Category Archives: Tour Stories

The Final Mosey

Another day on the road, another hung over torpor to struggle out of in the morning. Paying the price for Canada Day in full, the fact that we had the day off and furthermore that we were headed to a cottage on Lake Huron was the medicine required. Chris’ Aunt’s boyfriend had a cottage there and was already hosting several other members of Chris’ family, and had had kindly extended the invitation to us as well. My memory of the drive up there was patchy, to say the least. Each brief moment of conscious lucidity was a accompanied by a new and increasingly pastoral landscape. By the time I had convalesced in full, we were in full blown cottage country. The community in which this cottage was located was one funded entirely by cottage life. Nothing but greasy food joints and ice cream shops, with the pushers of knick-knacks and antiques filling out the remainder. We got a good look at the place while attempting to follow Google’s usual byzantine directions, which actually ended up leading us inside the wrong cottage. Despite the general friendliness of cottage country, the occupants were less than happy to have us walk into their home. We did eventually end up finding the place though, and my god, what a place it was. Vic, the boyfriend of Chris’s aunt, was a man of no small wealth who was involved in real estate and construction. As to be expected, the man built himself a pretty damn fine cottage. It had one of those quintessential cottage views of lake Huron: the deck littered with muskoka chairs looking out over their stretch of beach and pier to the endless pristine expanse of Lake Huron beyond. The sort of view that immediately harkens back to childhood cottage expeditions and sets the mind at ease. I will also swear that time functions differently in cottage country, that even time has to slow down and have a beer.
It must also be said of Vic, that the man was a good a host as could be imagined. You’d think we had just won a war from the greeting we received, free beer and liquor, offers of free reign over the sea-doo and boat as well as a hot tub, offered with “no” being an unacceptable answer. It was a scenario which made it hard to stay hungover. The day ended with a massive bonfire and fireworks display. Well, fireworks display is probably over stating it a bit. More accurately, it was myself and the band plus Chris’s step cousin, drunk and having gotten hold of a box of fireworks. Amazingly, nobody was maimed, though some close calls to be sure. The only real casualty was our ears; there were these littles bastards, “Piccolo Pete” by name, that did nothing but scream like a son of a bitch when lit. They looked like bottle rockets, and in the dark we were hard pressed to tell the difference, until it began it’s ear splitting performance. God damn you Piccolo Pete, I’ll see you in hell! Moving right along, target shooting with roman candles (The targets are also fireworks) is totally sweet. Roman candle duels even more so, if you’re willing to have some holes burned though some articles of clothing. Maybe don’t try that one at home.

Leaving this wonderful place wasn’t easy, but by god, we did it somehow early the next morning. Having long grown wary of Google’s whimsical directional decisions, we opted to simply take the highway at the first possible opportunity. Ottawa is a city I always get a strange vibe from, something functional and proper about the place, as though the bureaucracy has seeped down into the topsoil. This is coming from a man who’s only ever spent a day or so in the downtown looking at tourist exhibits, so my view may be biased by ignorance. This trip would be no different, as we did not arrive in town with time for sight seeing. (Or throwing eggs at Harper’s house, which is apparently a fair ways out of the downtown of the city. Another golden opportunity missed!)
The show was going to be played in an art gallery, so from the beginning I suspected this would be a good, or at least interesting show. The place was doing an arts show on Canadiana with some live musical accompaniment, a crowd of interesting eclectics was already assembling upon our arrival. Conversation about Mexican death cults (A real thing, worth a look if you’re bored at the office and attempts to define the national character of Canada (We’re a bit of a bland folk, really) eventually gave way to the performances of the evening. A local named Adam provided the opening act. Out of a milk crate of tangled wires and analogue devices as well as an ancient TV Adam created a strangely entrancing drone performance. Using footage from old BBC documentaries and the static of the TV itself and performed on the street outside the gallery, it got some interesting reactions from passers-by. My personal favorite was a passing frat boy’s assertion that he had “Some manly beats, bro”. It takes all sorts, to be sure. DJ Swayzeface was laying down tracks throughout, and around 7, with a pretty decent crowd packed in, Cinema L’Amour took to the stage. Of all the shows of the tour, this was probably the best. An excellent performance by Chris and Dorian combined with a super interested crowd (People clapping along without being told to, always a good sign) made it perfect for the last out of town show of the tour, with a bang rather than a whimper. Despite how well Ottawa was treating us, we couldn’t resist the siren song of our own beds and showers only a few hours away in Montreal, and set out to return home shortly after the show.

