Families at Saturday’s Right to Play fundraiser took in a star-studded roster of musicians including Ron Sexsmith and the Violet Archers featuring Tim Vesely. Most attendees blissfully ice skated and drank hot chocolate while big-name stars played in the background, but all eyes were glued to the stage for I Eat Kids, a band comprised of actual children. From oldest to youngest, they are Zoe, 10; Sadie, 10; Georgia, 9; Edi, 8; Oliver, 6; and Jessa, 6. Okay, awww.
But not only are they adorable, these Kids can actually play. Their brief set featured four original songs with names like “Memories” and “Love Song,” all of them short, sweet, and catchy as heck. The band moms and dads, when they weren’t helping to warm frozen fingers, stood on the side and danced and cheered like crazed fans at a stadium show. Besides supportive parents, the kids also have musical relatives: Georgia’s aunt is Sarah Harmer, and Sadie’s dad is Vesely.
Piling into the skating rink change room to warm up, I Eat Kids smoosh together and chatter excitedly about the band’s early beginnings in Guitar Club at school. Says Zoe, “We had this idea to start a rock band, and we told everybody and at first there were like twenty people in it. Then we really narrowed it down.” They picked the name I Eat Kids after seeing it written on someone’s backpack. The first song they played together was “Smoke on the Water” with new lyrics that they made up. From those early jam sessions they went on to gig at school variety shows, potlucks, Pedestrian Sunday, and eventually Superfuzz Audio and the Concord Cafe (“They gave us free milkshakes!”).
Even though there are three sets of siblings in the band, Georgia says there isn’t as much interfamily fighting as interfriend fighting between her, Sadie, and Zoe. “But whenever we get into a fight, Sadie just plays a happy song on her ukulele.” They also speak of a rivalry with an all-boy band at their school, whom they refer to affectionately as “the enemy band” but insist they are actually friends with.
And what do they like besides playing in a band? Everyone shouts out at once: “Sushi!” “Breakdancing!” “Playing kickball!” “Building snowforts!” They hate Miley Cyrus (the very mention of her incites shouts of disgust) and love the Beatles and the Jackson 5. If they could play a show with any band in the world it would be Oasis. And what about the future? Do they want to be famous? “We want to have a MySpace and a website and record songs and gig more,” says Georgia. “And we want to be famous, but not super famous.” Ah, to be young again.
Photos by Michael Chrisman/Torontoist.