A day filled with music, food, and Hamilton love – I was all for it when Barred Media invited I Heart Hamilton to come on board for the filming of the next episode of their web series Band Du Jour.
Barred Media is the brainchild of Mike Monson and Matthew McGurk, who bring their wealth of experience from the film and music industries to all of their projects. Band Du Jour showcases Hamilton’s music and food scenes, which in case you haven’t noticed, are on fire right now.
You don’t have to ask me twice when there’s an opportunity to visit Collective Arts. It launched in 2015, but it’s hard to even remember a time without them now. I had always been a fan of the brand, and their brewery and storefront were the perfect addition to the city.
Each episode of Band Du Jour features a live-off-the-floor performance from the featured musical act. They filmed this portion in the brewery, and the set looked fantastic. It was beer heaven! The crew and band prepped while Band Du Jour host Ashley Stennett interviewed Laura in the storefront.
I’ve been following Laura’s career for the past few years now – I remember meeting her for the first time at The Baltimore House and striking up a conversation, and she let me know she was working on an album. She since became one of my local favourites.
Laura and the band had a successful run with her debut Dirty Cheat, and they can’t wait to share their new music. As you’ll hear in the episode, this next record will be about bridging the old with the new. Band Du Jour got the scoop on two new songs, including “Never Told Ya.”
After wrapping at Collective, it was a quick La Luna lunch with the crew before heading over to the next feature: Berkeley North. It was my first time in this new foodie gem on King William. Run by Diana and Matt Webber, the restaurant is West Coast inspired, with a focus on vegetarian and seafood cuisine.
The space is absolutely beautiful – bright, airy and welcoming, but still small and intimate. There’s a huge skylight way up in the ceiling and large glass windows at the front, letting the sunshine pour in.
Ashley and the band sat down smack in the middle of the restaurant – we had the place to ourselves once they closed after finishing up their Sunday brunch service. Speaking of which, their brunch menu sounds delicious. In fact, their whole menu sounds amazing – I need to go back ASAP!
During Ashley’s interview with the band, they tried various dishes on the menu along with a few cocktails. Each plate brought to the table looked beautiful – bright, bold, fresh colours. I couldn’t get over how colourful everything is. I also learned what pearl couscous is, and that I enjoy it. Seriously, who could ever knock vegetarian food when it looks this stunning.
With full bellies, it was over to the last stop of the day, Architect Hair Design on James North. Opened in the fall of 2015, it’s a super cool concept – a barbershop with a bar. Who wouldn’t want to sip on a brew while getting a haircut? But even more than that, it’s a cool hangout spot. It’s a hipster man cave, and I mean that as a compliment. I’ve often wondered if I could just stroll in for a beer like, “Hello, boys!”
Here we filmed the remainder of the interviews – this time it was the boys in the hot seat. Which worked out perfectly well, as each band member was grilled by Ashley Stennett’s rapid fire questions while seated in barber chairs. Chris Chiarcos even got himself a trim.
And that’s a wrap! Thanks to Barred Media for welcoming me into the Band Du Jour fam. It was an awesome day.
Watch the episode below!