By Kat Harlton

On Wednesday May 6th I checked out The Underground Operations CMW showcase at Handlebar in Kensington, after Lithium Editor/Photog Vanessa Markov suggested it to me. I’ve always been a fan of UO, the artists they support and their vision for those artists, so I was eager to see their line-up.

Highlighted performances for me were Alberta’s folk/harmonic duo The Royal Foundry, led by husband and wife team Jared Salte and Bethany Schumacer. They had great voices, great energy and were skilled musicians playing numerous different kinds of instruments. I especially loved their unique and totally awesome cover of The Band’s ‘The Weight’.

I also really enjoyed singer/songwriter Rob Moir who was the artist that I was probably most excited to see. He was down to earth, funny, and a natural storyteller. There’s something about an artist and only their guitar that really resonates with me, and Moir really showcased the strength and vulnerability that it takes to perform as a solo artist.

I also really need to mention London, Ontario’s Heart Attack Kids, after listening to folk sounds for the past few hours, their set hit me like an earthquake. A mixture of punk and alternative with a hint of metal, they transformed Handlebar into a frenzy.

Other performers included: Standards, North Creed, and Duch Dillinger. I also really dug the DJ sets by Grump, they helped to transition the artists seamlessly.

Although I’ve been to Handlebar before, this was perhaps the first time I noticed how adaptable the space is. It easily accommodated the artists and their fans, and I definitely give credit to the CMW volunteers and crew who helped it to run smoothly.

I’m excited to see what Underground Operations has in store for its future.