Filmmaker captures Despistado reunion on tour documentary ‘The Memory of This History’

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Documentary captures an important snapshot of reunited prairies band

Following their recent reunion tour, Regina’s Despistado are the subject of a documentary entitled The Memory of This History.

The 20-minute tour documentary, which is currently streaming on Exclaim Magazine’s website, was produced by Justin Ludwig, member of Kleins96 and founder of Regina punk/hard rock label Harvest King Records.

Ludwig credits Despistado’s initial breakup as part of the motivation for putting together the film.

“I’ve been friends with the guys in the band for a lot of years, and the end of the band was so abrupt, I mean before their debut full-length was even released,” says Ludwig.

“They also existed at a time just before every moment of everyone’s life was documented and broadcasted, so there’s surprisingly little record of the band that exists, besides their releases for Jade Tree.”

The movie showcases the band’s recent reunion tour, which saw the Regina group playing at Vangelis in Saskatoon. The footage was shot by Ludwig at Vancouver’s Media Club, and includes some truly adorable photos of the members from back in the day as they talk about growing up and forming the band and their subsequent ending.

The Memory of This History is a powerful snapshot – the live shots of the band performing “A Stirstick’s Prediction” give me chills. Just sayin’, you guys can come back to Saskatoon any old time.

Formed in 2001 in Regina, Despistado released a six song EP of raw, danceable indie rock that was both cerebral and fun to dance along to. The group broke up in 2004, months before they would have unveiled their first full-length album, The People Of and their Verses.

Meanwhile, bassist Joel Passmore, also a member of Regina’s Rah Rah, says that Despistado’s reunion may well extend into the studio.

“We’re passing some ideas back and forth and we’re going to start rehearsing right away, so we’ll know what’s happening after that,” he says. “But I think we would all really like to do that, which is to play those old songs and just play again in that style. The bands that we’ve all played in since hasn’t [had] that sound at all. We all have a lot of ideas, and I’d really like to do some new stuff as well.

“We’re going to be living in different cities again, so we’re going to have to get creative with the Internet and then take some time to meet in the same place for a couple of weeks at a time.”