The Arrogant Worms
The Arrogant Worms have spent over three decades making fun of a big dumb world. Their songs have been played on the radio, the internet, and in outer space on the space shuttle Endeavour. The Worms began at Queen’s University in 1991 when members of the student cabaret group, The Queen’s Players, started writing songs and sketches for the campus radio station, CFRC. One day they send off a cassette of their song “Canadian Crisis Song” to the CBC radio show Basic Black. To their surprise the show decided to play the song. All they needed to know was the name of the group—eventually they came up with one: The Arrogant Worms.
The Worms began as a four-piece group consisting of Steve Wood, John Whytock, Mike McCormick, and Trevor Strong. They played any place that would have them—bars, street corners, fringe festivals—as they slowly developed their signature style of “singing songs and yammering on” that would make them the mildest form of famous. They released their first album, cleverly titled “The Arrogant Worms” in 1992 which contained the song, The Last Saskatchewan Pirate, which has since been covered by groups including Captain Tractor and The Longest Johns. Steve Wood departed soon after the release of the album, making the group a Trio.
In the following years the Worms toured relentlessly across Canada, often crossing the county multiple times in a year, first in Mike’s Plymouth Horizon, and then in their brand-new Chrysler mini-van (which were all the rage at the time). Their second release, Russell’s Shorts, came out in 1994 and contained the song, Carrot Juice is Murder, which became the number one song on the Doctor Demento Show in 1995. Later that year they released their third album C’est Cheese, which also marked the departure of John Whytock from the group due to his desire to have some sort of life.
Deciding to remain a trio, Mike and Trevor searched intensely, but briefly, for a new member. Soon Chris Patterson, who they knew from the Queen’s Players, joined the group, adding a much-needed element of dance to the stage show. From there, their slow rise continued unabated, and soon they were playing theatres instead of bars and making main stage appearances at folk festivals across Canada. Since then, they have played Parliament Hill on Canada Day, a wedding at the Grand Canyon, and with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra—a show that was recorded and released on DVD.
Now, over three decades into a career where they have released 13 albums, they still create—putting out a new song every month on their Patreon page. The Arrogant Worms continue to provide tuneful and silly escapism for everyone who needs it.
Tickets: $32.50 Members, $37.50 Non-Members (+applicable taxes & fees)