Dark Hamilton and Asylum: alternative clubbing

Asylum offers a clubbing experience for those put off by the mainstream club scene / Kostyn Petrunick

Dark Hamilton’s monthly club night, “Asylum”, is one of the most entertaining, friendly and spooky evenings you can have if you live in Niagara or its surrounding regions.

Asylum, run by Adam Gore, is a club night that takes place at The Baltimore House in Hamilton at the end of every month. It is one of the several events run by the group Dark Hamilton, of which he is a founder. The evenings always have a few DJ’s, often including Gore himself and they often showcase amazing dark bands.

On October 28, the Halloween – Throwback Classics Night Asylum night took place with DJ Adam Gore and DJ J0nes.

“Dark Hamilton started unofficially in the Spring of 2014 … as a small little online community of 10 of my friends,” said Gore.

“An idea arose to have our first get together because a lot of us had never even met each other. We had arranged to have our first Hamilton Gothic Picnic and a whole bunch of news companies got a hold of it: CH Television did it, the View Magazine got ahold of it, CBC got a hold of it and they all contacted me and wanted interviews,” Gore continued.

“The day it was planned we had 500-something attendees on Facebook, but it got rained out,” said Gore. “So we rescheduled it to the day after and because of that we only had 50-something people show up. I think that really hurt it, but I ended up getting a bunch of interviews and my picture on CBC, and that is what kind of started it.?

People started realising that, “Hey! There’s some kind of subculture revival going on here and let’s check it out.” So at that point, we started doing a monthly meet where new people would show up every month and we’d just become one big group of friends. … That whole Summer we did a picnic every month and we started this Asylum here for the not-so-family-friendly events.”

Gore touched on the city of Hamilton and how it’s been missing the non-traditional club culture. He explained that although a lot hasn’t gone on in the past, that has been beginning to change over the last couple of years.

“I’m constantly thinking of new and innovative things to either reach out into different audiences or continuously keep people interested … like the Cosplay night.” Asylum was doing themed nights once every three months but Gore plans to spread them further out to give people more consistency and to give people more time to prep their outfits for themed events in advance.

Gore was very clear that Dark Hamilton, is “not Goth” and Asylum is “not a Goth night”. He wants “to include what small little Goth community there is, but starting to include this community and that community – anything that is dark in nature I wanted it a part of [Dark hamilton]. … I didn’t want to exclude anybody.”

The event I went to was a “Throwback Night” because a lot of his “regulars who have been coming since day one have been begging me for  throwback night for a very long time and I’ve always been a little hesitant about it because I don’t like to do old things, I like to try to keep things somewhat new.” This is one of the things that make the Asylum night unique when compared to the events in Toronto or elsewhere who are “living in the past.”

J0nes and his partner Ali Sear were excited about the night. He’s been DJing since 1998 and started at Mohawk doing overnight radio now called 101.5 The Hawk. His show consists of Punk, Glam and Industrial, and the show is called Deep Down Trauma Sounds and it has moved to McMaster’s radio station, 93.3 CFMU.

Ali says the best part of playing the events it that “it’s a night out and he get’s paid!” J0nes elaborates, “if I go out somewhere else, there is a very low chance I’m going to hear the majority of a night of music that I want to hear.”

Finally, I was able to talk to an enter-PAIN-er and original Bat Caver, Murray Swain (AKA Voodoo Rain) who cackled appropriately when he gave me his titles. He is full of astounding stories and was incredibly friendly. When asked about the state of the scene he said that “this is probably the biggest resurgence that I’ve seen Hamilton have in about 20 years.”

He does “stage shows … [including] fire eating, eat broken glass, walk on broken glass” and has as he puts it, “been crucified twice as many times as Jesus and … I lived to talk about it”

Bottom line, if you like having fun, are slightly put off by the regular club scene, and like music somewhere between David Bowie and Slipknot, Asylum is for you and Dark Hamilton is a more than welcoming community who will be happy to have you.


You can join the group on Facebook to see what’s going on and to meet some amazing people here: facebook.com/groups/HamiltonGoth/

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