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Review: Punk Covers @ This Ain't Hollywood

This Ain’t Hollywood hosted a punk rock covers night on Feb. 1, with bands The Potholes, True North, and The Ramolas.

(Julian Swift of The Ramolas.) Photo credit: Sarah Jessica

The Place

Photo credit: Sarah Jessica

This Ain’t Hollywood opened their doors in April 2009.

“The thing that makes This Ain’t Hollywood unique is the people,” bartender Carl Zulkiewicz said. “The owners from the get-go started it off as an a-typical bar. They liked music and wanted a bigger scene in Hamilton, so they filled that gap. And the community likes where it is. From the neighbours to the people up the street, this whole section of town is a unique community that you don’t see in many cities.”

Rebecca Banderlinden has been working at This Ain’t Hollywood for 10 years.

Photo credit: Sarah Jessica

“It’s got great sound – high ceilings and a great, old building. Also, the people [are great], I’ve never had to kick anyone out. Everyone is here to have a great time.”

The venue is well known for their hard rock and punk acts.

“We see a lot of local guys returning,” said Zulkiewicz. “We see a lot of rock, a lot of punk. We have some travelling bands that come by once or twice a year. A lot of funk, soul – we also hire from all over, not just local.”

The Band

(Left to right: Steve Scarlet and Curtis Faux of The Cola Heads.) Photo credit: Sarah Jessica

The Potholes, True North and The Ramolas each covered punk rock icons NOFX, Bad Religion, and The Ramones. First up at 10pm was The Potholes, the newest to the area.

Ryan Grzesiaj is The Potholes’ vocalist.

“It’s great,” Ryan Grzesiaj, The Potholes’ vocalist said. “The sound was awesome. It’s just been so friendly, everyone’s been so welcoming and the bands we’ve been playing with have been so sweet.”

True North introduced The Potholes to This Ain’t Hollywood. “My parents and grandparents are from Hamilton but I didn’t grow up here,” Grzesiaj said. “It’s a really cool city and This Ain’t Hollywood is a fantastic venue.”

The Price

Photo credit: Sarah Jessica

This Ain’t Hollywood has a full bar with beer on-tap and mixed drinks, but no food menu.

“For snacks, we have chips, peanuts, pickled eggs, pickled kielbasa, and dill pickles,” Banderlinden said. “That’s it for food.”

In traditional hard-rock style, the bar serves beer and liquor, but the bartenders are open to experimenting with cocktails if they have the ingredients.

“The night price for a pint is $6 to $6.75, bottles are $5 to $6.50 and mixed drinks are $6.75,” Banderlinden said.

Rating: I’d give This Ain’t Hollywood’s punk covers night a four out of five. It’s a comfortable place with friendly people – but with the addition of a menu, the night would’ve been perfect.


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