JUBILEE: Haywire to rock the stage Friday night

Canadian rockers Haywire are excited to be headlining on the Jubilee stage this year.

The band, originally from Charlottetown, PEI, will be the featured act on opening night, Friday, 11 p.m. to 12:15 a.m.

Formed in 1981 by David Rashed, Paul MacAussland, Marvin Birt, Scott Roberts and Ronnie Switzer, Haywire has had plenty of success – so much so that the New Glasgow audience is sure to be singing along with every song.

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Unless, of course, that song happens to be new material audience has never heard before because, Rashed says, they are working on new material.

“We’re writing new material,” Rashed promised, but there is no release date for a new album yet. The members are not full-time Haywire band now, having gone on to lead lives and raise families. “We’re trying to fit it in between our lives,” Rashed explained.

But he noted, “Been writing the past few years and I’m optimistic that it’ll (the album) be finished by the end of the year.”

Since the band’s heyday in the mid-1980s, they have built a steady fan base of their music. Hits like Bad Bad Boy, Standin’ in Line, Shot in the Dark, Dance Desire, and Black and Blue made them a household name clear across the country and saw them share the stage with other Canadian music icons like Kim Mitchell and Honeymoon Suite.

This will be a return to the area for the rockers. Rashed remembers performing here “a few years back” and said, “I have great memories.”

Haywire shot to fame in 1984 when they won the Q104 Homegrown Vol. 1 contest. First prize was the chance to record a single, but they took the opportunity to invest their own money and record a five-song EP, which eventually sold more than 5,000 copies in the Maritimes. Then in 1985 they won the Labatt’s Battle of the Bands, and used the $10,000 first prize to record more material.

There was no stopping them. Their first full-length album, Bad Boys, went platinum in Canada, while the title track became a Top 40 hit. The following year, they released Don’t Just Stand There, which also went platinum and contained their highest charting hit, Dance Desire.

There were more albums, hits and videos over the next decade. Their final album – so far – was Buzz, released in 1992. The band has had their albums re-issued on CD through Unidisc Music.

In 2011, Haywire was presented with the Dr. Helen Creighton ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ from the East Coast Music Association (ECMA).

Anyone who has ever had the pleasure of seeing the band live will appreciate the energy they bring to their performances.

“We love to see the fans singing along to the songs. It really takes people back, ya know?” Rashed said. “We’re really looking forward to coming back and having a great time.”

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Jackie is a Pictou County native and proud graduate of St. Francis Xavier University. She is a writer, editor and fledgling home cook. She has been in the newspaper business for almost three decades and jokes that she started when she was in her teens! She enjoys traveling, socializing and volunteering in her community.