Hooks and harmonies. Jangly guitars, groovy rhythms, and influences including the Beatles and Badfinger. No drama, no gimmicks. Just good people and good tunes. For Toronto’s Mr! Mouray, it’s all about making music with catchy melodies and a classic rock-and-roll spirit and doing it on their own terms.
Bandleader Simon Bedford-James formed the group upon deciding that after 30+ years on the music scene it was time to re-evaluate his role as a songwriter/performer, leave what had become an unsatisfactory situation, and step into the spotlight as a frontman of a new project. He put together a crew of trusted veteran musicians to help arrange and interpret his original songs, and together they’ve become a power-pop force to be reckoned with.
Joining singer/guitarist Bedford-James (formerly of Swedish Fish, Moving Targetz, The Last Band and more) are his ex-Moving Targetz bandmate Jaimie Vernon on bass, Nelson Pereira (The Last Band) on guitar, and fellow Swedish Fish alumnus Craig Adams on drums.
“Mr! Mouray is the best band I’ve ever been in. We’re just having fun,” Bedford-James says. “We’re all on the same page now and when it stops being fun, that’s when we’ll call it a day. Until then we’ve got a lot of material coming. All we can hope is that people like the songs.”
After launching several EPs and singles over the past few years, Mr! Mouray’s full-length record, “What’s The Stouray” (with former member David Otanez on drums) was released at the tail end of 2022 on Vernon’s Bullseye Records and made it on International Pop Overthrow Festival impresario David Bash’s best-of list. Mr! Mouray proudly takes part in the festival each year and plans to perform extensively in 2023.
The New Wave-influenced single “Cat’s Can’t Fly,” featuring Bedford-Jones’ trademark witty lyrics and the band’s knack for infectious arrangements, was released with an accompanying video produced by Vernon that depicts a couple’s penchant for arguing over trivial matters while avoiding real communication.
“Dogs don’t laugh at photographs you show them. They find it trying. I know you’re lying,” Bedford-Jones sings, in this chronicle of a troubled relationship that seems to be headed for a bitter end.
With the incredibly prolific Bedford-James’ wealth of original material to work with and Vernon’s record-label experience to support their efforts, Mr! Mouray is looking ahead to a bright future after a pandemic hiatus.
Throughout the new year, the group will be releasing more singles and videos and, most importantly, enjoying the ride.
“We’re also at the age where we’re not putting up with any bull. We’ll stream songs. We’ll play live if and when we want. We’ll make videos. We’ll do whatever tickles our fancy,” Vernon says. “Imagine being in a weekend garage band full time. That’s Mr! Mouray.”