Updated: Mar 3
Alt-rock band Texas King brought good times and a lot of high energy to Hamilton’s Casbah on Jan.13.
Located on 306 King St. W, Casbah is a music venue and bar, specializing in independent bands.
“Basically, the Casbah is one big family for both musicians and everybody who works here,” said Casbah bartender Kenda Legaspi. “Every bartender here is a touring musician, so we always have a job when we come home, and every band that comes here is welcome as family. They actually supported me throughout my entire music career. The owner used to book me shows when I was a nobody. It’s a really great community.”
Other employees agree.
“This place is awesome,” ticket-taker Courtney Hrach said. “I’m a musician too, so it’s nice to be right in the middle of the scene.”
“We usually have about four to five bands per night,” Legaspi said. “At least four to five days a week. We like to support local acts, that’s our main goal.”
Casbah hosts a variety of genres throughout the week.
“There’s a couple of monthly shows that we do, like there’s a hip-hop show, a bluegrass matinee, stuff like that,” Hrach said.
From London, Ont. Texas King are an alt-rock four-piece band that started back in 2013. Made up of vocalist Peter Gordon Brown, drummer Melvin Murray, guitarist Colin Gray, and bassist Phil Spina, the college buddies started the band while still in school.
“I’ve never seen them play before, but I met them earlier today and they’re a really great bunch of guys,” Hrach said.
Touring with their debut album Circles, released in 2017, their songs are formulaic, and at times a little bland. But for what they lack in creativity, they make up for in their energy. Jumping and dancing around stage, leaping over each-others backs like kids, all the while pouring with sweat – Texas King live is anything but boring. Although I wish they’d step outside of the box with their lyrics, the guys put on a great show.
The $12 cover is a few more dollars than most live music venues in downtown Hamilton, which typically range from $5-$10 dollars.
But when it comes to booze, Casbah is quite proud of their selection of local craft beers.
“We support a lot of local breweries,” Legaspi said. “A half pint is $6.50, a full pint is generally $8. Any of our bar rail is $6.50, and any of the higher shelf stuff is like $7-$7.50. Pretty decently priced, and you get to try different beers from around Canada.”
Unfortunately, if you’re looking for a bite to eat after all that excitement, Casbah leaves you empty-handed. The bar is drinks only.
For the overall experience, I’d give Texas King at The Casbah a four out of five. Although a great experience, a menu to munch on would have made the night absolutely perfect.