‘Freakrock’ jammers find groove among the faithful at Surrey pub (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Budding drummer brings energy and enthusiasm to Thursday jam night at Donegal’s

Jam-night organizer Lisa Maure (aka Lisa Freakrock

Jam-night organizer Lisa Maure (aka Lisa Freakrock

SURREY — Personalized clipboard in hand, Lisa Maure doesn’t have much time to chat. It’s a Thursday evening at Donegal’s Irish House, which means Maure is busy orchestrating the “jammers” who’ve come to play on the Surrey pub’s stage.

For one entire rockin’ night, it’s Maure’s job to keep a list of which musicians have signed up to perform, who plays what instrument, who needs a bass player, who needs a drummer, who needs a beer.

Around here, Maure is known as Lisa Freakrock, a company name she picked from a magazine story about Green Day’s “freakrock” drummer.

Over the past couple of years, she’s worked to build a loyal jam-night following at Donegal’s, among the few places in Surrey to stage live music on a regular basis. Jam nights are held there on Tuesday and Thursday, with bands featured on Friday and Saturday.

On a recent “Freakrock” Thursday, longtime Surrey resident Colin Hartridge took a seat near the bar and talked about why he so often comes to play at the place.

“I played for many, many years as a drummer in rock band (Sparkling Apple), and I still want to do that,” said Hartridge, a graphic artist and former Now employee.

“I put my name in early, at around 7 or 7:30, and I’ll have something to eat,” he added. “Usually Lisa already has my name on the list, because she knows I’ll be here.”

(story continues below)

By 8:30, live music pumped from the night’s “house” band, which includes singer-guitarist Ray Roper, bass player Kevin Swain and drummer Scotty McCargar.

A couple of ZZ Top songs later, a man named Mark took the drums, Vic grabbed the mic, and Roper and Swain remained on stage, for now. In the key of G, the band took a few moments to find a groove on “Route 66,” which soon motored.

Between songs, Swain pointed to his T-shirt.

“It’s the only bit of green I have in honour of St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow,” he revealed. “But look at this picture of Avril Lavigne. Doesn’t that look like Lisa? It totally does!”

Meanwhile, Freakrock wrote names on a page clipped to her board, and the good rockin’ continued with some of the 20-plus musicians in the house.

With three of them, Hartridge got his first chance to jump on stage for a version of The Tragically Hip’s “New Orleans is Sinking, followed by Tom Petty’s “Running Down a Dream” and Steppenwolf’s “Born to be Wild.”

(story continues below)

PICTURED: Jam-night house band members guitarist Ray Roper, drummer Scotty McCargar and bassist Kevin Swain, from left to right. (Photo: Tom Zillich)

With the house band taking a break, Maure had a moment to talk about the jam night.

“I’ve been here for almost two years, and I love it,” she said.

A budding drummer, the Calgary native went to other jam nights in the Vancouver area and saw how much fun everyone was having – almost everyone, that is.

“At one place I was told that nobody wanted to play with me, which was pretty sad,” she said. “So I got into my car and I said to myself, ‘I’m gonna start my own jam night.’”

And she did, first at a place in Burnaby and then at Donegal’s, with the backing of Daniel Cook, the pub’s general manager.

Swain said he appreciates playing in what he calls “one of the most active places in Surrey for live music” – and it’s true.

“Daniel has been amazing,” Swain raved, “because a lot of his peers in the business probably think it’s not smart to host live music four nights a week anymore, but he’s doing it, and going above and beyond. We all work together on this, and he’s a supporter, a pal, and keeps everything going. As musicians, we love it.”

Roper echoed Swain’s comments, and added his own about the jam-night environment.

“A lot of people tend to go from one jam night to the other, and it’s such a supportive, positive environment, just a place for people to play,” explained Roper, a founding member of the band Stonebolt, among many others.

“Sometimes these people don’t have another place to play or a band to play with, so this is perfect for them. We’re happy to be that band for a night, to start off.”

(story continues below)

On any given Thursday, pro-level musicians jam at the pub, sometimes with those who aren’t. Of late, Prism’s Al Harlow has hit the stage at Donegal’s, as has Frank Soda.

“I think it’s important to keep the quality of music up, because people do come here to listen,” Swain said. “Yes, some of these players haven’t been playing for a long time, or they bring in a new tune that nobody knows, so Lisa does a great job with the juggling act, keeping everyone happy. She has so much energy and is a great diplomat.”

In a couple of weeks, the Freakrock jam will hit Week #100, as counted on the events pages posted to Facebook.com/FreakrockEntertainment.

Maure has begun to put her “Freakrock Entertainment” logo on T-shirts (proudly worn by several of the jammers) and coffee mugs, all in an effort to spread word.

“It’s so much fun doing this,” she said. “I would love to expand it.”



Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Longtime basketball coach Allison McNeill is worried that the COVID-19 pandemic will adversely affect high-school athletes with university athletic aspirations. (Garrett James/Langley Events Centre photo)
COVID-19: Young athletes scrambling for scholarships, opportunities amid pandemic

‘They lost their whole Grade 12 year’ says Semiahmoo basketball coach Allison McNeill

When his owner had knee surgery, Kevin, 2, was able to continue to go for walks thanks to volunteers from Elder Dog Canada. (Contributed photo)
White Rock woman among dozens in Lower Mainland to benefit from Elder Dog program

Dog-care organization has a fleet of volunteer walkers ready, but requires more clients to serve

Travis Selje with Rex, the family dog he got to enjoy for the final six months of his life. (Submitted photo)
Defence says evidence ‘compelling, overwhelming’ to acquit Surrey woman in deadly crash

Epileptic seizure caused fatal crash that killed Travis Selje, lawyer argues in final submissions

WATCH: Surrey-made anti-bullying video urges youth to #BlockEmDontShareEm

“Break the chain by deleting the image and never forwarding – not even to a best friend’

Surrey RCMP on scene of a crash involving a motorized scooter and a car in the intersection of 102 Avenue and City Parkway on Wednesday, Feb. 24. (Photos: Shane MacKichan)
Elderly man sent to hospital after scooter crashes with car in Surrey

Surrey RCMP say it happened at about 8:30 a.m. in the intersection of 102 Avenue and City Parkway

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

A woman boards a transit bus through rear doors, in Vancouver, on Friday, March 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
TransLink slow to reveal crucial details about ransomware attack, says union

Union says company took months to admit what info was stolen, including SIN and bank account details

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

VIDEO: Lynx grabs lunch in Kamloops

A lynx surprises a group of ducks and picks one off for lunch

(Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents can reserve provincial camp sites starting March 8

B.C. residents get priority access to camping reservations in province

Two women were arrested in Nanaimo for refusing to wear masks and causing disturbance on a BC Ferries vessel. (File photo)
B.C. ferry passengers arrested and fined for disturbance, refusing to wear masks

Police said woman threatened their pensions in Feb. 21 incident aboard Nanaimo-bound boat

Most Read