Political Satire Becomes Road to Popular Success Winnipeg Free Press
Monday, November 1, 1993

Political Satire Becomes Road to Popular Success

by Tracy Barron

Moxy Früvous
Pantages Playhouse
8pm Wenesday
$18.50 at Ticketmaster

St. John's, Nfld. - Members of the politically satirical quartet Moxy Früvous didn't think they had quite so much clout. They wrote a song bashing the reign of the federal conservatives, and the party was almost wiped out in Monday's election, winning only two seats. "We had no idea our Tory Potion No. 9 song...was going to be so effective nationally." says drummer Jean Ghomeshi. Moxy Früvous stops in Winnipeg for a concert Wednesday at the Pantages Playhouse Theatre.

"I really don't know what's going to happen o them. What a humiliation!" Ghomeshi and his three bandmates were busy this week changing the lyrics to a song specifically written for the election. An example:

It's election week and I'm about to freak
Because I don't know what the parties are planning
But I'll lose my wealth and screw my health
And vote for Preston Manning.

About a third of Moxy Früvous's songs have a short lifespan. That was all right when the Toronto band was being commissioned by the CBC to write about certain issues.

But it doesn't wash as recording artists.

Since signing a recording deal with Warner Music Canada, Moxy Früvous (pronounced froo'-ves) has had to change styles a bit. Their first full-length CD, Bargainville, released this past summer, had to be written with a shelf life in mind.

The group still likes the biting political satire, especially Ghomeshi, who holds a political science degree. It makes him feel like he's putting his university years to good use.

"There's no time for me to regret not being politically active when I can incorporate it into my songs." he said in a phone interview from Calgary earlier this week.

It may not always make it on an album, but the satire does get to the stage.

"In our live show one of the things we really like to do is learn what's going on wherever we go and write a few lyrics or improvise lyrics so we have a sense of community between us and the audience," Ghomeshi says. The band got its start busking on the streets of Toronto. The theatrics came into play when the four members realized the more colorful the group, the more money they made.

But instead of attracting loonies, they snagged a CBC executive; The band was writing songs for radio and television spots when their style of music took off.

"If you had said to me two years ago on the street where we were busking that in a couple of years we would have a No. 1 Canadian album, I would have collapsed in laughter," says Ghomeshi. The band's next single - My Baby Loves a Bunch of Authors - is due out soon for radio play.

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