Showing posts from 2014

NYE 2015 eatArt: Ascension

We are truly excited to be performing at this year's eatArt New Year's Eve event, "Ascension." EatArt is a charitable organization / artists' collective that has been making exceptional events for the past five years here in Vancouver.  We've been asked to be one of the evening's entertainers and it appears that we shall have the midnight spot at the show.  Combine the Victorious will be opening the new year!

This is a pretty spectacular event, and we've heard impressive things about previous years, so we both expect it to be a fantatstic way to begin 2015!

Here's a link to the FB event  EatArt: NYE 2015 Ascension
eatART Presents: Ascension New Years Eve 2015

Come join us on an epic journey from darkness to light as we ring in the New Year. Experience the evils of petrol consumerism and ascend towards a sustainable utopia. Oh and not to mention dance your face off in our giant warehouse art laboratory.

Mark Woodyard: sound…

Fashion and Music - Winter Wool

We have used our new instrumental as the backing music to a new clip promoting Isabelle's shop here in Vancouver.  Stand in Front of Tanks seems to go along with knitting wool!

Isabelle Dunlop Clothing 4158 Main St, Vancouver Hours: Weds-Sunday 12-6 e-mail:


If you are in the mood for some new music, this Sunday Combine the Victorious will be performing at the Reef Restaurant just three doors down from the clothing store.  We will be trying out another new song as well as testing our set for the show at the Hindenburg on December 18th.  
Happy Xmas!

December 18th at The Hinderburg

We will be joining our Catlow and the Lower 48 along with The Lion at the Hindenburg later this month on Thursday Dec 18th.  Looking forward to trying out a new club in Vancouver!

It's going to be a busy month between shows at The Reef (Dec 14th), The Hindenburg, and a new year's eve gig with the Eat Art Collection.  Have a great holiday season and be generous to each other!  Hope to see you at one of the shows.

Stand in Front of Tanks

This is a work in progress but we were both really having fun with it and wanted to share tonight.  An instrumental, first draft, but I think it's working well!  Check it out!

Sunday at The Reef

We will be performing live at The Reef, 4172 Main St, Vancouver, this coming Sunday, November 9th and the second Sunday of each month following.  We're going to be trying out new songs, as well as reworking tracks from our last releases.  Come in out of the rain and warm up at with us as we prepare songs for our next album.  It's a great vibe.

Don Harrison on Guitar

This past week we had the pleasure of Don Harrison (guitarist of Sons of Freedom) join us in the studio to lay down some tracks for two Combine songs.  One is a reworking of a favorite that sounds dramatically different from its prior incarnation, the other is a new song that we'd kinda pulled off the stove in the summer to regain a little objectivity.

For those who may not know Sons of Freedom, or Don Harrison, I feel duty bound to sing their praises!  (here's a link to an early single "Criminal" - perhaps you'll remember?)  SOF was one of the coolest and most important rock bands in Canada back in their day.  Though never a popular as some of the contemporaries, Sons of Freedom were a seminal act with a powerful rhythm section and precise dual guitar sound that could melt your face live (as they just did at their reunion show this past October) but still allow you to have a bit of a dance while they did it!  Don is a brilliant guitarist with chops and style for…

Rock 'n' Roll Marathon

This Sunday morning  (october 26th) we will be a part of the inaugural Rock 'n' Roll Marathon here in Vancouver.  The Rn R Marathon is a half marathon that has the distinction of having a live music soundtrack!  All along the marathon course will be several bands, each performing as the majority of the runners goes by.

Combine the Victorious will be playing at one of the early stages, we're on from 8:15 to around 9 Am this Sunday morning.  (for anyone who knows us, this is ridiculously early for either of us, but we've got the gig and we're doing it!)

So, if you're running in the race give us a wave as you go by.  We've got some new tunes ready to perform and they should provide the perfect soundtrack for a rainy Sunday morning!  
Read more about the marathon here
Cheers! Mark and Isabelle

a brief history of It's Still On (Please)

Our new track - It's Still On - has a long history.  We initially wrote and recorded a version for our second release, the Disagreements EP.   It was an ok recording but really in retrospect I always heard it as a demo rather than a finished record.  We'd shared the writing with our pals Barry Flynn and Ingrid Schroeder and it was an exciting moment.  However, the years rolled by and the song started to feel forgotten.

