Britney’s Krack Return
Formed in 1998 by drummer Bruce Hotchkies and vocalist James Spalding, Britney’s Krack cut a swath through the southern Ontario scene for seven years before packing it in. The self proclaimed ‘most hated band in Hamilton’ returns this weekend for one night only for the first time in nine years.
Canadian born Hotchkies, grew up in England and came back to Canada when he was 18. Working in the music and graphic design industries, Hotchkies also had a rather bedroom musical career but then formed a band with the idea of being a smidge more public. Britney’s Krack lampooned pop tunes by Christina Aguilera, Enrique Iglesias and yes, Britney Spears in a sloppy, drunk and unapologetic punk rock style and marketed the band to get attention.
“I’ve been in and out and around Hamilton since 1989 making music but Krack was started by James and myself purely as a venture to get us out of the house once a month and get drunk,” explains Hotchkies. “The marketing and promotion I put into that band was phenomenal, and whether you liked us or not, chances are, you had heard of us. The posters I designed for the band really did cross several lines, taste being the main one. But if there was a downfall to Britney's Krack, it was purely Mickey DeSadist’s fault.”
Bolstered by the likes of the Forgotten Rebels vocalist and a few others, Britney’s Krack would open for the Rebels and continue offending people on a couple of CDEPs and even a foray to New York City. The tour was a disaster and cracks began to form in Krack. When Spalding didn’t show up to one practice, Hotchkies began putting forward his idea of fronting his own band, Thunderfuck and the Deadly Romantics, that would be more offensive with all original music. In 2007 Hotchkies left for Scotland and began working on an all–new line up for the Deadly Romantics and has continued offending people in Europe opening for the likes of the Dogs D’Amour, Enuff Z’Nuff and more. But with his return this weekend, Hotchkies reforms his old notorious band from a decade ago for one last lark.
“It ended at the perfect time in Hamilton,” says Hotchkies on 2007. “Thunderfuck was an idea that I had and it was supposed to be like Zodiac Mindwarp. The core of it, the whole thing started because James didn’t show up to a BK rehearsal. Ryan was there for a couple of the first songs. New York City is a song about BK’s first and only trip to NYC. We started the Deadly Romantics as a democracy and that’s a nice idea but everything turns into a mess. When I went to Scotland, I knew how I wanted to do it. It took me four years to find the guys but man do I have the right guys now. The Deadly Romantics is an ongoing concern, bigger and better than it ever was here. Touring the UK, opening up for big bands, playing a lot of good shows. We’re already half way through the second album.
“Thunderfuck is clearly offensive — with Britney’s Krack we didn’t go out to offend but we did because we just really didn’t care,” adds Hotchkies. “And the amount of hatred that came at us from everyone in the music community… There were a handful of people that got it but that was about it. We started as a big piss up and an excuse to get really, really drunk and have fun and that was it. We’re one of the few bands that fired a guitarist because he was just too good a musician and that says a lot.”
The final incarnation of Britney’s Krack featuring Hotchkies, Spalding, Johnny Bud Timmins on guitar, and Ryan Cannon on bass reunite for one night only and will revisit some of their drunken exploits with a discography re–release including a 25 track greatest hits CD/dvd and in–depth documentary on the band.
“I didn’t want to come over here with my wife and kids without being able to go out and get pissed — and when I get pissed, I do it in style,” laughs Hotchkies. “I don’t have family here but my wife has tons of family here and so it was always in the cards that the next vacation was going to be coming back to Canada. Hamilton might be one of the cities I’ve spent the least time in but it really does feel like home. I miss the guys here. There is a music community here that doesn’t exist in Glasgow or Edinburgh. There isn’t the infrastructure. It’s so cliquey with regard to what genre you’re in. The rockers don’t want to know the indie guys and they don’t want to know the rappers, whereas in Hamilton, no one gives a crap. Either you’re a musician or you’re not, either you’re a dick or you’re not. You’ve got to be out of this city to see how good the music community is here. There is something in Hamilton and the dicks know who the dicks are.
“No one wants to have fun and rock and roll anymore and that’s what Thunderfuck and Britney’s Krack are about,” adds Hotchkies. “I don’t want to be John Lennon — I want to be Paul Stanley. I’m back in Canada for a lark so it’s great to see my old mates in Britney’s Krack and all I want is a drunken mess for our return to the Hamilton stage. It’ll be a disaster by guys that are nine years older and a little less talented. The show is going to be fun for me and who comes, personally I don’t care.”
Britney’s Krack play this Saturday April 12 at the Bay City Music Hall with Kryptcreeper, Rezentments, and the Nicoloff Brothers. Doors open at 7:30 and admission is free. Click on facebook.com/britneyskrack
JB Reed’s Sláinte
We learned of American born J.B. Reed as part of the Human Orchestra, a Caledonia based alt–country/indie rock band that burst onto the local scene a few short years ago. The band has changed dramatically over the last three years and is currently working on their debut full–length vinyl offering but this weekend THO’s lead singer offers a local production that showcases her theatre background.
