Sugar and spice and everything nice.
Using a sweet blend of well-known favourites tossed with a couple of originals tunes, All Day Sugar could easily be cause for a few musical cavities.
Led by the vigorous, bleach-blond vocalist Sammi Tully, the local musicians have been looking to push the limits of confectionary resonance, hitting notes for their own ears as well as their audiences.
“We call that putting some sugar on it. We’ll just ‘sugar it up.’ That’s the lingo in the band to say we’re going to make it our own,” says the light-hearted Tully.
Putting out vibes for close to two years, the band includes Chris Simnett on bass, Trevor Alway at the drums and guitarist Todd Crawford. This trio also harmonizes on backup vocals.
When first formed, All Day Sugar put out songs lending to the strength of a female lead, moving in the direction of such rock stars as Janis Joplin and the accompanying ’60s-’70s pop groove.
“In the beginning typically we directed ourselves to female (lead) songs but now it doesn’t matter. If it’s a good song we’re going to play it,” says Tully, who initially gravitated towards more comfortable gal-led bands.
“At first we definitely did,” she says. “Honestly I was a little insecure about singing a song especially by a male to a female. But then I got over it. A song is a song – if it sounds great we do it.”
Apart from a handful of originals – Not Gonna Stop and Sittin’ Alone (which can be found on ReverbNation or the All Day Sugar Facebook page) – the quartet throws in an ambrosial blend of hits from the 1960s to the present.
During a usual set the audience can hear renditions of Sweeney Todd’s Roxy Roller, Tainted Love by Soft Cell, 54-40’s Ocean Pearl and Neil Young’s Rockin’ in the Free World as well as more recent numbers including Adele’s Rumour Has It and Hot N Cold by Katy Perry.
But don’t let the band’s name fool you – the delivery is anything but candy-coated.
“I think our niche is rock. We love to rock and get people to dance. Our little slogan is ‘Alberta’s hottest rocking party band.’ That’s what we [thrive] on,” says Tully, who is adding a few country classic numbers for Stampede season.
In their beginnings, drummer Alway and bassist Simnett were drawn to the classically trained vocalist, Tully, through collaboration with other bands. They added Crawford to the group shortly after that.
Tully spent her childhood singing in musicals and choirs, hitting every note during her developmental years and graduating with classical voice lessons.
“Before I could even form conversations with people I would be singing songs about them,” she says. “Classical voice training is kind of like jazz dancing – once you can classically sing you can sing anything. It’s (more) a well-rounded technique of singing than it is a style.”
Working together, the All Day Sugar musicians refined their creamy Neapolitan sound and even added a few sprinkles on top. Working around full-time jobs and family commitments, the group finds time to play gigs at several Calgary locations (Century Casino and Chelsea’s Pub & Grill), The Krave in Airdrie, and local festivals throughout the summer as well as events and weddings.
“Ultimately our goal is to be locally famous. If we could get into a recording studio we would love to, but ultimately what we want is to be well-known in Airdrie,” says Tully.