by Scott Roos
pics by Scott and Deanna Roos
The Hourhand: Three kids from the Queen City aka Regina (don’t blame me I didn’t name it). Have you seen them live yet? These kids are delivering absolutely punishing sets of meat and potatoes riff rock wherever and whenever they perform. Their talent has been undeniable and they are steadily becoming a highly sought after band in the province of Saskatchewan. It SHOULD be only a matter of time before they ascend to even higher heights than they have already achieved. And let me tell you, the heights that they’ve already ascended to are pretty damn impressive.
“I think for us personally we have a fire lit under us and we just want things to get better and better,” Hourhand bassist Gray Farrow told the NSMZ in a recent interview.
Farrow’s absolutely right. Back in April, they curtain-jerked for Hamilton’s mighty Monster Truck at the Roxy in Saskatoon and blew people’s minds. On top of this, just a few days ago they set the roof of Moose Jaw’s Mae Wilson Theatre on fire with an incendiary opening set for Big Wreck. In fact, the Moosejavians (inside joke LOL) gave the boys a standing ovation. Let that sink in. In front of a partisan Big Wreck crowd who were there to relive the glory days of the “big shiny 90’s” these three unassuming kids, clad in matching white trousers (it’s their thing. Don’t question it) melted faces and for their efforts were rewarded with a well earned standing ovation from the plebeians in attendance. Very few people there knew who they were or what they were capable of up until that point in time. There was none of this fake standing ovation “one more song, one more song” bullshit chanting where the band pretends to leave and then comes back and plays their biggest hit no matter how loud the applause or chant is at the end of their set. This ovation was a natural reaction to the inescapable energy that these guys put forward. Crazy right? Well, it shouldn’t be because if you’ve seen them before you wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest. Which brings me back to my original question: HAVE YOU FUCKING SEEN THEM PLAY?
“Over the pandemic is when that really started developing because like The Hourhand pre pandemic vs now we're a different band. We're a different style. We have different gear. We have a different mindset. We've developed so much and my playing has really kind of tailored to this new style and new sound that we're chasing,” says Hourhand guitarist Cole Van Woert.
“We're doing new things during our live shows that are more risky but things that have a higher risk also have a higher reward. I think that when we pull it off it works really really well and the crowd loves it and I think that's what we're kind of getting more into is trying to make these bigger moments, make things that are more memorable for the people that come to see us play,” adds drummer Dawson Dressler.
By the way, if you missed them open for Monster Truck, Dead Levee, Sparrow Blue and Big Wreck (that’s right you’ve had four chances in the last few months) then you have another opportunity this Saturday, August 6th to see them share the stage with five other exciting up-and-comers in W3eapons, Ex Omerta, The Northern Royals, The Radiant, and Traitors’ Gate at MooseFest 2022 in Bellevue. And all for the low low price of $55. That’s a lot of band for your buck! Six bands in the Funky Moose Family for $55. It’s about seeing some great bands play but it's also helping support and mold the scene that organizers Mark Poppen and Joel Gaudet have been working on since they started The Sit Down Podcast a few years back.
“Everyone involved in MooseFest is kind of just friends with each other. Everybody seems passionate about it and we're going to do a fun show together,” says Farrow.
“It's just positive vibes all the way around. Everyone is trying to do the same thing within the same community of bands so why not put everyone together on the same stage and have a party," remarked Van Woert, "And yes it's out in Bellevue which ties into Joel (Gaudet) and Mark (Poppen) because they live out there. For those guys that are putting it together, I think it's as good a place as any for a festival.”
“When you know you have guys like Poppen and Gaudet putting something on you know you're going to get treated right, you know that word is going to get out there for the gig and you know they're going to get really good bands to also be on the bill,” said Dressler.
But, at the end of the day, it's about the entertainment that all these bands bring to the table. Mark August 6th on your calendars because that’s when MooseFest is gonna go down and it's going to kick ass and take names just like it did last year. So, get off your ass and come to Bellevue to see The Hourhand and five other amazing bands because it's going to be one of those gigs to remember. Doors will open at noon with the festivities kicking off at 1 pm. For those wishing to stay the night, 28 Campsites will be available on the festival grounds. They have power. Sites are affordable at $30 per night and are first-come, first-served. For those requiring any further info you can consult the festival’s website here: https://www.moosefestsk.ca/