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Wild Colonials

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Wild Colonials
OriginLos Angeles, California, U.S.
GenresAlternative rock, folk, jazz rock
Instrument(s)Vocals, guitar, bass, violin, piano, sax, etc.
Years active1992–present
LabelsDGC/Geffen, Chromatic, UMe/Universal, WLPS
Paul Cantelon
Scott Roewe
Past membersAngela McCluskey
Ian Bernard
Joel Virgel Vierset
Thaddeus Corea
Jason Payne
Skip Ward
Chad Smith

Wild Colonials are an American alternative rock band formed in Los Angeles, California in 1992 by Angela McCluskey (vocals), Shark (guitar/vocals/percussion), Paul Cantelon (violin/piano), Scott Roewe (multi-instrumentalist) and Ian Bernard (drums/percussion). After 1993 members included Thaddeus Corea and Jason Payne on drums/percussion and Skip Ward on bass.


Formed in early 1992 as an impromptu jam session at an Irish coffee house in Hollywood called Café Beckett. Singer Angela McCluskey had gathered together a group of fellow musicians to arrange a “musical evening” to showcase her friend/guitarist Shark, who had recently relocated to Los Angeles from New York. Brought aboard were Paul Cantelon, on violin and piano; Scott Roewe, on bass, keyboards, and saxophone; and Ian Bernard (drums/percussion) and other revolving special guests. The “musical evening” evolved into a regular gig from the group soon to be known as Wild Colonials - named after the Irish song “Wild Colonial Boy.” Also joining in with the ever changing line up of guests included Dave King (Flogging Molly), Vivian Campbell (Def Leppard), and several members of the Hothouse Flowers and Leonard Cohen's touring band.

From Café Beckett the group developed a large following, performing regularly at Molly Malone's, an Irish pub in Los Angeles, and then moving to Café Largo a larger venue in West Hollywood. With a Tuesday night residency that lasted several months the buzz that developed in the LA music scene procured the Wild Colonials a record deal with DGC/Geffen Records. Fruit of Life (1994) and This Can’t Be Life (1996) were both released to critical acclaim, landing the group as the second stage headliner on the prestigious Lilith Fair lineup in 1997. Over that time, Wild Colonials–either as a group or as individual artists - have performed music for several films- a collection of unreleased tracks, soundtrack only tracks and score cues was collected to make up their third album "Reel Life vol 1" (2000) (released through indie label Chromatic Records).

The band's fourth album was intended to be released as four separate EPs under the umbrella name Life As We Know It (UMe/Universal). To date only EP 1/4 has been released.

The band members have a number of connections to other celebrities and musicians: Thaddeus Corea is the son of pianist/composer Chick Corea, violinist Paul Cantelon is the brother in law of American singer Rickie Lee Jones, and vocalist Angela McCluskey is British singer Lily Allen's Godmother.

Music in film[edit]

Wild Colonials music has appeared in over thirty different films from Disney's Mr. Wrong, to the quirky Indie sensation Flirting with Disaster and the Sundance Film Festival hit Dead Man's Curve. Three members of the band, Shark, Paul Cantelon and Scott Roewe have all scored feature-length films.



Vocalist Angela McCluskey as co-writer/guest vocalist with French Electronica band Télépopmusik was nominated for the 2004 Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording for the International hit "Breathe". The Grammy went to Kylie Minogue for "Come Into My World".


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