My band played in Hamilton tonight along with the Halifax indie band The Sleepless Nights. It was our first time in Hamilton, which is kind of funny because our band is called the Hamilton Trading Company.
Here is the totality of my experiences with Hamilton:
1. Age one: we move to Hamilton. My father is dissatisfied with his program at McMaster, and his bike is stolen. Upset at the city, we move away before I have the chance to form any memories of the Hammer.
2. Age eighteen: we drive down to Hamilton with my best friends to see Godspeed You Black Emporer performing at the tivoli theatre. It was a good show, but I don't remember why we decided to go to Hamilton when we could have caught GYBE in montreal which was much closer and didn't involve a lot of sad malls where all the stores were closing down.
3. Age twenty four: I speak at a conference at McMaster. Nothing of mine is stolen. I discover that Steeltown's university is actually quite pretty.
4. Then we come to the present day, age twenty-five. When we pulled into town, Hamilton greeted us with a giant fire. I'm not quite sure what was on fire. It looked like a factory. I hope it was supposed to be like that.
I had basically pulled out of a music project that was essentially a marathon of learning thirty songs in thirty days
and pulling off a crazy performance that finally ended this week. HTC had been on tour in the east coast all this time, adventures that I'd missed out on, but now that my commitments with the MT band was finally over, I joined the other band in
time for their Hamilton leg of the tour. It wasn't easy though. Despite plugging the damn address into the GPS and looking up the address on my iPhone, we still
got horribly lost. That's because Hamilton has a King Street East, which turns into King Street West, which then turns into King Street East again. Dear Hamilton: this is a little confusing.
We played at Club Absinthe, which actually served absinthe, including the hard core stuff from the Czech Republic. Our set went all right, although I was reminded painfully of the fact that it had been weeks since I last performed with this band. Also, I had spent so much time barking orders at my other band that my voice was quite hoarse, which only worked out for this gig because I sing the male parts now. The Sleepless Nights, who were touring with us all this time, put on a fantastic set to no one's surprise. They had enough high energy to get the crowd dancing, even if it was 2AM and we were feeling quite tired (at least I was - but then I'm old).
The downstairs of the club featured a dance floor, which was quite nice if you wanted a break from the rock musc - at least until you remember that there's a reason why I was glad to leave Europe - I hate house music. Still, their bartender provided much entertainment for me, keeping me wondering if the bartender was a man in drag or just a girl dressed like a strange hooker to induce tips.
I went on a walk to explore more of Hamilton, but the only sightseeing tip I had was from a buddy who told me not to go to the strip clubs on this street. So my walk was short. On our way home we realized that the distance from Hamilton to toronto is exactly the length of the Romeo and Juliet film soundtrack. It was a Leo-licious ride. Tomorrow we are back in Toronto again for our CD release party, and then we play a show in Montreal for Tuesday. After that is my reading week which I will be spending in Shoal Harbour, Newfoundland, learning the special ways of the Newfies, and also making a giant sculpture of butt with all the snow they got. So stay tuned: I may be back in Canada for a while but i've still got a lot of adventures to come. Remember, the last time my band went to Montreal, we were robbed three times in an hour, so the story goes.