When the Pointed Sticks headline a night at the Fall Down/Get Down festival later this week, it’ll be your last-ever chance to see them live—probably.
“If people realize what we’re saying is true then they’ll come to the show, and if they don’t believe us, then I guess they can come see us next time,” reasons Nick Jones, not entirely seriously, in a call to the Straight from the Nanaimo ferry.
The vocalist admits that he’d certainly entertain any offer of an all-expenses-paid reunion gig in Paris, but beyond that, and after a pretty heartwarming return to both the stage and the studio for the legendary Vancouver pop-punk band, the time has come to put an end to Pointed Sticks: The Sequel—kind of.
There is the matter of another record. When they released the album Three Lefts Make a Right in 2009, the Sticks ended a 30-year career hiatus. “There was no punctuation,” Jones says of their disappearance in the early ’80s. “One minute we were there and just gradually we weren’t there anymore, you know?”
Musically, the Pointed Sticks hadn’t missed a beat. Three Lefts was slathered in the kind of hypercaffeinated ’60s-inspired melodies that Jones and his bandmates seem to produce without really trying too hard. Except that it is hard, especially when your singer lives on an island and nobody’s getting any younger.
“You’re talking about a bunch of 50-year-old guys connecting once a year,” Jones states. “And I think everybody feels we’ve maybe gotten out of it what we needed anyway. If that’s the case, why not go out in style?”
He also concedes that with the still-buoyant mood of the band, giving it up isn’t as easy as all that. “We have a chemistry together, we’ve known each other for over 30 years—it’s pretty special,” he says, and just to prove the point, Jones later sends along three of the unmixed tracks from the Pointed Sticks’ farewell album, tentatively (and pointedly) called Missed the Bus, which they’ve been recording piecemeal in Vancouver over the last few months.
And they’re great, arguably even stronger than the material the five-piece came up with while they found their feet again on Three Lefts. “We were hoping to have it out in time for the show, but in Pointed Sticks world, things like that never actually work out properly,” Jones says, and so Missed the Bus, much like the band’s classic 1980 album, Perfect Youth, will be released into a sort of bandless grey zone—sort of.
“I think over the course of making the record it just became clear to us that really it’s just time to call it…” Jones pauses, clearly not quite able to bring himself to say it. So he starts again. “I think it’s a bit like Bilbo at the beginning of Lord of the Rings where he throws a big party and goes off to Rivendell to write his memoirs,” he offers, chuckling. “It’s like that.”
Possibly. There is always Paris.
The Pointed Sticks play the Rickshaw Theatre on Saturday (November 3).