It was hard to believe I wasn’t going to be living in a van for 12 or more hours a day anymore. Rusty, with his messy seats and ever accumulating tour junk, had become a home away from home. Despite that, I was still very excited to get back to my real home, the one with a bed and a shower. Though we were back in Montreal, the tour had yet to come to a close. There was still the the Bar St. Laurent. The tour’s last show was to be a reunion of sorts. The fine touring gentlemen from Welsh Cinema would be opening the show while Ben, who set up the show in Winnipeg, was ending the night with his band, Ultra Mega. Despite the merciless heat that seems to be the Montreal summer, the show was a smashing success. All three bands performed at their finest, to a very drunk and enthusiastic crowd. Having seen Cinema L’Amour play a great many shows in my year in Montreal, I can say with a degree of expertise that the Bar St. Laurent show was perhaps their finest. It was almost strange to actually know people at the venue, a clear sign the tour was over, and I had to return to my slightly more normal regular life. Sad bit of business, to be sure. Still though, there’s always next tour. So long as I’m not broke or dead before September, it’ll be time to do all this madness all over again.

Hey all,

Just wanted to say a big thank you to our dear friend and ally Andrea Warnick for her excellent work designing our T-shirts and her help with our album art. We realized recently that we’d failed to adequately show our appreciation, and wanted to rectify that immediately!

Also: Chris Martin is taking his sweet time finishing the final instalment of the Big Mosey, but I’ve been assured that it’ll be up soon, and that it’ll be worth the wait!

Thanks again,


Mosey to infinity

The ride to Hamilton was a relaxed one, we rolled into the Casbah with plenty of time to spare. A sound check and several drinks later the finely tuned two man machine was ready to play. There was still a couple of hours between then and the show, which left us some time to check out the venue and chat with the other bands. The Casbah is a pretty sweet venue, style to spare and a fine sound set up to boot. As for the other bands, we mostly chatted with the fine gentleman from The American Dollar. Hailing from New York as they do, we discussed the usual set of differences and similarities between Canada and the States. (Beer prices, touring experiences, types of cigarettes, all the important stuff) After buying Kavanagh another drink (for a man should not be allowed to go on stage sober on his birthday) Cinema L’Amour was up to bat, delivering yet another excellent show and even managing to sell some merchandise! The American Dollar finished off the night with a mesmerizing set (complete with timed visuals!), giving us some glorious post-rock to celebrate Chris’ birthday to.

We ended up staying with some friends Chris and Dorian had made last tour, a household of anarchists, specifically a fellow named John. We drank and chatted with John until the early morning, the G20 summit rearing it’s ugly head yet again, and spent the night in the “Library” of the household. It must be said before moving on, John’s house was delightfully far out. The place seemed alive with free flow of people and ideas, John seemed to keep a rather serious open door policy going. Everything seemed to be constructed out of re purposed goods, the library constructed out of 50 or so milk crates spanning a 2 walls of a living room. John had mentioned plans of turning the place into a community center, but it seemed as though it was already pretty well there. In the morning we ate breakfast with John and some of his compatriots, which was turned out to be a surprisingly difficult task. It now being Canada day, it took a good 45 minutes to find somewhere to serve us food. Apparently everyone else had started their celebrations a little earlier than us. Having essentially forgotten Canada day, (surprisingly easy to do when stuck in a van day in, day out) we hastened back to Waterloo. Not only was there a show to be played there that evening, but a nearly forgotten Canada day to be celebrated! The drive back to Waterloo didn’t exactly set things off to a good start though, another flat tire, cruelly within view of the city’s welcome sign. Fate was toying with us that day, but thankfully Dorian’s CAA membership continued to prove it’s worth, we where in the city within the hour. Since no tire shop was open (Again, Canada day) it made getting to the show a bit tricky. If not for the help of our steadfast friends Evan, Emily and Bellingham, it would have been simply non-existent. After a host of transport related shenanigans (and another few drinks for me, Canada day dammit!) we arrived at the venue with little time to spare, but at that point, we were happy to simply have arrived.

