Banging The Drum – How Streets of Hastings is taking on Cancer.

3 Feb

Plus: Exclusive first play of new single, “Sea Bag (La, La, La)”.

2012 is really starting to get going now and Christmas already feels like a distant memory. The season of goodwill and kindness to all mankind has faded into dust once more. The season where, in recent years, artists have clambered all over each other to have their name attached to any God awful charity single; often a cover version, usually rubbish and mostly for charities in which the artist in question has no emotional investment. Now the holiday season has passed, singles have plummeted once again from the charts, the artists in question no doubt returned to their celebrity lifestyles and their altruistic actions are quickly forgotten.

But for some people, the season of goodwill never ends. What is really impressive is when an artist maintains their charity work (it’s not just for Christmas you know), when it is not something to be limited to a once a year event, when you know what they are doing comes from the heart rather than a PR brainstorming session, and that their actions will make a difference.

That’s where Streets of Hastings, the self styled “drinkin’ band with a little rock ‘n roll problem”, come in. These three guys, Phil Alexander, Jason “Trucker” Bedard, & Larry “Peyts” Peyton, who specialise in “a combination of rock and Celtic punk, with some solid alt and indie influences” are lending their support to the Canadian Cancer Society.

Ironically enough, for all this talk of Christmas charity, it was during the festive season of 2010 that their story began when Peyts, the band’s drummer, was the recipient of a set of pink Los Cabos drumsticks. He explains their significance on the Streets of Hastings website;

these are a special edition set of sticks made by a Canadian company in support of breast cancer awareness, with a portion of the proceeds going to the Canadian Cancer Society. I never used the sticks, but rather decided that I would do something important with them… at that time, I had no idea by April I was going to lose a buddy to cancer”.

That buddy was Don, a friend and co-worker who lost a fight with Leukaemia in April 2011, leaving a wife and two young children. Peyts says it was the loss of Don that served as his wake up call, that this was the time to try and make a difference and give something back to those people that help the likes of Don, or our uncles, aunts, parents, children and friends. Cancer is the perhaps the one disease that indiscriminately affects all of us, be it directly or otherwise. Throw a stone and chances are you will hit someone who has been affected by it in some form or other. And so it was that Peyts returned to his pink Los Cabos drumsticks with a view to using them to help his cause.

As a memory to those I’ve lost to cancer”, he wrote online, “as well as a celebration of those who’ve beaten it, I wrote on those pink Los Cabos sticks the names of my friends & family who have battled this disease. Further, I decided that those sticks would be used at only one show, a big show… and then, I’d auction those sticks with ALL money going to the Canadian Cancer Society”.

The story of Don was told at their sold-out show in Rockland, Ontario in May 2011 and bids for the sticks were invited online, with “Smugglers Cove Roadhouse Bar & Grill” in Burin, Newfoundland the eventual winners, paying $1500. A tidy sum, there can be no doubt, but while many would have been content with this outcome, a fire had been lit inside Peyts and the band. This wasn’t the end of their efforts, but merely the beginning of a much larger campaign.

Since then, the bands drive to raise money for the Canadian Cancer Society has accompanied them on tour (where a new set of Los Cabos sticks are used for each gig and auctioned off at the end of the night) and during the recording of their debut album, Three Streets To The Wind.

Only three different pairs of sticks, all pink, were used by the band in the recording of their debut album and each set is currently being auctioned off on their website. Each auction, poignantly named after friends lost to cancer (Sam, Gordon and of course, Don), is for one of the sets of sticks used during the recording sessions. The band has listed the songs recorded with each set and all three winning bids will receive a copy of the album a week in advance of its release. The auction runs until midnight 1 March and full details are available here.

In addition, there are a number of album pre-order packages available, including ones that come with a pair of pink drums sticks and a donation. These packages are only available until 15 February so act quickly if you want to support the band but feel that the auction is beyond your means.

Alternatively, if you just want to make a donation directly, you can do so via paypal here.

The album itself will feature 11 original songs – all rock, Celtic-punk and alterative influenced – as well as a hidden bonus track, and we are proud to announce the World Premiere of the first single from the album, “Sea Bag (La, La, La)” right here, via Alphabet Bands. Check it out, enjoy and click on the links to pre-order the album.

Streets of Hastings have provided us with the very first play of their new song as a thank you to everyone who reads this and goes on to make a donation. So far, the band has raised in excess of $4,000, they deserve to raise so much more, go help make it happen.

Those links again:
Album Auction 4 Cancer
Album Pre-Sale
Donate Via Paypal

Connect with Streets of Hastings.

3 Responses to “Banging The Drum – How Streets of Hastings is taking on Cancer.”

  1. name not supplied February 3, 2012 at 20:28 #

    i love what these guys are doing and the true grit can be heard in this track behind the serious reason, …and then someone laughs at the end 🙂
    (i always love when that happens in recording, sort of music’s way of breaking the forth wall) but seriously, its a decent earthy track fronting a proper decent cause.

  2. Gilles Roger February 5, 2012 at 18:09 #

    Streets of Hastings was a pleasure to work with. These guys are genuine and truly committed to their music and their causes. They worked tirelessly for 20 hours a day in the studio. We can definitely expect some great music from this band for a long time to come.

    Gilles Roger
    2Dogs Productions
    Fredericton, Canada

  3. limey59music (@limey59music) February 6, 2012 at 23:50 #

    Great to read about a band from “The True North strong and free”, and these lads deserve a shout around the world. Great attention to detail on the CAUSE that Streets of Hastings has taken to heart.
    A pleasure to read.

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