Queen City Kids reunite to conjure that ’80s prairie-rock vibe

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ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 28, 1991

By Steve Newton

John Donnelly likes to rock. But between producing things like Band Warz, Guitar Warz, and Vocal Warz for the PromoCo arm of Feldman and Associates, the 33-year-old father of two doesn’t get a lot of opportunities to steal the spotlight.

That’ll all change at 86 Street next Friday (March 29), when Donnelly reunites with the other members of his old Winnipeg-via-Regina band, the Queen City Kids. And believe it or not, these guys have been playing together (on and off) since they were 13, when they played in front of 10,000 people at the Regina Exhibition.

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“When we get together it’s like four brothers,” says Donnelly. “We haven’t seen each other in a long time, so there’s lots of laughs, but then when we play we instantly lock into the groove and play tight. It’s pretty amazing.”

Unlike some so-called reunions, the upcoming QCK show will feature all the original members of the sharp-edged rock act that was a big hit on the prairies back in the early ’80s. Singer Alex Chuaqui, guitarist Kevin “California” Fyhn, and drummer Jeff Germain are all taking time off from their jobs as home renovators and Keg managers to give old tunes like “Dance”, “Black Box”, and “Down Again”—and a couple of Chuaqui’s new ones—another go.

“It’s sort of a make it or break it situation for us here,” explains Donnelly. “If we do well and get some people out, I think we’ll be able to get a few more gigs. But if we stiff, it’s over. So I’m out there tacking up posters myself and spreading tickets around the city.”

Donnelly says that it’s not likely the Queen City Kids would ever be in the position to get back together full-time but admits that they’d like to make another recording, if the logistics of time and money will permit. In the meantime, he has other ways to get his kicks.

“I’m also the bass player in the CFOX Electric Lunch Orchestra, so I moonlight and still get my chops in. The business side can be frustrating, so when I do get out and play, it’s almost therapy for me.”

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