“I attended the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City and got my BFA at The New School (NYC) — I moved to NYC for university theatre, came to Canada for a boy, stayed for my music and decided to start mixing my interests in music and theatre,” explains Reed. “I wrote this play as a tribute to my Nana, who was a big theatre fan. She was born 1916, which is the year of the Easter Rising in Ireland, what better way to pay tribute to someone I spent Sunday mornings making homemade juice and listening to folk music with by writing an Irish folk rock musical. The play is about one family’s turmoil through the Easter Rising in Ireland from the point of view of our main character and narrator Seamus Murphy.”
JB Reed offers Sláinte that intermingles theatre and music with a nod to traditional Irish pub songs with a modern folk rock twist. While she’s done an American production three times the play has been refined for a Hamilton production that includes friends from Reed’s adoptive hometown. Hamilton musicians Luke Michaels (the Human Orchestra), Vic Rinieri (Texas Gold), Josh Holt (Texas Gold), flesh out the live band for the performance alongside Jill Kooymans (Boy with an Atlas) and Jordan Hallin (Day Drunk) and Reed’s brother Benjamin adding the musical performances.
“The show is very music focused and Benjamin is playing the lead, which is the viewpoint that the audience gets to see,” offers Reed. “I originally wrote the lead with Benjamin in mind, so it’s been great that he’s come up to Hamilton to do this again. I think the show appeals to many different audiences. It’s got a historical aspect, it’s a theatrical piece, which appeals to theatre lovers, and then of course the Irish folk rock aspect is aimed at both Irish cultural lovers but also is modernized enough that it’s enjoyable for modern music lovers a la Mumford and Sons.
“The Human Orchestra is very busy working on our new record but I think right now this will be the focus of mixing my style of music and theatre and I’m ready for the challenge of doing this play in Hamilton,” adds Reed. “This is where I call home now, so I’m excited at the chance to start integrating all aspects of my various training into one fun event.”
Sláinte happens at The Citadel Theatre (28 Rebecca St.) this Thursday, April 10 (7pm), Friday April 11 (7pm), Saturday April 12 (7pm), and Sunday April 13 (4pm). Tickets are $15 general admission. $35 VIP (which includes merch swag bag). $10 group rate tickets for 15 or more. Click on slainterock.com
Light of Day Hamilton
Music can change the world — at least it has for local music fan Andrea Rehill. Spending her youth working in music retail, the deejay and concert promoter has spent the better part of the last decade adding to our local music scene but when she had the opportunity to work with a charitable association that one of her idols, Bruce Springsteen, spearheaded, Andrea Rehill decided to help change the world herself.
“Like most people I developed a big love for Bruce when I was little listening to my dad’s records,” explains Rehill. “The Light of Day Foundation started to help aid people with Parkinson’s Disease and other related diseases. It was started 14 years ago by a gentleman named Bob Benjamin, the owner of Schoolhouse records. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s early and he decided to throw a birthday party where guests were encouraged to make a donation in lieu of gifts. That initial concert that I think raised $2000 has turned into something that has become a worldwide venture with tons of artists supporting this cause. It started out with modest intention and has grown into Bruce Springsteen, Lucinda Williams and lots of big name supporters. A couple of friends of mine brought Light of Day to Niagara Falls and they asked me to help do something in Hamilton, which kind of made sense given my connection to venues here and my experience in concert promotion. And of course, I was happy to support something Bruce Springsteen was supported. This is our fourth year in Hamilton. We’ve had some great acts come and support us. Joel Plaskett, the Trews, Gary US Bonds, Willie Nyle, the Dinner Belles
“Over the last three years we’ve raised a total of around $20,000,” adds Rehill. “My second year doing this, I asked Pete Elkas to coordinate with me and so we’ve been doing all of the events together. He and I are on the board of directors for Light of Day Canada. This year we’ve ramped it up with the Sam Roberts Band who are donating their time to the cause. We’ve moved our venue to Hamilton Place Studio Theatre.”
The Light of Day Hamilton concert happens with the Sam Roberts Band, Peter Elkas and the Elkas Band, the Dinner Belles, and Antony D’Amato this weekend in a much larger venue. With that show already selling out, Rehill and company wanted to retain the special nature of the concert weekend.
“Last year I realized that most of the tickets were going to be sold the week of or even the day of the show so it’s a total relief seeing that we’re pretty near sold out,” smiles Rehill. “But one of our priorities this year with the venue change, it was so special and intimate holding it at This Ain’t Hollywood every year, so we wanted to keep them in the loop and support the venue so we’re having an official after party at the club with some great Hamilton talent and there might be some of the people from the first show joining in at the after party so you’ll have to buy a ticket to find out. We want to keep it a special experience for everyone because we’re both huge music fans. Every year people end up talking about how incredible a night this is to see these artists in a smaller room.
“All of the artists donate all of their time and it’s really a special event that is doing a lot of good,” adds Rehill. “I’m so proud to work with all of these people and we’re looking at raising about $ 25,000 this year. The support and the concerts just keep getting bigger. There’s no turning back from here, we just have to keep making it bigger and bigger every year.”
The Light of Day Concert at Hamilton Place Studio Theatre is officially sold out. The Official Light Of Day After Party happens this Saturday April 12 at This Ain’t Hollywood with Ginger St. James, Tongue Fu and special guests. Tickets available at the door but this will sell out. Click on Lightofdaycanada.com