The show at Waterloo was to be held in a pool hall, a place called Millsy’s. Personally, I had been hoping for a seedy, grimy pool hall, something with real ambiance. (Of the unsavory variety) To my dismay, and no doubt everyone else’s delight, Millsy’s was a brand new establishment; clean, spacious and pleasant. In Waterloo we know a fair number of people, it being my home town and all, and damned if just about all of them showed up to see the show. The pool hall was rocked thoroughly, many drinks where had, much merriment ensued. My memory grows hazy of the specifics from the rest of that night (might have something to do with those drinks I mentioned…), but I can at least remember it was a hell of a good time. Between that and waking up without any new bruises or mysterious tattoos, I personally considered the Canada day of 2010 to have been a smashing success! Thanks again to all the wonderful people of Waterloo for coming out and having showed us such a great time. Next stop, a day off at Lake Huron!

Mosey with a vengeance

We arrived in Toronto on the coat-tails of the G20 conference and it’s accompanying protests. While we were too late for the conference itself, we still got to see a protest march against police brutality many hundreds strong, flanked by more bike cops than I had ever seen in one place. The G20 conference had come up in conversation in every city we had visited, and Toronto was certainly no exception. I would go on at length about the various view points of interest discussed, but this is a rock tour blog, not political commentary. Besides, if you live in Canada, you’ve probably already heard your fair share about it anyways. Moving right along, the venue of the evening was the venerable Drake Hotel. The Drake is a gorgeous venue, bursting with aesthetic style and hospitality, offering a “Starving artist buffet” before the show. The show itself didn’t exactly turn out as expected, Cinema L’Amour didn’t get to go on until about 1:30 in the morning, after the local bands had came and went, taking their friends (i.e. the audience) with them. This, coupled with the perfect storm of technical difficulties made for a less than stellar show, but such is life. Undaunted, Cinema L’Amour packed up their things and made ready for the next venue, Hamilton’s Casbah bar. Before that though, some much needed R&R, a day off in my home town, Kitchener Waterloo.

Not too much to tell from the day off, spent lounging, drinking, and walking around Waterloo park with some of our good friends in the city. A pleasant nostalgia trip for myself, and a good opportunity to stretch our atrophying car-cramped muscles and relax without the responsibility of putting on a show. We had to save our strength for the next day anyways, not only was Cinema L’Amour going to be rocking the Casbah, but it was Chris Kavanagh’s birthday, so debauched madness was a must.

Still moseying strong

The trip from Winnipeg back to Peterborough was, unsurprisingly, a long one. The first day of retracing our steps brought us back to the welcoming arms of the Apollo in Thunder Bay. We arrived in town late, the sun had long since set and we slowly realized we had no idea how to get to the Apollo. Assiduously avoiding common sense we attempted to navigate our way there through vague memories and intuition, which led us deep into the industrial section of Thunder Bay. After asking a local for directions which turned out to be wildly inaccurate (Retrospectively, the random sketchy looking guy in the beer store parking lot at 1:30 AM may not have been the best choice) we finally bowed to the pressure of rationality and called Sheila for directions. Despite not playing the Apollo that night Sheila still hooked us up with food and rooms, re-affirming my earlier statements of her generosity and excellence. We left early in the morning with Google‘s directions firmly in hand, headed towards rejoining urban civilization. Google, as to be expected, gave it’s usual bizarre winding path to our destination, and as night fell we found ourselves deep in rural Ontario, in need of a place to sleep and make a fire to cook some food. Unlike the rural countryside of northern Quebec and Ontario (Rocks, trees and lakes!) where large, open and unattended spaces abound, everywhere around us was farm property, fences bristling with no trespassing signs. As it the night got darker and us more desperate with it, we settled for a seemingly uninhabited or at least rarely used field off of a gravel side road. There was no fence to be found, and it boasted a fine rock bed on which to make our fire.

