PART 7: Smoke on the Parking Lot

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.


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.


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!

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