Still on the road with Cinema L’amour
Another day inside the confines of Rusty’s trusty frame, spent discussing politics, listening to music, and in the sweet embrace of a nap. We arrived at Winnipeg around 6, summer sun still high in the sky. Winnipeg has been described as many different cities to me, a crime ridden hell hole to a fascinating cultural center. No reason it can’t be all of them, as Winnipeg, like most cities, is more complex than any one stereotype or element. Overall though, it left a positive impression on us this tour. The venue Cinema L’amour had found for itself was quite something, covered in graffiti and anarchist slogans, the ground floor was an organic grocery store, which merged seamlessly into a delightfully left-wing book store. Posters for anti-police rallies and folk music festivals covered the staircase leading up to the venue, which was itself a repurposed office space. Cinema L’amour featured alongside local talent Brothers and Right Through, and succeeded in thoroughly rocking the venue and giving a healthy does of tinnitus to those in attendance. Good showing in terms of people as well as music, the crowd was engaged and enthusiastic, clapping and cheering with the end of every song.
Also present in full force where the Winnipeg panhandlers, and boy, did they live up to their reputation as fearsome warriors of the guilt trip and the hard sell. Every trip in or out of the venue required the running the gauntlet, with more and more panhandlers arriving as more people came for the show. Theatricality aside the panhandlers all seemed pleasant and cool, all in all a fine evening. After the show we stayed with a member of Right Through in his lovingly early 90’s nostalgia decorated house. Dorian was graciously given a copy of “Surf Ninjas” as a memento.
Sadly this marks the furthest west this trip will be taking us, the small 100k dose of flatness leading into Winnipeg being as close as we’ll get to the mind-numbing, identity dissolving sameness of the great plains. Still though, the mysterious lack of gas we had in the tank the next day leads me to believe someone siphoned it during the show, so I feel as though we got a pretty authentic Winnipeg experience, both a sweet hippy venue and petty property theft! For now, another couple of days hurtling across the Canadian countryside in our ever stalwart van, eventually making our way to Peterborough, and the next show.