We were considering tunes to play for Isabelle's parents Golden Anniversary, and, because there was going to be a piano at the party, I recalled our old song Please.  It was written around a completely free form piano part, with wildly varying tempos and time signatures, very romantic.  Isabelle and I began rehearsing for Scotland and after the first time we tried it just with piano for accompaniment we both felt the excitement again.

While over in Scotland, we had the pleasure of driving up through the Highlands and had a brilliant visit with Barry and In…

It's Still On

We are very pleased to share our song It's Still On.   Our good friend Paul Schroeder (Stone Roses, Campag Velocet) has gifted us with this new mix.  Let us know what you think, leave a message here or follow us on Facebook / Twitter.

It's Still On - produced and performed by Combine the Victorious
Written by Mark R Henning, Isabelle Dunlop, Ingrid Schroeder and Barry Flynn
Mixed by Paul Schroeder
Mastered at The Valt Studio by Jordy Birch and MRH

Vocals: Isabelle Dunlop, Mark R Henning
Backing Vocals: Ingid Schroeder, Barry Flynn
Drums: Kevin Jones
all other instruments: MRH

A Summer of Recording

I know it's been a while since we'e posted anything on this blog, and I apologize for the delay.  After we got back from Scotland things have just been constantly busy!

However, we have a the first of the new material finishing up and we've just completed a reworking of an old favourite of ours.  A song we wrote with our friends Barry Flynn and Ingrid Schroeder back in 2008 called Please, now re-titled It's Still On, will soon be up online.  Just putting some finishing touches on the mix.  We 've even approached the mysterious Paul Schroeder (Stones Roses, Verve, Campag Velocet) to do a mix - still waiting on that one!

Tomorrow I we'll start letting a few glimpses of the music out again.  It's been a long time and it'll be great to have our new music out there.

Thanks for reading.


Scotland, our first open mic.

We just got back from a fantastic trip around Scotland.  It flew by and we had a brilliant time.  From visiting pals Ingrid Schroeder and Barry Flynn up in Cromarty to attending Isabelle's parents Golden anniversary party in Kilmarnock, to concluding with a riotous time in the Golf Tavern in Edinburgh, it was a hectic pile of adventures.

We arrived at around 10AM in Glasgow, after a movie filled but sleepless flight.  We then rented a little Fiat 500 to drive five hours north up to Cromarty.  We took the A82 and drove a gorgeous route through some of the loveliest countryside I've ever seen.  Loch Lomond is stunning, and we both felt doubly impressed because it was an absolutely perfect day, sunny, warm, and completely rainless!  I confess that the drive took a little more effort than I expected, but driving on the left and having to shift gears on the opposite hand didn't allow a lot of grace that first day.  (sorry to the clutch!)  That first night concluded with a 4AM s…

Off to Scotland!

We'll be heading to Scotland for a week tomorrow.  Going to Isabelle's parents golden anniversary party in Ayreshire, and hopefully take a quick peak at the highlands too!

We'll attempt to send photos once we get there, cheers!

Recording: Leigh Grant on Drums

We recently had the pleasure of having old friend and former Pure bandmate Leigh Grant come into the studio and record drums on new Combine the Victorious songs.   It was a near complete Pure reunion that day, as Jordy Birch* was on hand to help with production.  The song in the clip below (Come Down) is a track that was co-written with Justin "Juice" Kadis and Misty Reid, we'd started it in 2013 but never completed the recording.  As Isabelle and I listened back to it this spring I could hear where live drums could really add a lot of life to the track. Live drums always seem to have that magic. So we asked Leigh to come down to the studio and put down his magic.  The section of this clip is the very first time Leigh's putting drums to the song, I love how much energy he adds from the very first cymbal crash.

