After failing to successfully locate Sunnyvale Trailer Park in Dartmouth, NS, we crossed the harbour bridge and found ourselves in downtown Halifax. It was a rather grey day, and we were in rather grey shape ourselves after getting “caperized” so effectively the night before.

This is Real.

As a bit of a birthday celebration, we found ourselves a local wing night and spicy happiness quickly ensued.

After the wings, we got down to the bar, and met up with locals Kuato and major/minor. We had a bit of a weird encounter with the bouncer at the bar who informed us that it was against the law in Nova Scotia to bring our water bottles inside. We had a bit of a tough time believing this, but he had no trouble at all enforcing it. According to him, the liquor commission people are crazy in Nova Scotia, and they can’t afford to take any chances ever. It seemed as though we had exited our incredible maritime paradise and were facing a harsh reentry into reality.

Luckily, rock still exists in the real world, and we had a wonderful show. Both the local bands played excellent sets of explosive post rock.

Major/Minor

Kuato

Thankfully, after the show we were able to avoid another all night house party, and had a quiet and restful night at our buddy Zach’s place.

The next day, we went for some delicious burritos, and then wandered around the old Halifax citadel. It’s quite the sight!

Halifax, we’ll do you up right proper the next time we swing through.
Promise.



After a quiet day doing laundry in St. John’s, and another quiet day driving from one side of Newfoundland to the ferry terminal on the other, we said goodbye to the rock and hello to a rather stormy ferry ride back to Cape Breton. The waves were a tad bit (read: excessively) more intense than they had been on the way over, but with the assistance of Gravol we managed to survive with the contents of our backpacks and bellies more or less intact.

Due to the rather excellent nature of our first visit to Sydney on the way out to Newfoundland, we’d managed to book a second performance at Governors Pub (known to the locals as “bunkers”). We’d also been invited to perform live on CAPER Radio, the CBU campus radio station. We headed there first and were greeted by excited college radio folks eager to help us carry stuff up to the studio.

For some reason, our experience dictates that the vast majority of college radio stations are on the second or third floor of their buildings. WHYOHWHYISTHISTHECASE? GEAR IS HEAVY GUYS! SRSLY!

Anyway, we managed with the assistance of the radio staff and a well-located elevator. We were encouraged by the arrival of several of our friends from last time along with a fair number of brand new faces. We were completely unaware that we’d be performing in front of a live studio audience; it was an excellent surprise. We played and chatted with Matt the station manager and host for almost an hour, as the place was run in a rather casual fashion and there were no deadlines or other shows scheduled for the rest of the day. Talk about a low stress environment.

BRAIDSEVERYWHERE!

The show is available for streaming online here.

Well Packed Cart!

After we’d finished up at the radio station, we returned once again to the now legendary “party house” from our last trip through. The gracious residents had offered to let us rest up before the show, and after a night spent on the ferry it was a welcome moment of relative peace and quiet. Of course nothing lasts for long, and soon enough a pre show party had begun. We stepped out for a moment to catch a set at the Upstairs club by our new friend Ryan, and by the time he finished up it was Bunkers time.

Our pals Andrew Greig and John Gill opened up the night with some excellent acoustic rock songs, including a full bar drunken singalong of Journey’s classic “Don’t Stop Believing.” It was awesome. Throughout their set, a rather flamboyant, grey haired caper named Rick insisted on showing off his skills as “the greatest interpretive dancer on Cape Breton island”. Since I am by no means an authority on the art form, I’ll refrain from commenting on the quality of his performances, but I can certainly say the man deserves an A+ for effort.

Upon discovering that the clock had passed midnight and that it was now officially my birthday (Happy 22, Me!), he was absolutely confident in the necessity of doing shots of Sambuca with me to celebrate. When in Rome, I say.

Next up was local songstress Colette Deveaux. As she was getting set up, I stepped outside to grab my water bottle from the van, and found myself sucked into a rather intense conversation about the nature of chaos in the universe with Rick. No sooner had he uttered the words “the chaos is like the fire at the center of all life, you have to embrace it. The fire only burns if you fight it, it can sense your fear!” than Colette came rushing down the stairs of the bar in a manner that one such as myself might describe as a “tizzy.”

The first words out of her mouth were “I have no idea what’s happening right now!” Feeling much the same way myself due to the recent exchange of adjectives, verbs and nouns that constituted my conversation with Rick, I was rather tempted to high five her in solidarity.

The second set of words was considerably more disturbing: “The bar is on fire!”

In the chaos that followed, the audience was evacuated and relocated to the infamous Capri, three fire trucks and several police cars got involved, holes were chopped in walls with axes, and about 0% of our planned rocking took place. Luckily very little real damage occurred, but the apparent cause of the fire was Arson, and the apparent target was the propane tank behind the bar.

Heavy.

Anyway, ain’t no fire gonna stop no capers from partying till sunrise on a Tuesday night, so that happened. At 10:30 I found myself out for three dollar breakfast on precious few hours of sleep (one and a half? Two? No idea.), and afterwards my cohorts returned to the LC to keep the party rolling. These people know a thing or two about endurance.
“What a magical wonderland,” Chris would say.

After a brief nap/sobering period, it was Halifax Time!



