve never been more excited my entire life,” says Sabsay before their show at the Wardroom. 

The band sits together at a table near the makeshift stage, patting each others’ shoulders and shaking out the nerves. 

“The songs themselves are pretty much like, it’s all just muscle memory at this point. I’m more worried about interacting with the crowd,” says Graf.  

Despite the initial nerves, the crowd demanded an encore after their performance at the Wardroom. 

“I think being able to play in a space that we’re all so comfortable in, spending so much time in —as well as playing in front of so many of our friends—made for a very warm, very comforting first show,” says Sabsay.

By their second performance, the band has warmed up to being on stage. During the first song of their set, Sabsay breaks a string on his guitar. Rather than panic, the band’s personality shines through while buying time. 

Moller starts drumming a beat, MacDougall and Fotheringham following along on keys and bass. The crowd recognizes the tune of  The Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” and starts singing. Lawson and Graf lead the crowd, occasionally messing up the lyrics and laughing while singing along. 

Within minutes, Sabsay is back on stage and jamming to Waking Up Biscuit’s original songs.

Inspirations and future plans

For a new band, who has only been rehearsing since November, Waking Up Biscuit’s performances are impressive, with a cohesive sound inspired by the band Black Country, New Road. 

The instruments blend well together, the catchy guitar riffs lead the melody, and interludes of piano and saxophone deepen the sound and create an atmosphere of nostalgia. 

The last song they play, “Sweet Angelina”, is particularly beautiful. It has great melodic builds and showcases Lawson and MacDougall’s instruments more prominently than other songs. 

Sabsay says booking more shows was easy after their initial performances, and the bookers and bar managers have helped him in the process of finding places to play. 

“I don’t know if this is just Halifax, but they’re all super nice, really eager,” says Sabsay.

Waking Up Biscuit hopes to record an album in the future. They are in the process of recording their first single, “Girl From Down the Hill”.

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