New Year's Eve has come and gone for 2024 but speaking of time, it was the perfect night for the reunion of a local band after 30 years since their last reunion concert, which, in turn, took place 25 years after they were regularly playing around Portage la Prairie.

Fudge Motors Inc. played to a sold-out house, with tickets having been unavailable since last August. Band member Charlie Brennan says it was a fundraiser, and all proceeds went to the Glesby Centre with all work volunteered, including the performance by the band.

He outlines the evening.

"We played in the late 60s and early 70s," says Brennan. "And we got together again in 1994 for the 100th PCI reunion. I put together a show there that had seven bands, and the Fudge Motors was one of them. There were seven bands that used to play at the PCI dances, and we went back as far as the Yellow Crook Orchestra, which was in the 40s, sort of thing."

Brennan says they organized their latest gig in 2023, noting it made it quite a nice reunion.

Miles Kereliuk played Rhythm Guitar and Synth Guitar. Bob Berg was lead singer and played the congas. Brad Hopcraft played bass, Bill Nodrick played drums and Brennan played lead guitar. Brennan, Kereliuk, and Berg were singers.

"One of our members couldn't make it due to health reasons. He lives out in Ottawa, and he was our keyboard player. So, Miles has a guitar synthesizer which emulates the sound of keyboards, like organ and piano. It really added to the sound of the band. It was great. He has this harmonizing microphone, too. We do 90 per cent of the vocal harmonies, ourselves. And then Miles adds in some of the little harmonies while the rest of us are playing. It works really well. It just sounds like three-part harmony."

Brennan says they played all the songs they used to play back in the day from the classic rock genre. 

"We played some of The Foundations, Joe Cocker, and Grass Roots. We started playing at 8:30 and we finished playing at about 12:35, I think. So, there were breaks in between three sets."

Brennan says it was wonderful to get back together with the others, and they received quite a bit of positive feedback. 

"They just thought it was just wonderful to see all these old friends, and most of us are about the same age," adds Brennan. "They said it was just great, they loved the music, the camaraderie, and the nostalgia. It was just just a really wonderful time."

Band(from left) Charlie Brennan singer lead guitar, Miles Kereliuk, Brad Hopcraft, Bob Berg, and Bill Nodrick

He explains some members had a significant distance to travel.

"Bill Nodrick came out from Calgary. And Brad Hopcraft came out from Red Deer. And Miles Kereliuk and Bob Berg live in Winnipeg," continues Brennan. "Throughout the year periodically, we would get together and rehearse; just the three of us. Then Brad and Bill would learn their parts at home. And then they came out on the 28th. So, on the 28th and 29th, we rehearsed full-band. It worked out quite well. It came together pretty good." 

He adds this may have been the last hurrah for Fudge Motors Inc., but acknowledged, "But who knows? We're all in our 70s, so it might have been the last one. It was a lot of work putting it all together, but it was fun work, and it all came together very well, even better than I hoped it would, actually. And it was all well worth it. It was a great time." 

stage introWalking out on stage

Brennan notes his wife, Mavis, was an organizer along with Colleen Flynn. He explains Flynn did a lot of hard work throughout the year in preparation, including artistic work with posters, signs, and seating plans. He adds she also organized a magazine and advertised the publication, and even threw in her decorating skills for all the tables at the event.

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