Odds | The Canadian Encyclopedia



Odds, a Vancouver rock group formed in November 1987 by Craig Northey (guitar, vocals), Steven Drake (guitar, vocals), Doug Elliot (bass) and Paul Brennan (drums).


Odds, a Vancouver rock group formed in November 1987 by Craig Northey (guitar, vocals), Steven Drake (guitar, vocals), Doug Elliot (bass) and Paul Brennan (drums). Until 1991, the 4 covered their living expenses by performing as the parody cover band Dawn Patrol and, less regularly, as the Croontoons with Vince Ditrich from SPIRIT OF THE WEST.

A 1989 showcase in Los Angeles sparked interest from record companies and eventually led to a deal with LA label Zoo Records. Neopolitan (1991) showcased the group's classically moulded pop-rock sound, which adroitly combined Beatlesque harmonies, cutting guitar riffs and wryly intelligent lyrics. Neither the debut album nor Bedbugs (1993) was a commercial success, despite critical acclaim and modest Canadian airplay for singles such as "Wendy Under the Stars" and "Heterosexual Man."

In 1994 Brennan relocated to Toronto and joined Big Sugar. His replacement was Pat Steward, who had performed with Elliot a decade earlier in the group Rubber Biscuit and later worked with Bryan ADAMS and Glen Stace. The third Odds album, Good Weird Feeling (1995), was released by Warner Music Canada. National touring with THE TRAGICALLY HIP introduced the quartet to a mass audience in Canada; album sales reached 130 000 behind such singles as "Truth Untold,""Eat My Brain" and "Satisfied." A fourth album, Nest (1996), featured the singles "Someone Who's Cool" and "Make You Mad."

Odds disbanded in 1999, after which Drake pursued a career as producer/engineer for The Tragically Hip, Kim Bingham, 54.40, Staggered Crossing, Static In Stereo and others. Northey released a solo album, Giddy Up, in 2003 and established himself as a hired-gun songwriter for the likes of Roseanne Cash, Colin JAMES, The Who and Wide Mouth Mason. A long creative relationship with The Kids in the Hall continues for Northey with his role as musical director on the comedy troupe's periodic North American tours. He also co-wrote the theme song for Brent Butt's CTV sitcom Corner Gas. Steward (who joined Matthew Good's touring band) and Elliot have performed with Northey in the group Sharkskin as well as Stripper's Union (led by the Tragically Hip's Rob Baker).

Minus Drake, the band regrouped as The New Odds in 2007 with the addition of Ladysmith, BC, guitarist and keyboards player Murray Atkinson. The 14-track album Cheerleader was released in 2008.

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