Thanks again Leigh, sounds amazing!  As I was messing with the mix a bit I solo'd his performance and found myself thinking of Pureafunalia, (Pure's fi…

Crumbling Hearts Live

Recorded during our show at the Fox Cabaret opening up for Sex With Strangers on May 29th, 2014. This is our revised version of Crumbling Hearts that we've worked out for our duo show.

We'd like to thank our good friends Sex With Strangers for adding us to the bill on their album release party night.  It was an entertaining evening of music and it was a pleasure to share the stage with SWs and ACTORS!  Check 'em both out if you haven't already.

Check out the original version from our last EP (Crumbling Hearts) if you haven't already.  

Camera operators:  Mike Love Benn McGuire
Editing: Mark Henning
Check out Industry Night Live for similar live videos of local bands!  

Live video

We were lucky enough to have a couple great camera operators video our last live show at the Fox Cabaret last week.  I'm currently trying to edit together a clip of one of the songs from the live show.  It's looking pretty good but unfortunately there have been a few glitches along the way to impede progress.  However we shall prevail and hopefully have something to upload before long.  Please stand by!

Thanks to Mike Love and Benn McGuire for their work behind the lens!

This Thursday May 29th - Fox Cabaret

We are really excited to be playing the Fox Cabaret this Thursday night.  We'll be opening the night for headliners Sex With Strangers album release party.  Also on the bill is a favourite band of ours ACTORS and War Baby.  2321 Main Street, doors at 8.  Combine the Victorious is on a 8:30, plus it is a FREE SHOW!  So there are no reasons not to attend.  It will be a great night of music, without a doubt.

Isabelle and I are keen to try out a brand new song for this show.  We both feel as though it might be the first single from our next album and there's nothing like playing a song live to get a feeling for how it works.  Of course we'll also be performing some of our strongest songs off the Crumbling Hearts ep as well, though we've given each of them a little special update to make everything feel fresh and exciting.

If you are reading this and possess a camera capable of taking decent video footage we'd love for you to come down and film the set.  I'm hoping…

Next Show May 29th at the Fox Cabaret

Thursday, May 29th 2014 at the Fox Cabaret, 2321 Main Street Vancouver. We'll be opening for Sex With Strangers who are celebrating their fifth full length release "You Know Something We Don't?"

Also on the bill are Actors, War Baby and Combine the Victorious.  We'll be opening, so please make sure to get down there for 8:30.  Plus, the added bonus for this event, it is FREE!

Doors at 8PM
Combine the Victorious 8:30
War Baby 9:15
Actors 10
Sex With Strangers  11

This is going to be an amazing night, get there early because it's going to be packed!

fb event.

Live shows!

Just wanted to say what a great time we had performing as part of A Change of Frequency this past Friday at the Chapel Arts.  The whole night was a pleasure, with several good bands, a lovely atmosphere and all falling on our pal Todd Simko's birthday (May 2nd).  Todd would have been 48 this year.

This was the second show Isabelle and I have played as a duo again and it went really well.  Our set opened with our version of the Calvin Harris song "Feel So Close" and then  progressed through an updated version of Crumbling Hearts, California, an electricfied version of Brotherhood that I think we're going to include on the upcoming album, and closed with Glasgow.  The response was incredible from the audience and I think it may have been the best we've ever performed a couple of those songs.

After our set our friend Jordy Birch played a couple stripped down Guilty About Girls songs (and I snuck onto stage to accompany him on the drums). The rest of the night was …

Recording: Drums with Leigh Grant

I had a lot of fun this past Friday in Bank Vault Studio with former Pure bandmates Jordy Birch and Leigh Grant.  It was the first time since 1994 when we were recording Generation Six Pack that the three of us have all been together in a recording studio!  Leigh came downtown to put down some drum tracks on four Combine the Victorious songs with Jordy helping out with production.

