H2O Quenches Headbanger Thirst

There’s a new music spot in downtown Owen Sound that will feature hard rock, metal and grunge, bringing in bands in those genres while they provide a platform for local bands of the same ilk.

The H2O Lounge is located on 2nd Avenue East, just down the block from Heartwood Hall and The Bleeding Carrot.  I’ve seen it sitting there for a while and wondered water they doing in there (pun intended).  I heard about some bands playing there and then what really got my attention was a Riot Grrrl night headlined by Pantychrist.  It struck me as an unusual offering in downtown Owen Sound, surely filling a niche.  I noticed it was an event created by Banding Together Promotions.

It turns out that Banding Together is mainly one guy, Raymond King. His band, Killing Clarence will be headlining a big anti-Valentine metal grunge show at H2O on the 14th.

“Originally my idea for Banding Together started in 2014 when I lived in North Bay,” says Ray, “My friend’s uncle was diagnosed with bladder cancer and he was given three months to live.  They didn’t have any money and they weren’t prepared for it so we set up a fund raiser and we just called it Banding Together.  From there the idea kind of stuck because it was a huge success.  We were able to help them out a lot.  We made $12,000 for them.”

Not long after he returned to Owen Sound a string of arsons happened and Ray felt the spirit of Banding Together re-ignite.

“I called Best Western and said “Hey if you donate a room, we can do a concert and raise some money.”  We did a big concert there and raised I think $10,000 for the United Way.”

Starting his own promotion enterprise was a natural progression.

“Stuff I noticed in the area was mainly focussed on blues and folk and outside of that there wasn’t much opportunity for other artists, like rock bands or metal bands or heavy rock bands. I figured I had enough contacts with the artists’ community that I could start a promotion business and help people branch out and start a different kind of scene in this area.”

It turned out H2O, under new management, was looking for a way to re-invent themselves.

“The H2O Lounge contacted me,” Ray says, “and they said, you know, ‘you seem to be doing well with promotion so could you help us try and change the name of this place.  We’re trying to make it better, we’re trying to show people that’…it’s hard to do without the opportunity of people seeing it, right?”

He saw that it could be “a pretty good platform for that kind of crowd to stand and jump.”

“Things are turning around,” he says, “We built the stage, we built another VIP booth, we brought in – you know not like high end, you know, $100,000 booking bands, but we’re bringing in some decent local bands, like Pantychrist, Chachi On Acid,, we had Odium, we’re bringing in a band from London called Flidais this week.”  He says they sound like “Iron Maiden meets Judas Priest”.  The lead singer’s “got a very high end frequency voice that’s done very well.”  They will be part of the big anti-Valentines show that Ray King’s band is headlining.

Actually to say that Killing Clarence is Ray’s band is misleading.  It’s really the Webster brothers’ band.  They used to be called Shadows Bright.

“Well Jeff and Jake and I are brothers so we basically grew up playing together and with our old singer,” says Harley Webster, “he brought in our bass player.  He ended up quitting the band so then I got Ray in and worked it out.”

Killing Clarence refers to themselves as “ 4 Balding Dudes… and Mike [Bloomfield]. With an Ongoing High-Energy Sound That Will Keep The Pit Moshing and The Beer Flowing!”

The opening band will be a metal band from Muskoka called Wisker Ditch

“Wisker Ditch is in your face,” says Ray, “I don’t know how what else to call it.  Kind of like a Bobnoxious feel, but metal.  I haven’t seen them live yet, so I’m looking forward to that.”

The show happens Sat., Feb. 10th.  It’s an ANTI-Valentine party with a $10 cover but if you bring a picture of your ex for the doorman to rip up you get in for half price.

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One Response to H2O Quenches Headbanger Thirst

  1. Gillian says:

    I’ll be having dark chocolate with my Sweetie on Valentine’s Day, but this post, and the thought of all those ripped photographs, made me smile.

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