Welcome back to BCIT’s favourite guide to the sonic unknown feature: soundscape. November saw the local music community mourn the loss of spooky season and embrace the wet grip of an oncoming Vancouver winter. As we move closer into the holiday season, bars and music venues are shifting from interesting live shows to the thing that pays the bills: corporate holiday parties. But the people want art! They want music, and an escape from the crushing reality of capitalism. Luckily, this is a scene that never quits. The holidays are about family, after all, and our alternative music scene gatherings are my favourite kind of family. Without further ado, here’s what you should be checking out this month.
WHERE TO GO: RED GATE ART SOCIETY
A rainbow of colourful spotlights shine on a modest stage while a disco ball dances in the background. Twenty-something punks in lace dresses and patch jackets lounge on sporadically placed leather couches, waiting for the next act to begin. On the yellow balcony, unshakeable bonds begin to form over the sharing of a lighter. Mural art and graffiti fill the walls. Walking in, I take a deep breath and fill my lungs with the scent of cheap beer and mosh pit sweat. It feels good to be home.
Red Gate has been a mainstay in our music scene for many years, and is one of the few art spaces that remained through the pandemic. While the venue is a favourite of the punk crowd, it’s also a place where some of the weirder and experimental acts can take the stage, creating a consistently excellent lineup of musical acts, performers, and artists. This also means that Red Gate is a great starting point for a musical project that may not do well at a more mainstream venue. It boasts some of the best sound in the city—not because of an expensive technical setup, but because of the incredibly talented and well-trained sound technicians.
Beyond the music, it’s all the little things Red Gate does that’s cemented them as a space for the community. In addition to being one of the few venues with wheelchair accessibility, something you’ll often see on posters for their shows are “PWYC” or “NOTAFLOF,” which mean “Pay What You Can” and “No One Turned Away For Lack Of Funds,” respectively. These commonly used phrases are ways to reduce bars to entry to music events. Can’t afford to be here? Doesn’t matter, come on in. They believe, as so many of us do that it’s more important to have people at shows than to make money.
WHO TO SEE: HOPE SLIDE
Hope Slide is one of the most exciting new bands to hit the scene this year—despite already having two albums released on Spotify in 2020 and 2021. Aptly describing themselves as “distraught rock,” their music has an orchestral quality, shifting from an intense waterfall of sound to a soft and melodic vocalist with a guitar. It feels reminiscent of Black Country, New Road if they introduced a softer element. The musical ability and talent of the group shines through, with each member demonstrating a mastery over their instrument.
Hope Slide recently competed in Live Acts’ Best of Vancouver competition and blew it out of the water. After speaking to them at one of the events, they revealed that their current focus is recording and releasing new material. Follow their Instagram to stay up to date with their releases and (hopefully) catch a show.
Upcoming Shows: Check out @thisweekinvan for weekly updates on local shows happening!
Do you have an event, band, or venue you’d like to see featured? Send us an email! email@example.com