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Mathias Kom, Ariel Sharratt, and Jake Nicoll of The Burning Hell at The Theatre on King on September 22, 2022. Photo credit: Sebastian Johnston-Lindsay

The Burning Hell Returns to Peterborough's The Theatre On King

Written by
Sebastian Johnston-Lindsay
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October 7, 2022
The Burning Hell Returns to Peterborough's The Theatre On King
Mathias Kom, Ariel Sharratt, and Jake Nicoll of The Burning Hell at The Theatre on King on September 22, 2022. Photo credit: Sebastian Johnston-Lindsay

The Burning Hell took to The Theatre on King stage on September 22nd, playing two sets over the course of the evening. The group has deep ties to Peterborough and is currently made up of Mathias Kom, former Arthur editor Ariel Sharratt, and Jake Nicoll.

This show was rescheduled after being postponed back in March when a series of positive COVID tests in and around the band shut down the intended tour in support of their newest album Garbage Island, making this evening a special one on many levels.   

Kom spoke about his “complicated relationship” with Peterborough due to the disconnect between being the place that he got his start in music but also recognising that the local scene has not always been the “healthiest.” However, he did speak about some of the key characters of the Peterborough arts and music scene including Ryan Kerr, Kate Story, Shannon LeBlanc and Charlie Glasspool at The Theatre On King and how they have made Peterborough ‘"a vibrant, encouraging place for local and visiting artists."

I managed to attend the 9:00 show, which was opened by a set by Kom and Charlie Glasspool. Sharratt and Nicoll joined in as needed, setting the tone for the evening and calling attention to the self-referential and often hilarious lyrical ride that The Burning Hell’s music consists of. 

Like many artists, the pandemic had a major impact on the band’s approach to writing, recording, and touring. Kom described their pre-pandemic routine as "rinse, lather, repeat" with the band producing and touring records back-to-back. He enjoyed Garbage Island as it "freed" them from their routine and constraints as there was no certainty as to whether they would have the opportunity to perform live.

Garbage Island (2022) You've Changed Records

A Burning Hell show is a chance to revel in the joy of music-making and camaraderie that arises when songs are being shared. Audience members wore masks, a reminder that the pandemic is still not over and that the contexts which influenced Garbage Island’s subject matter and writing process persist. 

Between songs, Kom made a point of mentioning how fortunate they were to be able to fit this Peterborough stop in the tour describing his return as both a "homecoming" and "a brand new experience" and stating his hope that it will not be another five years before he returns again.

Following the show in Peterborough, the band headed to Montreal and Toronto before beginning a European leg of the tour which will see them hit cities in Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, the Netherlands, and the U.K. before the end of October.

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