Category Archives: Cinéma L’amour Blog

Right now I’m sitting in the Corner Brook Public Library, overlooking the town and its rather significant number of hills. This is now our third day in NFLD, and we’re getting ready for our second show on the rock (and the 5th show of the tour, for those keeping count) tonight at the Bar Room.

First sight of Newfoundland!

Someone lives there.

We spent a couple of pretty relaxing days in Stephenville after getting off the ferry, even going so far as to stay in a motel room (!), a Cinéma L’amour tour first. It’s an interesting town, to be sure. Due to the large American military presence in the area as recently as the 1970’s, the majority of the streets in Stephenville are named after states. We couldn’t find a Hawaii street, but we saw pretty much all the others. They’ve also got a retired USAF jet on the main road into town, positioned proudly across the street from the Town Hall.

Our show was a little under promoted due to the occasional shortcomings of digital communication services (alongside my own absentmindedness), but it turned out just fine in the end. We sang a few rounds of happy birthday with the crowd (there was not one but two birthday girls in attendance – HBD Meg and Mel!), had some nice chats with the locals and played a fairly low-key set. The locals assured us we should come back come summer time, as the townies would be out in full force.

After the show, we spent our first night in the van on this tour, which worked out pretty darn well. We’ve got Lester set up mighty comfortable, and luckily the weather has been pretty decent to us so far. Hopefully we won’t have too many more van nights this tour, but things could certainly be far worse. In the spirit of roughing it, we decided to set up the Coleman stove to make soup for breakfast in the morning.

We had a bit of a scare last night when the Twin Reverb started making death like crackling sounds, but luckily we were able to find a music shop in Corner Brook where the problem was not at all present, leading us to believe sketchy power at Clancy’s may have been to blame. I’ll let you know if the issue reappears, but here’s hoping it doesn’t!

Major thanks to Village music for letting us make loud sounds in the middle of the afternoon!

Anyway, I must be off, as we’ve gotta get prepared for tonight’s show.




So right now I’m sitting rather comfortably in the Colours Bar aboard the Marine Atlantic ferry enroute to Port aux Basques, Newfoundland. Since the last update, we’ve basically been at one extended house party for the past 39 hours.

Seriously, this place looks like a starship!

We pulled in to Sydney, NS on Cape Breton Island in the early evening, took care of a few errands, and found our way to the glorious waterfront home of Governors Pub and Eatery. We set up our gear, and chatted for a while with the promoter and the openers, and watched people steadily stream in.

We were playing alongside three local songwriters, Andrew Greig, Danny MacNeil, and Jacob Noonan. We learned that normally they all fronted their own bands, but this evening they’d decided to go the more intimate “songwriters circle” approach. All three played wonderfully, doing both originals and covers, and offered a great contrast to one another. Andrew’s version of ‘Love is a Battlefield’ proved to be a serious crowd favourite.

Since things had gotten off to kind of a late start, we had to rush to set up, as the deadline of 2 am was quickly approaching. We were a little nervous right off the bat, as we’re not really used to following dudes with acoustic guitars, but by the time we were finished opener Kids TV, it was clear we’d won them over.

With each successive song, people crowed closer, cheered louder, and danced harder. The energy the crowd had was like an infection; one we happily caught and spewed right back at them. It was most certainly one of our best shows to date, even including an illegal post 2 am encore.

Major thanks to Threeark Photo for capturing some awesome moments from the show!

The assembled crowd made the next course of action extremely clear to us: it was house party time.

Danny lead us to an unsuspecting old house a couple blocks from the bar, where we found a few friendly faces, and met several more. It was reasonably chill for a while, and we were able to learn a few things about the town. Apparently the local “cabaret” has worked out some deal whereby it is allowed to remain open and serving until 3:30 am because it hires local performers as entertainment for a couple of hours every night. According to the locals “nobody has ever gone to the Capri with the intention of doing anything but getting completely Cape-Breton shittered.”

Paintings at the Party House!

The upshot is that at around 4, the house received an injection of a bunch more (rather intoxicated) Cape Bretoners. They informed us that all of the evening’s previous activities had merely been a warm up round, and now it was time for the real drinking to begin.

The debauchery that followed is not really suited to retelling, but I’ll leave you with this:

And I’ll mention that at 8 am I found myself surrounded by what had become rather close friends, screaming along to 90’s Propagandhi and realizing that I’d shared my teen years with these people who had grown up thousands of miles from me and had totally awesome accents.

Cape Breton, We love you.

I’m in the back of the Van. Chris is driving. Fast. We’ve been in three different provinces this afternoon. This is day four of our East Coast tour. We’re playing show number three tonight in Sydney, Nova Scotia, which is on Cape Breton Island. Our spirits are somewhere in between “really high” and “really, really high.” Our livers, however, are probably not quite as pleased, but no matter. The Maritime adventure must continue!

