Though we may be back in the warm seats of our Jeep Liberty, driving through the Rockies, the fresh mountain air cleansing the spirit and calming the mind, the road to get here was treacherous, and posed many obstacles that threatened the very essence of this tour. The pages of this blog are littered with peril, joy, heartache, and finally, exaltation. Dan here, readers beware, you’re in for a scare.
The week began on a high. We were on top of the world, figuratively, though we were physically in Brandon, MB, only 409 metres above sea level. Our performance at Brandon’s “Music In The Park” series was a ton of fun. We played to a park full of people spread out on blankets and lawn chairs, and enjoyed an evening of music, great food (provided by Olivier's Bistro Catering), and incredible weather. Though we were sad to leave, as we always are, the prairie drives more than made up for any separation anxiety. It was Emily’s first time beholding the flatlands, and the fields and endless skies did not disappoint. Until you’re looking at the neon yellow Canola fields, it’s hard to remember how incredible they are.
We moved on through the prairies, and played a fun show at Rollin' Rock Bar & Grill in Gravelbourg, SK, where Soren unfortunately missed his chance to play the VLTs and cash in big. It was probably for the best. Swift Current proved to be a great spot as well, where the kind folks at Urban Ground Coffeehouse treated us with some good ol’ fashioned prairie hospitality. Urban Ground is a quaint little coffee shop on the main strip, serving Fratello Coffee (based in Calgary), and offering a laid back vibe, with occasional live music to boot! It was at Urban Ground that we first beheld the promotional excellence of Brenda Nissen. For the next four nights, each show would be packed with Soren’s friends and family, all attending on behalf of Brenda and her exceptional promotion.
We arrived in Calgary on Friday July 28th, and things were looking up. We had ripped across most of the country in 8 days, played a handful of great shows, and we were greeted by Jamie and Mark, some extended family, who were so pleasant to be around, and put us up in their beautiful home in southeast Calgary. We had back to back shows at a Fionn MacCools up in Rocky View, AB, and both shows went great! Soren and Ian had the pleasure of meeting up with James Hill and the gentlemen of Bad Bad Not Good for a Saturday afternoon backstage hang at Calgary Folk Fest and Em got to meet up with some Alberta Rockarts family.
Then it all went south. The clouds gathered, and we beheld the wrath of Sauron (not to be confused with our bassist: Soren), tour demon and terrible foe. As we were driving back to Jamie’s house late Saturday night, we noticed a questionable smell in the car. Then Soren (not Sauron) astutely observed that our engine was remarkably hot, according to the temperature gage on the dashboard. Overheating an engine is a big no no, so we pulled over, luckily, right outside of our destination. The engine was smoking, and when we lifted the hood, coolant was spurting out of the right side of our radiator like a leaking waterbed. Boom. Cracked radiator. I will list the events of the next 48 hours in bullet point form.
· Sunday, 6:45 am – Em and Dan get the Jeep towed to a garage
· Sunday, 12:30pm – Em and Dan pick up rental car
· Sunday, 2:00pm – Band packs up the rental car and heads to Fernie
· Sunday, 4pm – Large rock makes contact with rental car windshield, big crack
· Sunday, 5pm – Big crack has spread, is now huge crack
· Sunday, 6pm – Band plays gig at the amazing Infinitea café in Fernie
· Sunday, 7:30 pm – Band meets angel by the name of Susan, dressed in human garb
· Sunday, 8:30pm – Band is served delicious Mediterranean BBQ by Stephanie at Infinitea
· Sunday, 10:20 pm – Band arrives in heaven, Tie Lake, BC, aka Susan’s cottage
· Monday, 7:00am – Em and Dan drive back to Calgary
· Monday, 12:30pm – Em and Dan drop off rental, pay to fix huge crack
· Monday, 12:35pm – Em and Dan curse the deductible on their insurance plan
· Monday, 5:00pm – Em and Dan, FINALLY, get jeep back from garage
· Monday, 5:01pm – Em and Dan begrudgingly admire their new radiator
· Monday, 6:00pm – Em and Dan pick up trailer from other angel Jamie’s house
· Monday, 10:00pm – Em and Dan arrive at Susan’s cottage and begin drinking radlers
· Monday, 10:01pm – Em and Dan begrudgingly admire Soren and Ian’s suntans and fishing stories.
PHEW! I know, I know. Every band has their car break down at some point. Who are we to complain? We’re alive, we made it. But HOLY HELL that was a long 48 hours. Though it may viewed as a “right of passage”, or whatever, having your car break down straight up SUCKS, completely drains you, and is incredibly expensive. If it wasn’t for angel Susan, childhood friend of Brenda Nissen, who took us in, fed us, provided beds, let us play around in the lake and jump off the dock, fish, and drink Rickards Radlers (SHOUT OUT TO RICKARDS RADLERS), then we would be much worse for wear right now. But Susan exists, she is real, and you can meet her, in the flesh. She lives in Calgary and hangs around Tie Lake, BC. If you ever cross paths, give her a hug. And tell her it’s from us. I should also take a minute to thank Susan’s neighbours who also attended our performance in Fernie, heard we were bunking up at the cottage, and showed up with a case of Radlers and home-made cinnamon buns for us. WHY IS EVERYONE SO NICE?
Ian and Soren fish count extravaganza:
Ian – 4 Soren – 4
This could get heated. Shout out to Bass Pro Shops for upping our lure game. Respect.
Tuesday Aug 1st – The Royal on Baker, Nelson, BC
Wednesday Aug 2nd – Fernando’s, Kelowna, BC
Thursday Aug 3rd - Guilt & co., Vancouver, BC
Friday Aug 4th – Revelstoke Street Fest, Revelstoke, BC
Saturday Aug 5th – The Bowcabin, Calgary, AB
Sunday Aug 6th – The Needle Vinyl Tavern, Edmonton, AB
Sunday Aug 6th – House Concert, Red Deer, AB
See you next week folks! Hopefully this one is less expensive.
-Em and the band