I awoke staring up into a blue sky dotted with clouds. The skylight was only a foot or two above my head, and in my groggy early morning state, I could barely make out its edges. The swift contact my forehead made with the drywall quickly and unequivocally established the boundaries between my blissed out hazy dream state and the harsh (and slightly hungover) reality of the day.
I was sleeping in “the Tree Fort,” a creaky makeshift loft bed in the living room of our new home away from home in Halifax’s north end. Oh, and what a home it is. Filled to the brim with musicians and artists, and complete with an excellent Jam Room and DIY recording studio (also: gorgeous backyard and super friendly dog Timber), it seemed more or less like paradise. Talking to Nick, Scott and Adam (the infamous Nick Everett and Everybody), we learned that the house had been passed along through musicians circles for at least the last four or five years, and had been the site of countless rehearsals, recording sessions, and house shows.
Needless to say, we were very excited to add one of our own to that innumerable list.
We spent an enjoyable couple of days lazing around, going for strolls, and having chats with the folks at the house, and by Friday night we were itching for another dose of rock and roll.
The house slowly began to fill with people, and as the opening band Temper Temper struggled with technical issues involving a laptop and the PA, the temperature in the living room began to rise noticeably. Once the demons of technology had been effectively slain, we were treated to a raucous display of poppy, prog-laced indie rock. Back and forth boy/girl vocal lines bounced around and over each other//a propulsive rhythm section anchored jittery guitar lines. Photos snapped, cheers given.
Next up, the newest roommates at the lovely home on Lawrence street, our new friends Pioneer Video. The drum and bass pair of twin brothers Kyle and Keith interlocked in ways that confirmed their blood relationship, and Andy’s shimmering guitar work brought both emotive fury and technical intensity to the mix. Equal parts math class and cutting class, the boys took the sonic landscape of post punk but smashed its structures on the floor and the proceeded to dance all over them for the next half hour. Careening from catchy and hummable directly into math infused virtuosic meltdowns, all served with a side of fist pumping chorus. The boys had scribbled well outside the lines, and as usual the picture was much more beautiful and exciting than anything you’d find in the mass produced rock and roll colouring book.
Out of respect for the neighbours, we played a rather brief but intense set to the now packed and sweaty house. It was fantastic to see the crowd filled with so many folks who’d come back for more after the Wednesday night show, and a bunch of new ones as well. Major props to everyone who brought their friends! With all my guitar strings replaced, we were fully prepared to bring the rock. I was rather excited to bust out our newly learned Constantines cover for the first time on tour, and was deeply moved by the number of folks in the crowd cheering and singing along. Make no mistake, folks: that band changed my life.
By the time we finished our set, the room had become so overheated that almost everyone poured out into the backyard almost immediately. Thank goodness for cold beer, I’ll say that much.
Next Up: Cape Breton!