For Calum Galt, Ann Arbor represents a bittersweet homecoming.
The former After Hours Radio vocalist will reunite with his old bandmates for Saturday’s show at Club Above. It will be his first appearance with the Ypsilanti progressive groove-heavy indie rock trio of Greg Hughes (bass), Nate Erickson (vocals, guitar) and Mark Dunne (drums) in nearly three years.
“It was actually Greg’s idea to have a reunion show. He reached out to me when he found out I was returning home for the first time in years to see if I was interested, and I agreed right away,” said Galt, who moved from Ann Arbor to Japan in 2014. “I’m really looking forward to having the opportunity to play with the band again after so long, and I hope we can recreate some of the same energy our shows had back then.”
Along with Hughes and Erickson, Galt honed his musicianship while attending open mic nights at the University of Michigan’s Nakamura and Luther Buchele co-ops. Together, they formed After Hours Radio and became synonymous with Ann Arbor’s burgeoning underground, do-it-yourself (DIY) music community.
“Forming the band was equal parts exciting and nerve-wracking – I had never really written or performed my own music, which I think is an inherently intimate and scary thing to do,” said Galt, who’s inspired by of Montreal, The Strokes and Radiohead. “I was lucky to be surrounded by supportive friends and be involved in the co-op community, which has always been a fertile environment for budding musicians.”
As After Hours Radio, they recorded their self-titled, six-track debut EP in 2015 before Galt moved to Japan. Four years later, Galt is ready to revisit the EP with his old bandmates through an older, wiser and fresher perspective.
“There are a lot of memories tied up in those songs so revisiting them has been an interesting experience,” said Galt, who graduated from U-M with a bachelor’s degree in East Asian languages and cultures. “I’ve changed a lot in the intervening time so it’s strange to hear those songs, which really encapsulate the weird head-space I was in at the time.”
Hughes said it’s the second time After Hours Radio has reunited with Galt for a special performance since he moved to Japan. Saturday’s set will focus on the debut EP as well as some covers and include vocals from Galt and Erickson.
“Calum said he was going to be visiting Michigan for a week, so we decided to book a show at Club Above in honor of his return,” Hughes said. “With Calum, it’s going to be a throwback for people to experience the band like it was. I get very nostalgic about those early days, it was very much a raw kind of time not just for the band, but for me personally.”
The show also will feature the live debut of Farmington’s Brothers Duo and Lansing’s The Plurals. Brothers Duo includes siblings Niko Matsamakis of The Sneeks and Efthimi Matsamakis of The Sundots performing acoustic original tunes and covers.
The Matsamakis brothers started recording their home-based performances on YouTube in 2012 and have a loose collective of musicians who perform with them.
“We definitely see ourselves recording singles for this project, and we have the same recording setup we did with The Sneeks’ album,” Niko Matsamakis said. “We have a studio upstairs now, and we’ve just been recording stuff, the two of us.”
Last October, Detroit-based baroque pop-rock band The Sundots released their latest album, “Animals,” which features strong baritone vocal melodies, contrapuntal explorations on piano and guitar, electric bass and powerful rock and roll drums.
Finally, The Plurals will bring their punky, fuzzy, melodic Midwestern rock to Ann Arbor for the first time in several years. Longtime high school friends Nich (bass, vocals), Hattie (drums, vocals) and Tommy (guitar, vocals) will perform tracks from their 2017 release, “Swish.”
“We were trying to do a few songs this spring around Michigan since we’ll be taking a break from shows for a while, so when the opportunity came to share the stage with After Hours Radio, it seemed like the perfect timing,” Tommy said. “The Plurals always have a blast on stage, so I’m hoping to just have a good time and get a few heads nodding in the venue.”
The Plurals recorded “Swish” in the middle of their 2016 tour at OmniSound Studios in Nashville with old friend Rory Rositas at the board. “Swish” features a heavy dose of fuzz-pop mixed with bigger, tighter arrangements and production.
“It’s a batch of songs that we had been working on, and we had a lot of road workshops on those songs,” said Nich, who runs the band’s own GTG Records label with Hattie and Tommy. “About half of the songs we tinkered with in the studio while the other half were ready to go.”
Next week, The Plurals will release their new five-track EP, “Mumblebee (BEES Volume 1)” and host a May 4 show at The Robin Theatre in Lansing with Flatfoot.
8 p.m. Saturday
215 N. Main St. in Ann Arbor