The Stone Roses cancelled and no musicians came to Hamilton

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In 1995 Rob Shirlow attended Glastonbury. He ended up heartbroken because The Stone Roses had to cancel their appearance.

Despite this disappointment Shirlow continued to get his fill of music he did this through attending gigs of all kinds from bands like Pavement to Flaming Lips, music followed Shirlow everywhere and he soaked up as much of it as he could. 

Then, he moved to Hamilton. (Or more accurately then he moved to New Zealand from his home, the UK.)

After some time in Hamilton Rob came to see that very few (if any) of his beloved musicians made the journey to gig in New Zealand – or Hamilton.

Coming to this realisation and remembering how disappointed he was about The Stone Roses saga of ’95 an inspired Rob armed with his computer and his unbridled passion for the music industry began Hamilton Underground Press. 

The aim of the Hamilton Underground Press is three-fold, first: the Underground exists so that all people can experience that feeling of

“standing in a field, with a cool drink listening to rad music”

As Rob says “there is nothing greater than that” 

The Hamilton Underground Press also began its rise because they wanted to empower and encourage the epic music talent which often goes incognito in Hamilton and in wider New Zealand.

The Hamilton Underground Press which began as a website has become a central place for these bands to go and seek support and hype when they need it.

What started as a website, has turned into a six string driven mini-empire.

All lead of course by the vision of Rob, he began organising shows, promoting them, writing about bands, interviewing them, recording podcasts, publishing zines.

All for the bettering of the youth who aim to make music their livelihood and to see established bands come into Hamilton for raw and authentic shows. 

HUP’s even more hype worthy because all they do is done for no profit. Shirlow “just covers costs where possible (not often)”

What drives him to do this is love for music, however another driving force for this movement – has to be seeing youth take the stage. Hamilton Underground Press helps to scaffold for young musicians a path toward success. This is a nobel cause and one that Rob undertakes

(also he gets more people to actually go to Hamilton #winwinwin)


Image: Rob Shirlow

Hamilton Underground Press wants to promote Hamilton to bands from out of town and spread the word that gigs here can go off big time and get them coming back, so that we can continue to rise of this six string driven mini empire.

Hamilton Underground Press is the force behind upcoming festival Future City, check back in a few days to hear all about what you can expect from Future City.

I can tell you one thing, all the acts will be there – you won’t experience what Rob did in 1995. Although it does make one heck of a founding story for the Hamilton Underground Press. 



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