Royal City

Royal City

Royal City was a Canadian indie rock band from Guelph, Canada.

Royal City were formed in 1999 at Jim Guthrie’s house in downtown Guelph Ontario. The band was fronted by Aaron Riches, well known in the local all ages punk scene for having booked and opening up for Fugazi, his releases on DROG Records, and for being the subject of a Robert Munsch book as a child.

Originally called The Royal City All Stars, the band had moved to Toronto after signing with Three Gut Records. At Three Gut, Royal City joined label mates Cuff the Duke and The Constantines in Toronto’s early 2000s music scene. While working with many collaborators, the core of Royal City consisted of Aaron Riches, Lonnie James, Simon Osborne and Jim Guthrie. James replaced original drummer Nathan Lawr in 2002.

During their time as a band, Royal City toured across Canada, playing places such as Whitehorse, Yukon, and opening for such musicians as Sarah Harmer. In 2002, a then-unknown Arcade Fire opened for the band on a series of tour dates, and in 2003 the band played in Sufjan Stevens‘ living room as their first show in New York City.

The band was also host to a number of notable collaborations, including Leslie Feist, Sufjan Stevens, Final Fantasy, Gentleman Reg and Bob Wiseman.

After disbanding in 2004, Aaron Riches went on to study Radical Orthodoxy under John Milbank at the University of Nottingham. Nathan Lawr continues to release music as a solo artist and with his band the Minotaurs. Jim Guthrie has achieved considerable success scoring the video game Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP. and the film Indie Game: The Movie. He’s also been a member of Human Highway, and has toured as part of Islands. Lonnie James went on to release two critically acclaimed solo records on Teenage USA records ( This Land is your Land, Dee-o).

In early 2009, Sufjan StevensAsthmatic Kitty records released Royal City, a collection of outtakes and b-sides.

Artist information provided by WikiMedia

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