Going to the gym is like a second job. You’re glad you did it after dragging yourself there before or after work, throwing yourself upon the treadmill and getting sweaty — but the initial motivation is sometimes a tough one. When you’re done, you want to reward yourself. Some make a nice meal, some watch bad TV and eat chips, some just take a shower or nap.
Or, if you listen to the message the band Queen City puts forth in their song “Whiskey In My Water Bottle,” you pour yourself a cold, delicious glass of whiskey and proceed to rock out.
“I mean, I personally don’t necessarily condone that for everyone, but it’s definitely a thought,” said Sasha Alcott, bassist and vocalist for the Bangor four-piece. “It’s a song about a certain member of the band’s proclivity to go to the gym, drink whiskey and rock out. Who that is will remain a mystery.”
The hardworking, hard-partying spirit may be more present in just one of the four — Alcott, Allison Melton, Chris Dodd and Emily Pappas — but
the idea that rock ‘n’ roll is the best therapy around is something anyone can get behind. Queen City will play at 9:30 p.m. Saturday, June 5, at Paddy Murphy’s in downtown Bangor.
Melton, lead vocalist for the group, also plays a bright red electric ukulele, and has written a number of indie pop songs she recorded in her bedroom. Alcott, by day a chemistry teacher at Bangor High School, has played in many bands over the years, including fronting her own band, Sasha Alcott and the Possibilities, during the nearly ten years she lived in New York City. Upon her return to her hometown of Bangor in 2006, she soon after formed the band Feel It Robot with area musicians Mike Flannery, Dan Flannery, Brittany Hummel and Kat Johnson.
Feel It Robot disbanded in mid-2009, but fortunately Alcott and Melton got together a few months later to jam out. Melton brought on board two friends: Chris Dodd, a longtime guitarist who’d never really played in a band, and Emily Pappas, a drummer often seen getting behind the kit at open mic nights around town.
“We just started messing around,” said Alcott. “‘Whiskey In My Water Bottle’ was actually the first song we ever wrote. They just started coming together after that.”
Queen City play good old-fashioned rock ‘n’ roll, with a sweet, sensitive underlying nature. Songs like “Whiskey” and “Late Night Call” have big, crowd-pleasing, sing-along hooks, while others showcase Melton’s gift for melody and the raw musicality of Alcott, Pappas and Dodd’s playing.
“I think we all compliment each other really well,” said Alcott. “Allison has this wonderful sense of melody. Emily brings this joie de vivre and lightness to everything. Chris is so laid back, which is a really great juxtaposition to my driving, kind of punk rock sensibility. We push each other outside of our comfort zones.”
Like its namesake, Queen City is a band that could only come out of Bangor, with its close knit downtown community and hunger for new, fun things to do. Whether the band is playing a house show in a basement apartment for 20 or 30 of its best friends, or they’re playing an all night gig at a local bar — as long as the vibe is right, Queen City is happy.
“I think one of the most important lessons any band or musician can learn is that as long there’s a moment during a show where everyone in the band is enjoying each other, and everyone in the audience is enjoying each other too, then that’s the best show you can play,” said Alcott. “A lot of bands think there’s a certain trajectory you have to follow, that you have to be playing shows like this here for these people by this time. I don’t buy that. I think you always have to have fun.”
Queen City will play at 9:30 p.m. Saturday, June 5, at Paddy Murphy’s in Bangor. For information, look up Queen City on Facebook.