How one Halifax band decided to make their debut on tour…in Ontario.
By Kate Butler @butler2
When a band’s reputation proceeds them and you hear about them before they have released any music or toured through your town, you know they must be good. The hype about Halifax’s Beauts hit me during Folly Fest in Gagetown when a mutual friend told me about the band and that I had to check them out ASAP. As soon as I arrived home from the festival I checked out their Bandcamp and watched their video. I’m pretty sure I said, “holy shit” out loud, twice.
Beauts was born out of mutual friendship and musicianship between Darryl Smith, Erik Van Lunen and Joel Waddell, having played in several bands together including Rich Aucoin, Kuato and Writers’ Strike. “Palmer [Jameison] and I have been friends for a while and had chatted for over two years about making music together and we decided to start writing music and it snowballed from there,” said vocalist Jeff Lawton.
Lawton is kind of the wildcard of the band having no previous music experience under his belt, yet he handles the lead vocalist and frontman position like a veteran. “I have to do something when I am up there, I’m not playing an instrument so I kind of just do my thing,” said Lawton. “I mean, we want people to see how much of a good time we are having up there and we want the crowd to be feeling the same way, enjoying what we are doing.”
Beauts have released four tracks through their Bandcamp page and play what I can only describe as scrappy punk rock. Their music has been compared to Vancouver’s rock duo Japandroids, most notably in relation to their first released track apply titled, Afterall. “We knew the track Afterall had a Japandroids vibe to it but we like to think that song specifically has enough about it that’s different. We are obviously happy to be mentioned in the same sentence as them but it’s not the only music we are into and that comes through during our live shows and in our other tracks too,” said Lawton.
Without any official releases to their name, Beauts toured through Ontario during the late spring before playing any shows in their hometown of Halifax. “We have a few friends in Ontario who we sent our stuff to and they liked it and wanted to book us. It was extremely terrifying to be playing our first show in a different city and not having our friends there, “said Lawton. “It went extremely well and it was probably better for us to play our first show in a different city.”
Beauts’ debut shows in Ontario were not only a first for the band but also a first for Lawton. Not only had he never been on tour before, he had also never played in front of a crowd before and noted that he learned a lot during those first few shows. “You know, all of it was new to me, doing a sound check, doing a load in, getting up on stage and having faces look back at you was an unreal experience. The rest of the guys had a lot of faith in me (laughs) to let me just be a wild man on stage and engage people in what we were doing.”
A total of four tracks have been released through their Bandcamp page and with a “hope of hunkering down during the winter to put together an EP”, we can only hope to hear some more scrappy rock from Beauts.