The Hamilton music scene is finally starting to feel exciting again. After such a long time of gigs only happening every few months (or maybe I just didn’t leave the house enough), it feels like at the moment we’re being slammed with them.
“These things happen organically,” Andy reckons, new Hamilton shoegaze outfit Landlords’ guitarist/vocalist.
“You can’t force the punters out; they’ll go if it’s worth going to. We need smaller, more intimate shows. Also, we can never have enough legends organising, promoting, helping out, running sound etc. Those people make the magic happen.”
For those people who have better things to do than memorise the nuances of slightly different genres of music, ‘shoegaze’ (named because the guitarists are always looking at their pedalboards) is usually characterised by sounding sort of loud and weird.
Music with screaming in it has really been the only genre I’ve been exposed to living here, so when I heard about a few of the bros starting up a new band, I was stoked. I saw them play twice over the past few weeks - once at Zeal with Scarp, and once at Record Store Day at Needle in the Hay (both times with Halycon Birds, an amazing two-piece). Deafening as all fuck, interesting basslines, washed out vocals and one of the most solid hitting drummers I’ve ever heard - I guess you can be heavy without breakdowns. Who knew? Mixing up the Hamilton music scene with new sounds we haven’t seen before makes gigs worth leaving the house for.
There’s something about these small shows in unconventional spaces with 20 other people that feel real and authentic. And the more opportunities there are for bands to perform, the more people that will feel empowered and motivated to follow their own art. I guess there’s a weird courage that needs to be had to start a band in a farming town. Meeting new people, sharing a beer at 2 pm on a Saturday, or playing a show in a boomy, echoey youth centre or a warehouse down a side street are things that only come from the drive to just make some fucking music with your friends, rather than to just get fame or money.
“It’s nice to have an artistic outlet for self-expression, so to contribute to a scene that gives others the same opportunity is a positive by-product of ‘being in a band.’