Category Archives: Tour Stories



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.



My My my have we had a time. Right now we’re zipping down the highway on our way back to Port Aux Basques. We’ll be taking the overnight ferry back to Cape Breton, and tomorrow we’re performing live on Caper Radio (at 4 pm!), and playing at Upstairs with John Gill! Picking up shows while on the road rules!

Since I last gave an update, we’ve played 4 shows, made countless new friends, been to the easternmost tip of the continent, eaten delicious Fi’ n Chi’, been screeched in, and been out past sunrise every night.

What a marvelous part of the world!

On Wednesday night, we played at a beautiful little pub in Corner Brook called the Bar Room. Once again, we were the only act playing that night, and without any kind of local promotion we ended up playing to the bar staff. Usually, when a band plays to the bar staff, they walk away empty handed, with no new fans and no new friends. With the staff at the Bar Room, this was not the case. Awesome group of people, amazing place, can’t wait to come back!

Upon our arrival in St. John’s the following evening, we had a few hours to spare before loading in at the bar. We decided to take a walk downtown in search of some serious “authenticity” which was known to be in the region. Walking down George Street at 6 PM is like walking through an amusement park on the last day of school. It’s almost too quiet, only a few people around in the corners putting the finishing touches on their preparations. No one really talks about it, but everyone knows than in merely a few hours the place will be crawling with revelers, packed full to bursting.

It is Serious Party Infrastructure.

Our first stop was a lovely little pub called Kelly’s, which was just a few blocks down from what was to become our home away from home in St. John’s, CBTG’s. We picked Kelly’s for no real reason other than it’s offer of inexpensive fish and chips, but we couldn’t have been happier with our decision. First off, there was a live folk singer playing (for free) to the bar at 8 ish when we walked in, which was excellent. Second, the fish and chips were both cheap, and delicious. Third, during our meal, the performer on stage announced that he would be joined for his next number by one of St. John’s most celebrated tap dancers, a gentleman well in to his 70’s, from what we could tell.

I have proof of this:

Seriously, couldn’t have had a better first impression if we’d tried!

Next up, it was time to load in and meet our hosts for the weekend, the lovely crew down at CBTG’s. The first thing I noticed was that the promoter for the show was someone I’d met in my youth, Davey of the legendary Canadian punk band The Brat Attack. He and everyone else in the place seemed really excited to watch us play, which was a lovely experience. We sold almost as many CD’s before the show as we did afterwards, which has to be a good sign. Lots of awesome locals joined us on Thursday, and we played to a wonderfully enthusiastic crowd, who all promised to bring their friends to the next couple shows.

Kate Pike and the Off White Might

Brother Malhonnête

After the show, we wound up hanging out at the bar with Sandy, the owner and Newt, the ex-owner of the bar next door till something absurd like 5 am. We learned lots of local politics and shared many road stories. It was fabulous. I can’t say I remember it all that clearly, but the warm glow of love certainly remains.

Flyer for the next couple nights

We managed to stumble home to our buddy Steve Doyle’s place on Long’s Hill (which is both long, and a hill, for the record) crashed out, excited as all hell for day two!



Hey-o,
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.

Later,

-D



PRESCRIPT//POSTSCRIPT::

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.