Unfortunately we had several less than pleasant visitors which kept the evening from being perfect, though certainly not from being an eventful one. The usual bloodthirsty hordes of mosquitoes made their appearance, but that was to be expected. The neighbors noticing our presence and phoning the police probably should have been expected, but sadly, we were too tired, hungry and busy killing mosquitoes to consider this prospect. The cops were of a reasonable, if decidedly by-the-book, type and we managed to escape the encounter with our freedom and continued ability to trespass (Minus a few confiscated items, to be sure). The real gift they left us with was the absurd lingo they used. Some quotes: “You boys seem like straight shooters, don’t understand how you became dopers though”. Chris explained that being artists from Montreal, it sort of came with the territory. The officer thought about that for a moment, then responded “Yeah, I can understand that. I know how it is with your type”. Ah, hilarious 70’s terminology. Really, who calls someone a “Doper” these days? It’s as if they learned about drug slang from a middle school instructional video. All in all, we decided to take the evening as a success, having avoided any real consequences to our actions, and continued to drink and eat late into the night.

Peterborough, initially, did not seem particularly impressive. Due to Google’s mad directions we came into the city from some obscure rural road and where treated to the ugly, industrial end of the city as our first impression. Much to our pleasant surprise, the city’s cultural center lay further in, and the venue Cinema L’Amour was to play was right smack dab in the center. Coming in on the last day of the Canary festival, a local event showcasing bands from all over, Cinema L’Amour was to be the first show ever in the venue, a recently repurposed dollar store in the middle of the main drag of Peterborough.  The show itself was excellent, Chris and Dorian sounded great and the accompanying bands, Weird Weather and Welsh Cinema, all preformed with gusto and skill. What really made the event wonderful though was the people. The festival organizer, Mike, who was also graciously putting us up for the evening, was of particular interest. Not only had he organized the whole festival, something he seemed to do on the regular, but was also opening his own venue out of an old art gallery. Most importantly though, he gave me the following anecdote about his own visit to the Apollo, reproduced here for the pleasure of all of you fine folk reading. Several years ago, Mike was holding an all ages show in town, things where going well, the music was good and the venue packed. Enter a sketchy looking older man named “Cloud Gatherer”, creepily hitting on underage girls and generally ruining the party’s vibe. Mike asks him to leave, things escalate, Cloud Gatherer throws a punch, is ejected forcefully off the porch. After picking himself up off the lawn he begins a bizarre dance and chant, pointing at Mike. He declares Mike cursed, and scuttles off into the night. Mike, being a rational man, dismisses it as the drunken ramblings of a madman and gives it no further thought. Over the next several months though, everything in his life starts to go wrong; financially, socially, artistically, the full monty. Flash forward to Mike on tour, at the Apollo, offhandedly telling this very same story to Sheila. Sheila considers for a moment, then tells him her mother Tina could probably do something about that for him. Mike then begins his show with Tina performing a traditional Greek curse removal ceremony, not only an awesome way to open a show, but apparently all the problems in his life cleared up shortly thereafter. Did I mention how excellent the Apollo is? Also worth noting was the band Welsh Cinema, some genial gentleman from Newfoundland. Talented musicians all, they had a fascinating touring strategy. Rather than rushing from show to show as we had, they had a remarkably more laid back approach to the whole business, spending a week or so in each city busking for beer and food money while promoting their upcoming show. Seemed to be working pretty well for for them too, on the morning we left they had already raised enough to buy 18 beers and some lunch.

After the show it was the standard comsumption of alcohol at the local bar with the bands and audience members, sleep in Mike’s living room, then the open road yet again, destination Toronto!