On our final day of rocking the rock, we spent the morning (read: late afternoon) being tourists with the great assistance of our dear friend Mr. Ryan Patey of Tumbleweed Entertainment. We visited Fort Amherst, site of the first lighthouse built in Newfoundland, Cape Spear, the easternmost tip of the continent, and Signal Hill, which is historically important for a number of reasons. These things were all rather pretty.
I took pictures!

The lighthouse at Fort Amherst. It's at the site of the first lighthouse on Newfoundland, but that one burned down like 100 years ago.


Crazy Hills!



The Lighthouse at Cape Spear


Us standing at the most easterly point on the continent!


Signal hill from Fort Amherst


Chris with the Sign Post at Signal Hill


Cabot Tower


St. John's Harbour from Signal Hill

Ryan and his girlfriend Kira (and Kira’s lovely 4 year old daughter Eveyln) treated us to a scrumptious home cooked meal, and we all had a lovely evening discussing the finer points of Dora the Explorer, Rock Tours, Final Fantasy, and Sailor Moon. It was all rather stupendous.

The time for Rock was once again upon us, and we convened along with all our new Newfoundlander friends for a final night of debauchery at CBTG’s. We were joined this evening by The Mudflowers (an all girl folk rock power trio), The Drunks Rule This Place (a punk band that apparently plays CB’s so often that one of our friends had always assumed that their name was the bar’s slogan, and not a band at all) and the Corroborators from the evening before.

The Mudflowers!


The Drunks!

We were set to close out the evening, and as people continued to file in throughout the evening, it was clear that word had spread about our rather singular and intense live show. I can’t decide what was more gratifying: seeing a crew of folks who I now consider friends showing up to watch us play for the third night in a row, or seeing the bar packed near to the brim with a slew of new faces.

The Opening bands all rocked, and then we rocked. It totally rocked, for the record. Hearing multiple voices singing my own words back to me is a pretty damned incredible feeling, especially when it happens so far from home.

The Bar at CB's

After our set (which finished somewhere in the neighbourhood of 3:45 in the morning), Sandy slowly started clearing out the patrons. By quarter after 4, he’d whittled down the remaining crew to nothing but the stalwart staff and regulars. Surrounded by our dearest of New Found Friends, the time had come for an ancient island ritual, the Screech In. I cannot divulge the details, but you can rest assured knowing that both our tongues have now ventured deep into the throat of a Cod.

Ominously Empty Shot Glasses

After we’d had what remained of our sobriety ruthlessly torn away and been inducted as honorary Newfoundlanders, much merriment and revelry took place. We managed to stay so late at CB’s, that by the time we arrived at the doors of Bar None, it was actually closed. This was a shocker to our local entourage (“but the sun is barely even rising!”), but we managed to make the best of things.

FOR REALS!

Our Newfoundland adventure was a complete success. Beyond our wildest dreams. Thank you so much Steve, DT, Sandy, Newt, Dennis, Ryan, Kira, Kate, Davey, Geoff, and everyone else who made it so amazing. You Newfies have it made.

Love these streets

Can’t wait to return.
For Serious.



We awoke bleary eyed, at some point in the middle of the afternoon. Stumbling out of the house on Long’s Hill, we headed the only direction that our tired legs could take us: down. We had but one mission: to experience the legendary Newfoundland breakfast tradition of “Toutons.” Though they had refused to tell us what exactly we were in for, our new friends the night before had made us promise that we would consume nothing but the finest Toutons that Velma’s on Water St. had to offer. We were excited (though perhaps a tad nervous!).

Toutons, as it turns out, are totally delicious. They consist of nothing but fried bread dough, and you eat them with molasses. Excellent.

After our scrumptious meal, we headed over to the lovely Living Planet to pick up the emergency order of T-shirts we’d had done up to bolster our fast declining stocks. The people were fantastically courteous, and also incredibly speedy, which was excellent.

PHILOSORAPTOR

Next up was an oil change. Keeping Lester in fighting form is a top priority!

For the Record

The evening’s show was with a couple of local bands who apparently play pretty regularly at CB’s. We were up first, and managed to pull in a pretty decent crowd for midnight on a Friday (which is extremely early, by George Street standards). Seeing a bunch of friendly faces in the crowd was pretty fabulous for our second day in town, and we even received a gift from an audience member.

I’d like to take a moment here to tell you about Cinéma L’amour’s biggest fan, Dennis. Dennis loves music. Dennis makes music. Dennis is music… Kind of. When a band finished a song, Dennis screams. For, like, a while. Like, upwards of 45 seconds. It’s awe-inspiring. He was also able to sing along to almost every song by the second show, which was a CL first. Also also, he had spent the day handcrafting a triple CD mix for us of his own material, which he records under the name Midnight Supper. He’s been involved in the RPM challenge a few years running, and we highly recommend you check him out.

The Corroborators

Anyhow, both the Corroborators and DT and the Dinosaurs brought significant quantities of rock. It was great. The love was felt throughout the bar.

DT and the Dinosaurs

After Sandy had cleared all the customers out of the bar (around 3:45), we hung out with DT and the CBTG’s crew for a while, before being told that there was only one option left for the evening: Bar None.

Bar None is the “musician’s after bar”, a pub which operates outside the conventional realm of the law. I can’t go into two much detail, but I can say that when we left I could barely stand, my eyes were watering, and the sun was rising. This was not out of the ordinary, according to our hosts.

Somehow, we made it back to Long’s Hill.

The Long's Hill Living Room

I’ll never understand how.