by Brittany Wiesner (Staff Writer)
Wednesday’s the new Saturday at the Airfair Lounge in downtown Abbotsford, thanks to Harma White. The local band celebrated a one-year milestone on October 20 after playing the venue every Wednesday for the last year. And it was a great celebration. The band played from 9pm until 1am, filling in their usual timeslot at the bar.
The Arifair, quickly becoming a hot venue for local music, is filled with couches that are ripped, floor stains, eclectic people, character and it’s a favourite place for many people in Abbotsford, especially when Harma White plays.
Since it was the one year Harma-versary, the Lounge was packed with regulars and quite a few new faces. There were extra special drink specials and a buzz in the crowd. Harma White played their usual covers and original songs and even played a few new ones. One of the bartenders has a tradition of singing his Harma-version of “Oh Well” by Fleetwood Mac, and last week it was even more entertaining. A Safeway birthday cake even made a brief appearance before ending up in the bassist’s face.
The night allowed the band to give their fans a pat on the back for dutifully coming out every week. Even as the show came to an end, the audience pleaded for an encore, and Harma White was more than happy to oblige them, even agreeing to play an interesting rendition of “Free Bird”.
Besides honouring the hard work of the fans, Harma White had a chance to look back at their time playing the Airfair. The band noted its improvements in ability and experience, drummer Shane Clark explained how their regular gig has deepened the band: “We’ve met some new people; we’ve become closer friends and built a better connection.”
As any avid “Harma White Wednes-Daze” fan can tell you, the band hasn’t deepened its sound without a few bumps; the band has made more than a few little pieces of legend at the Airfair. For instance, “There was a bunch of cases stacked on the side as I closed my eyes and was about jump off [the stage] and I clipped my ankle on it and just fell,” says Brandon Clark, and proudly adds “I was stilling playing though!” Pierce remembers that “[Brandon] was still holding a beer and didn’t even spill it!”
A large part of the night’s celebration was of the bar itself, which seems to finally be the venue Abbotsford bands have been hoping for. Many acts, including Harma White, love performing there for its party-like atmosphere. Shane Clark added that “It’s not the best sounding or biggest stage, but it’s great for the environment – and what they let us get away with. It’s a killer music venue.”
The big question for many people is: how can we pick up a piece of Harma White? “We had a couple recordings that we were working on that were lo-fi stuff,” says guitarist Kyler Pierce. “So we’ve decided to do it professionally now that we have the opportunity with Claymore Studio who are giving us a helping hand. We’re not rushing it… [because] there’s no sense in pushing creativity.”
In the meantime, Harma White continues to play every Wednesday at the Airfair Lounge. They’ve been there for a year already, and I hope they’ll be playing for a while more. “Wednes-Daze” run from 9pm until 1am, and includes cheap beer and live music. What could be better?