The Confederation Bridge is a rather magnificent piece of engineering. It is the largest bridge over open water in the world, and spans an incredible goreadthewikipediaarticle meters. Sadly our streak of good weather-luck had come to a rather abrupt end, and by the time we were on the bridge the visibility was so poor that I decided not to take any pictures. It’s wonder, however, pales in comparison to the place and the people on the other side.

Once on the island, we had our priorities set: I needed a Lobster Burger, and we were keeping our eyes peeled for “quaint” of all descriptions. We found both with great speed and efficiency. We also encountered way more “awesome” than either of us were anticipating.

(not the first time our name has been written in Italian.)

From my (limited) experience, it is not actually possible to walk through a door on Prince Edward Island without having someone hold it open for you. If you wish to carry things unassisted, you best do it under cover of darkness in an abandoned area. If you want to pay for drinks, don’t play music.

As soon as we arrived at The Alibi, Jodi the bartender had me smitten with her glorious accent and demeanor, and Chris the owner insisted that I arm-wrestle Bruce the potato farmer (and member of Low Lights, the other band) for the right to close out the evening. I made a valiant effort but was unable to defeat him. Thus: we played first and were immediately overwhelmed with the crowds support. Dancing ensued. I’m certain that I heard both “hooting” and “hollering” at various points during the set. The crowd wasn’t large, but their enthusiasm could have filled a room twice the size.

We pretty much had a nuclear blast.

Low lights hit the stage after us and offered up an extremely tight set of melodic and occasionally heavy indyish rock and roll tunes. At one point during their set, a gentleman who had perhaps imbibed a wee bit too much that evening decided (with the help of the bouncer) that exiting the bar via a couple of overturned tables was the right course of action. Never before have I seen an entire bar erupt into applause at the arrival of the police, but there is a first time for everything, eh?

(They also had weird sinks. Just so ya know.)

I also must take time to mention one of the greatest culinary experiences of my young life, the Pizazz Burger. Chef (and owner, and booker, and sound guy, and generally awesome dude) Chris Coupland has created a work of true genius: a 100% PEI beef burger with PEI FRENCH FRIES ON IT! And the sauce! OH THE SAUCE! MY GOD MAN!

It’s not even fair.

Coming from Alberta, we grew up with great pride in our home province’s Beef, but I must say that PEI truly gives us a run for our money.

We ended up hanging out at the bar with the staff till far later than was reasonable, and when we finally dragged ourselves back to the home of Low Lights, the madness only continued. Our 18 hours in PEI were perhaps the most insane in our career thus far.

Can’t wait to get back there!

It all began with an 11-hour drive from Montreal to Sackville, New Brunswick. Seeing as neither Chris nor I have ever had the opportunity to visit the east coast before now, every single kilometer was the furthers east we’d ever been on the continent. Exciting Stuff.

Upon arriving in town, we were immediately whisked off to the very finest of Sackville’s three drinking establishments: Ducky’s. We met up with one of the promoters and several friends, were almost completely submerged in beer, and had to be gently ushered out by the (most excellent and attractive) staff at some point in between last call and day break.

After a day’s worth of recovery time, a walk around the waterfowl park, a wild and crazy CD making session and a visit to the most elaborate and extensive residence cafeteria we had ever encountered (seriously: All you can eat buffet//pulled pork sandwiches//PEI potato fries//generic Asian stir fry//8 kinds of ice cream//2 salad bars//spicy chicken Caesar wrap//OMG!) the time for the inaugural show of the tour was upon us.

As we loaded our gear in through the kitchen of pickles Deli, it became pretty clear that we were in for a treat. The smells were unreasonably delicious. The meats were freshly sliced, the cheeses cured to perfection. Smiles = Genuine. After a few delays (we had to wait for the musical performance in the café next door to finish) the place had begun to fill up, and local openers Local Motive took to the stage (floor).

These kids had some serious chops, and a radical funk influenced vibe. Their lead singer also had some significant pipes, bringing the soul ferociously. We were smitten. High Fives abounded. We had a total blast playing for the assembled deli crowd, and were able to coax some people in from the street outside for a sandwich and some delicious rock and roll. Many new friends were made, and I have to say that Dave at Pickles makes perhaps the best Pulled Pork sandwich I’ve ever had. It was bordering on unreasonably tasty.

After the show, we found ourselves somehow back within the cozy confines of Ducky’s, surrounded by even more friendly faces and beer and laughs and scotch and I’m sorry but you really have to leave last call was an hour ago.

The next morning (read: mid afternoon) we arose to a pair of very attractive proposals. 1) Return to the omega cafeteria for even more spectacularly free food (thanks Marlisse!). 2) Stick around for a few hours and tag along to the aforementioned Marlisse’s radio show on CHMA. Needless to say, we engaged in both of these endeavors with great vehemence. Sackville radio listeners will not soon forget our tenure as overlords of the airwaves, to be sure.