Spotlight on TBTN Performers – Flamingo Mutiny Brigade


We’re highlighting the amazing performers that bring life to and share their skills with us during our TBTN rally.

Hamilton’s radical samba-inspired squad, Flamingo Mutiny Brigade will be providing awesome drumming and music during this year’s TBTN march!

fmb1How did Flamingo Mutiny Brigade start?

SACHA invited Rhythms of Resistance Toronto (who’ve come to TBTN the last few years to fill the march with drumming sounds!) to host a workshop in May of 2013. A bunch of folks from Hamilton attended , and there we learned about samba drum cores, about the ROR network, how to make instruments out of everyday items, and even how to play a few songs!

A few of the folks (maybe about 5 or 6) who attended the workshop were super jazzed and inspired, and so decided to learn together about how to be in a band.


How does FMB approach music and social justice?

It is hard to answer this question because it differs for each of us, and depends on what gigs we are playing. But some things we all really love:

  • For us, playing in a band is so energizing! Many of us find it hard to be in rallies or marches without any music; banging away keeps us engaged and feeling inspired (despite rain, heavy police presence, oppressive or long speeches, etc). We leave gigs exhausted but energized, and folks around us tell us that we pass that energy on to them as they walk alongside us or dance to the beats.
  • Many of us feel like drumming gives us a purpose. Music gathers people together, and we often find that people follow us in a demo when we aren’t the people who pulled the demo together. So, drummers can be used strategically to get people started, to keep them together, to signal that someone needs help, and so forth. This makes us feel like we are building up the spirit and life of the demos or gigs in which we participate.
  • We work in a way that encourages everyone to participate and to learn new things. Some of us have played lots, some of us are really attuned to how music and drumming works, and some of us have no clue about these things but can memorize a beat or learn with lots of practice. So, band and making music together becomes accessible, and a good space in which we can learn , even when we feel embarrassed or nervous.

fmb2What excites you about playing at TBTN?

Last year, playing at TBTN was our second gig EVER! And ROR Toronto was so kind and taught us lots on the spot, right in the march. So, this year we are excited to play knowing lots more songs and breaks and having more than two gigs under our belts!


What is your favourite TBTN moment?

Last year, we were asked to help out the puppeteers by adding musical accompaniment to their dramatic performance. We didn’t have time to rehearse or to plan in advance, so we got a few directions the day of and made things happen improv style. It was super cool to be part of that; to make something come together and to be spontaneous with our drumming!


Take Back the Night, an annual event organized by SACHA — Sexual Assault Centre (Hamilton & Area) — is a powerful opportunity for all woman-identified individuals to actively build connections, assertively reclaim our right to safety, and courageously stand up against sexual violence.

This year we’re celebrating Take Back the Night in Hamilton on Thursday, September 18th at Hamilton City Hall.

More details about the event here.


One thought on “Spotlight on TBTN Performers – Flamingo Mutiny Brigade

  1. Marilyn

    Your band was amazing last year at the TBTN. Your music traveled with us and i felt connected to the event by walking and following the music, it all worked together so well.
    Can’t wait to hear you this year. Thank you for coming back. You Rock!!

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