25 years ago today a band featuring Anne Murray's nephew and "Bubbles" from Trailer Park Boys played Vancouver

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      On April 5, 1996, a Nova Scotia alt-rock band called Sandbox played the Starfish Room in Vancouver.

      That wouldn't necessarily be a gig worth noting 25 years later, but in this case maybe it is.

      One of the guitarists in the band was a guy named Mike Smith, who would later rocket to international fame not for his musical abilities so much as for his foul-mouthed comedic skills portraying googley-eyed goofball "Bubbles" in the Trailer Park Boys TV series.

      Not only that, but the lead singer of Sandbox, Paul Murray--who also played a mean kazoo--was the nephew of none other than legendary Canadian songbird Anne Murray!

      That's some major Canuck cred, right there.

      And it just so happened that, one month before the Starfish Room gig, Sandbox was up for a Juno Award for best new group. The fact that Paul Murray's aunt was hosting the Junos that year had at least one person (me) wondering if there had been any hope among the band members that she might pull some strings and help score another trophy for the Murray clan.

      When I asked Smith that question in an interview two days after the Junos, his response wasn't all that hilarious.

      “Maybe if we hadda asked her,” he said, “but I don’t think so.”

      So who did wind up taking home the Juno for best new group that year?

      The Philosopher Kings. 

      Now that's hilarious.