Monday, 1 February 2016

Hometown Heroes

1995 had arrived and it was the dawn of a new era. Black Belt Jones had released our demo tape, and we had played a couple of "Elvis Monday's" at The El Macambo. The audiences were generally very responsive to the new sounds we were bringing to the table. As much as we appreciated the support of the Toronto people, we were itching to play a show in our home town of Brampton. 

Unfortunately the club Tremors had recently been shut down due to underage patrons being served alcohol, so we now had nowhere to play. I can't even remember who or how this happened, but one of my friends discovered we could have a show in the basement of a pub called "The Ivy Bridge" which was located in the Brampton Mall. We set the wheels in motion to book a gig, and we decided that we would play with Wiggaz, as they now had a demo tape as well, and enough material to perform a short set.

As per usual I drafted up a hand made flyer for the show. Once it was complete I went to the local print shop and fired some copies off. It was now time to spam the town. There weren't many places to advertise per say, but thankfully a few record shops distributed flyers for us, as did our good pal Munish at T-Shirt Palace. Our music was ready to present, the date had been set, our guerrilla marketing was in effect, and we were more than ready to rock this show. Our fate now rested in the hands of the Brampton scene.

When the night of the show was finally upon us, we were overwhelmed by the amount of people who showed up. The basement of The Ivy wasn't a big room by any means, and we were pushing the fire code limit. The place was ram packed to the gills and filled with the smell of smoke and alcohol. Old friends, new friends, and people I'd never even seen before, all filled the room from wall to wall and front to back. The Ivy Bridge didn't have a stage so we set up on the floor. A fellow named Martin worked there, and he helped set the whole thing up. I believe Rob from Wiggaz knew him, and he may have been the key that made this night happen.

Our bass player Mike had been recruited to sing for the Wiggaz, so he was actually pulling double duty on this evening. Both bands put on killer performances and we had the crowd in the palm of our hands. The mosh pit was thrashing and I'm sure a few bottles of beer fell casualty to the hard concrete floor. I honestly think people were just happy to have live music back in Brampton. 

At the end of our set we decided to have a freestyle contest, meaning anyone from the audience could come up and bust a rhyme while BBJ supplied the music. Not many were brave enough to come up, but one girl named Jen had the guts to. She was the girlfriend of Frank, the Wiggaz drummer. Although her rhyme was simple, and possibly not her original lyrics, it was still an amazing sight to see. Pauly had made a one of a kind BBJ shirt to award the winner, and Jen took said shirt home with her on that night. 

We didn't know it at the time, but the open mic freestyle session would become a staple of our sets in the days ahead. It would end up being the way we closed out every gig we played. On this particular night however, once we had finished performing, I decided it was a good idea to throw a proper party at the Slayer House. I literally made an open invitation on the microphone to every single person in the bar to come back and party with us, and the majority of them did.

We ended up with a house full of people and we partied hearty until the sun began to peek over the horizon. The night was a success, the after party was a success, and we were all itching to do it again as soon as possible...

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