(DETOUR: TORONTO) HAMMER MUSICIANS TAKE THE SIX
Smiling Buddha 961 College Street, Toronto
In a tiny, dark, sticky basement of The Smiling Buddha, The Hammer’s musicians, Good Anya and Island People stole the night in Toronto on March 25th. Fusing together groovy riffs and garage rock progressions, the bands made Good Friday a good night.
Good Anya (for the most part) was born and raised in Dundas. The four-friend group is made up of Zoe Smith (vocals and synth), Craig Jackson (bass), Sam Anderson (drums) and Noah Spencer (vocals and guitar).
Good Anya was formed when a music teacher approached Sam explaining how Noah needed a drummer for a potential band: “We jammed awkwardly a few times,” said Sam. After that, Good Anya was born. Starting off in 2013 the group has been through their fair share of bandmates, with Zoe Smith as the newest member to the family, joining in the summer of 2015.
Good Anya’s newest “Neighbours (making love)” is all about the struggles of being a shy-guy in a university residence, who tries desperately to fit in with the crowds, and is constantly being bothered by their neighbouring floormates doing… you know (hence the title). “Neighbours (making love)” will be launched this Friday, April 8th, along with a gig to follow at Homegrown Hamilton that evening.
Island People is made up of four guys from the surrounding areas of Hamilton. The band consists of: Kyle Kitchen (vocals and rhythm guitar), Pat Hayes (bass), Andrew Gair (lead guitar and vocals), and Chris Henwood (drums). The boys will be celebrating their one year anniversary April 26th, marking their first set together.
Although Island People were last on stage they certainly kept the lively energy flowing for their fans. Starting their set with their psychedelic instrumental tune “Cereal,” keeping the crowd entertained with their onstage attitudes, whether it being the sways between the guitarists, or the bassist standing on an amp. Island People know how to entertain.
Up next was a classic for the boys, rolling into their EP title track “These Days,” setting the stage for the rest of the set. Kicking it off with a steady drum and a funky guitar riff, Kyle’s twangy vocals tell the not-so-happy story most of us can easily relate to, describing the emotionally drained feelings of heartbreak. Hidden secretly behind the upbeat sound and pulsating rhythm, it takes a minute to realize the underlying story of emotion.
Their new song “Running Into You” is a real banger and will get you bopping on every beat. Coming in hot with a perky solo from the start (courtesy of Andrew), the boys bring to the table something new and all yet exciting. Mixing quirky-bright lyrics with a flavour of Beach Boys’ vocal harmonies. Island People prove that surf/garage rock is just as in as it was in the early ‘60s.
Although the bands were challenged with a bit of difficulty of entrance from their fans, the night was filled with good music along with performances by close friends Dan Edmonds and The Alls. March 25th was a landmark for the groups, making it clear that Hamilton holds their musical title in the big city.