This poster turned a group of preteens into Canmore's newest rock band

·2 min read
Two Canmore restaurants booked the band after seeing their posters in a local Facebook group. (Paula Duhatschek/CBC - image credit)
Two Canmore restaurants booked the band after seeing their posters in a local Facebook group. (Paula Duhatschek/CBC - image credit)

The members of Canmore's newest rock group may be too young to buy beer, vote or even get their learner's permits — but that hasn't dampened their rock and roll dreams.

The Four Ducks started playing together in Grade 5, with Timmy Mann on guitar, Charlie Kestle on drums and Oliver Robins on bass. Levi Reeves, on drums, completed the group when he joined earlier this year.

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"We decided to just jam one day and then eventually we decided that we would be a band, not just play together," said Mann, 13, who's been playing guitar since he was four.

The group practises after school and at lunch hour in their school's music room. Credit for their name goes to Kestle, who wanted a title that reflected the four band members.

Paula Duhatschek/CBC
Paula Duhatschek/CBC

"Just right off the top of my head, I said 'Ducks,'" said the 12-year-old. "At first, it was kind of cringey, but now it feels like a nice name."

The group has played in front of classmates before but decided last week to take their act to a wider audience. Mann and Kestle designed a logo and posters, and biked around town putting up posters on bulletin boards and cans.

Paula Duhatschek/CBC
Paula Duhatschek/CBC

Soon, the analog-style ads were posted in a local Facebook group, where they quickly racked up hundreds of likes and dozens of comments. Just a few days later, the band was booked to play its first official gigs at two local restaurants.

"I was surprised, for sure," said Robins, 12. "One was really surprising, No. 2 was like, 'OK, this is really cool.'"

'Feel their energy through the poster'

Paula Duhatschek/CBC
Paula Duhatschek/CBC

One of the group's bookings is at Sauvage, a Canmore eatery.

The restaurant has hosted live music before, but the Four Ducks will be "absolutely the youngest crew I've ever had," said owner Tracy Little.

Little said she was struck by the group's gumption and by their hand-drawn poster. She also remembers playing in a band herself at 13 and having nowhere to perform aside from the local Boys and Girls Club.

"You can feel their energy through their poster," said Little. "I think I just needed to give them a shot."

The band is hard at work getting ready for their gigs next weekend. They plan to play a set of 10 covers, a mix of genres from the White Stripes to Dr. Dre.

And while some might be surprised to encounter a live band made up of performers who aren't yet in high school, the drummer says they're up to the challenge.

"You can really do anything at any age, as long as you practise and just have fun with it," said Reeves, 13.