The day began as it must, in a music shop.  We picked up a rental kit from Tom Lee after a nice perusal of the Steinway piano room upstairs.  It's an understatement to say it's pretty nice playing on a nine foot grand!  Anyway, we grabbed a kit and went to the Bank Vault and quickly set up.  Leigh is probably even better than he was back in Pure days, he locked in with the songs effortlessly and has really given everything a great burst of energy.  After hearing a couple of these songs for almost a year with programmed drums it was liberating to hear a human take on the music.

We tracked drums on a…

The Best Tonight

I've just spent the past week working on a new song called The Best Tonight.  It was built on the back of another song we wrote last year called Overtime.  Recently we'd cut a version of Overtime with Jordy Birch producing, and even though he pushed us to get a great vocal performance, after the glow of studio excitement faded the song just seemed to lacking something.  The recording was great but the song itself seemed to lack that little spark it needed to make it important.

So, while I was attempting to "fix" the original song a new song started to appear from the work, a better song actually.  The Best Tonight is kind of a story song, our story.  It happened quite naturally, and was initially effortless to get down on tape.  However, like so many other tracks in our history, under the sober light of day I felt a bit uncomfortable with the very literal vibe to the lyrics and we set about trying to rewrite them.  It's taken all week but I think finally we have…

The Clock is Ticking

Isabelle and I are feverishly working to complete the recording of our next full length album.  So far we've compiled over thirty five different song ideas, but more keep arriving with each session.  This past week we played out first show as a duo since we got back from Europe in 2012.  It went extremely well, though of course the energy was different from when the band performed as a four or five piece.  The extra room sonically allowed us to really explore the electronic side of our sound, and of course inspired another way to present our material.

As it looks right now we'll be including a few re-imagined songs from previous releases amid the new material, all to be put onto vinyl for the final release.  We've been speaking with Boutique Empire artists Robert Edmonds about the art work and we're quite excited to see what he creates for the album.
So much to do!  Gotta get back into the studio.

Thx for reading

Combine the Victorious at The Backstage Lounge Mar. 26th

We are joining The Vaporettos on their debut show at the Backstage Lounge this Wednesday, March 26th.  Isabelle and I have written a brand new set that features two new songs and some very electrified versions of recent tracks.

We'll be closing the night, so please join us early to catch The Salvos open.  Only 8 bucks!

See you Wednesday at the Back Stage Lounge.

fb invite

Brotherhood (Viking Campfire Remix)

We've just done a serious reworking on our latest single "Brotherhood."  This new version is the result of several months of listening and pondering, as well as absorbing the comments of several producer friends of ours.  I'd like to thank everyone who's helped us so much over the past many months in the creation of this song, it really means a lot to us.  So big thanks to Justin "Juice" Kadis for his guitar playing and arranging, Misty Reid on drums, and Stefan Sigerson, Jimmy Zee, Jason Corbett and Jordy Birch for their assistance /comments with the production. And, of course, the wonderful Robert Edmonds for the cover art! Cheers to you all!

Hope you enjoy the song.  I think it's one of our best to date.

Brotherhood by Combine the Victorious

Valentine's Day Acoustic Performance

Isabelle and I will be doing an acoustic performance at her new store at 4158 Main Street tomorrow.  In the spirit of Valentine's day we'll be singing in harmony with just a guitar and a few beats for a couple of our favourite songs.  Please join us before you head out on a romantic date!   We'll be playing at around 6PM.

Here's a glimpse of the shop from the Vitamin Daily blog.

Fashion shops and new music

Isabelle and I took January to build her new clothing store here in Vancouver at 4158 Main Street.  As it took absolutely all our time we had no time for much else, even music!  However, the shop is open and looking great and we've got our eyes set on finishing the next album.  The past year was quite production in getting our live show together and writing new material so now we have to go thru all the various ideas and decide which of them fit well together as a full length.

One idea that I've been throwing around in my head since 2012 was to combine the best tracks from our last ep with the latest and greatest of our new songs and press the entire collection on vinyl.  It would be our first vinyl album, and that alone is very exciting to us.   Additionally it would be brilliant to give artist Rob Edmonds a full sized cover to play around with.  We know it would be a stunning looking and sounding work.

So over the next month or so we'll be debuting a few new songs and a…