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Visit to Bainbridge takes a turn for the verse

Indie rockers Hemlock Lane remember an ill-fated tour stop on the island in their song, “Bainbridge.”  - Photo courtesy of Nate Hansen
Indie rockers Hemlock Lane remember an ill-fated tour stop on the island in their song, “Bainbridge.”
— image credit: Photo courtesy of Nate Hansen

Hemlock Lane, an indie rock group from Eugene, Ore., found it rather difficult to leave Bainbridge Island after playing a show here several years ago.

They literally could not get themselves off the island.

The transmission in their van was busted.

“Several years ago, we played a tour that stopped through Bainbridge Island, I think it was at Island Center Hall, but I could be wrong,” said the group’s percussionist Nate Hansen. “It was our first tour when we were just starting out, and it was a complete disaster as all first tours usually go.”

Hansen said that Bainbridge was one of very few slated shows that actually held up for the group, with many venues falling through or canceling on them at the last minute.

“It was a great show,” he said of the island concert. “We had a nearly packed room and the energy of the people was great, they really responded.

“Then, the very next day, the transmission in our van went out and stranded us up there for two days. It ended up costing like two grand to fix it,” he recalled. “We had to rent a U-Haul and everything.”

Upon their eventual return home, the group began to immediately compose a song about their mixed-bag experience on Bainbridge.

The song, titled simply “Bainbridge,” retells the story of the group’s stranding and simultaneous fond memories of a great early gig on the island, with a catchy melody that sounds reminiscent of The Wallflowers and the early work of Matchbox Twenty.

Though it was recorded and unofficially released on YouTube already, the song proved such a popular number that Hemlock Lane included it on their newly released first official album, “Last Night On Earth.”

“It’s been a year and a half in the making so we’re excited to get it out there and see what happens,” Hansen said. “We actually recorded ‘Bainbridge’ a few years ago, and it became one of our biggest hits from the demo. At shows, people would be singing along and know all the words. It was crazy.”

The album is available now on iTunes and Amazon, and is also currently streaming on www.spotify.com.

Though they have no scheduled plans to tour again on Bainbridge, Hansen said that their upcoming summer schedule will certainly bring the group to Seattle.

For more information about Hemlock Lane, visit www.hemlocklane.bandcamp.com.

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