Head­stones' up­com­ing tour and fu­ture a true Pic­ture of Health

Prairie Post (East Edition) - - Alberta - BY RYAN DAHLMAN— rdahlman@prairiepost.com

Those fans of the hard rock­ing punk-in­flu­enced band the Head­stones who saw them at the Es­planade Arts and Her­itage Cen­tre less than a year ago get an­other op­por­tu­nity Nov. 12.

This promises to be a dif­fer­ent con­cert for one main rea­son.

The Nov. 12 visit from the Kingston crew is a fi­nal salute and a cel­e­bra­tion of the 25th an­niver­sary of the Head­stones' suc­cess­ful de­but al­bum Pic­ture of Health. The con­cert will con­sist of the band play­ing all 13 songs from the cer­ti­fied plat­inum (100,000 copies sold) CD plus a hand­ful more tunes. It will be noth­ing like their most re­cent visit which rocked the Es­planade's foun­da­tions with a mix­ture of favourites from ev­ery­thing from Teeth and Tis­sue, Smile and Wave and all the way up to 2017's Lit­tle Army and the highly suc­cess­ful sin­gle 'Devil's on Fire.'

Talk­ing to lead singer Hugh Dil­lon, what you see on stage is what you get in con­ver­sa­tion: some­one who is ex­tremely pas­sion­ate about the mu­sic, the songs and the craft. He is ex­cited to do this par­tic­u­lar tour "for the fans."

With Dil­lon’s sched­ule in shoot­ing a movie in Utah soon, the band writ­ing for a new al­bum and a tour to pro­mote that work, he says the time of the Pic­ture of Health tour was per­fect. The band mar­vels at how well the songs still res­onate.

"It's amaz­ing the mu­sic stands alone to­day," ex­plains Dil­lon. "It is ex­cit­ing to do (this tour). We are do­ing it for the fans. They wanted it...13 songs back to back to back... it’s a chal­lenge — front to back. We had some work to do.

"It is the last op­por­tu­nity to hear those songs. We will never play those songs again.

"Well, ex­cept Ceme­tery. We will al­ways play f----ing Ceme­tery."

He notes when Pic­ture of Health first came out in 1993 they had no idea how it would res­onate with mu­sic fans then, let alone 25 years later.

To cel­e­brate it, they have re-is­sued Pic­ture of Health in a pack­age of de­mos, old pho­tos and tele­vi­sion along with four bonus tracks.

Dil­lon, one of the stars of the pop­u­lar po­lice drama Flash­point (2008-2012) says look­ing back on it, Pic­ture of Health rep­re­sents the DNA of the band. Straight­for­ward, hon­est, tack­les some dark top­ics, but never shies away from any­thing one would deem con­tro­ver­sial.

De­spite the fact they were in Medicine Hat not that long ago, Dil­lon is ex­cited to hit the road and be in Medicine Hat again. He loved the mas­sive en­ergy from their last south­east Al­berta visit and calls the Es­planade a "great .... venue."

Fans of the Head­stones will re­mem­ber Dil­lon as an in­tense, brood­ing per­former back in the 1990s. How­ever, now in his mid-fifties, the lead singer seems far more en­er­getic, if not even more in­tense. He says he's eat­ing health­ier, stopped smok­ing amongst other un­healthy life­style choices.

He and long­time band­mates bassist Tim White and gui­tarist Trent Carr have gone through a lot to­gether. As cliché as it sounds, de­spite a cou­ple of band break-ups and re­unit­ing, it al­ways goes back to hav­ing the free­dom to write songs and make mu­sic the way they want. Hit­ting the stage, just tops it off. The band’s front­man calls it ther­apy and cathar­tic.

"Play­ing live is like mak­ing the mu­sic, you can't bullsh-your­self or any­one else or just don't bother do­ing it," ex­plains Dil­lon. "You get out there and em­brace the fans. Us as a band, we take it se­ri­ously.

"Ev­ery gig was like ev­ery song was like our last one. We brought it 110 per cent."

The Head­stones will be per­form­ing Nov. 12, start­ing at 8 p.m. at the Es­planade in Medicine Hat. Spe­cial Guests will be The Match­stick Skele­tons.

Photo con­trib­uted

Hugh Dil­lon, cen­tre, brings the in­ten­sity of 25 years of rock­ing stages all over the world.

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