Saturday, September 17, 2011

Every tour has one...

The bad gig day.

But we'll get to that later.  Friday started off perfectly nicely.

I'd forgotten how dark that guestroom remains.  I'd woken up a few times, seen it was still dark, and rolled over to go back to sleep.  After the six round of this, I bothered to look at the clock -- 10:00 already!  Joined the others upstairs and had a nice breakfast together.  Then Ruth headed to her computer and I hauled out mine, and the boys went off to talk and play music together.  Unfortunately, the wireless I had been able to "borrow" the day before was not reaching the house this day (the previous day's storm must have helped with the waves), and Ruth and Mike live next to a mountain that seems to hamper the internet stick's service.  So... it was slow-going, especially since we had just gotten the details about our Calgary gig and had to upload 5MB posters and update online concert calendars.

I just have to keep reminding myself that Lorainne McKennitt did all this before the internet existed...

Lunch time!  Tuna paninis and salad on the patio -- the breeze was a bit cool, but it was still sunny and nice, and we could hear the kids at the nearby school whooping it up for a football game (or something -- we couldn't see the game, just the folks watching!).

A bit more work for the girls, the boys went to give our car an oil change -- manly men, watching other manly men do manly things. :-)

Around 4:00, it was time for us to pack up the car and head back up the highway to our gig in Vernon.  (Venue shall go unnamed, but the resourceful among you can figure it out fairly easily, should you so desire...)

We drove into the parking lot, and Don peeked in the windows while I put away the laptop -- "looks like a beautiful spot!," he said with glee.  We start looking forward to our cafe gig -- not our favourite type of gig, but it'll do in a pinch.

Our gleeful anticipation quickly dissipates, however, when we introduce ourselves to the young man at the counter -- he was not aware there was any music happening that night!  He calls to his co-worker, who similarly had not been told there was an event that night.  The two look around sheepishly, and say "I hate it when this happens" -- indicating, it seems, that this happens on a regular basis.

We look around for a poster to point to -- after all, we had sent three different versions to the booker, all on a "you need to get it to me within the hour" basis, so with that type of desperation, she must have been launching an incredible postering campaign, right?


Yeah, not a single poster.  Not even in the bathroom.

Shoot me now.

Nevermind, Christian and Landon are also the hosts for the Wednesday open stages, so they know the PA system well -- they get busy setting up the "stage" and we get our gear out.  They help us with the sound check and are entranced with the cello and Hawaiian king... Landon further excited when he sees the accordion.  We like these guys! :-)

Landon plays Don's guitar for a while -- there's absolutely nobody else in the cafe -- and Christian plays us his very first home recording (which sounds great!).  We chat away about music and introduce each other to new musicians we like.  We get some yummy tea and half-price sandwiches for our troubles (quite good food, really).

Fifteen minutes to showtime... it's still just the four of us. Christian and Landon call some friends in to come listen, which is fabulous of them.   They're really conscientious guys (unlike the booker, it seems).   Two girls also arrive and talk loudly in the corner, getting louder as we play, so strangers outside can hear them clearly.

OK, no, please shoot me now!

But Christian, Landon and friends are very appreciative and attentive -- very kind since, let's face it, our songs aren't really standard fare for 17-year-olds.  I introduce my instrumental version of "Both Sides Now" as our only cover tune -- Don asks if they know Joni Mitchell.  Embarrassed shuffling and "I've heard OF her...?"  Poor guys, they were trying so hard...

We decide to elongate the first set a bit, and call it a night.  Mike had promised to get the wine ready for our return.  We send a quick e-mail to say our return will be earlier than planned -- put away the dancing girls and get your clothes back on! ;-)

We get back to the house unscathed, though eager for grape juice.  Mike and Ruth have just read our note and feel awful.  Ruth had initially contacted the owner about this gig for us, when our Kamloops gig fell through -- she disappears into her office and sends an irate note to her friend (I'm not the only one who writes irate e-mails, it seems!)  Not sure what it said, but... she felt much better when she emerged.

Although, you know... as far as bad gigs go, this was certainly not one of the worst.  We enjoyed Christian and Landon, and while we didn't make any money, we at least didn't have to pay for a hotel that night!

We sat in the living room and chatted, introducing some new music to Mike and Ruth from our car CD collection and drinking a lovely Rioja.  Apparently it was a small bottle, because we also had to open a Cabernet Sauvignon.  And then a Claret...  And then it was 2:30 am -- yikes!  Time for a sozzled snooze. :-)



  1. I'm so glad you brought that up - about the bottles being made smaller. I've noticed the same trend! :)

    Sorry to hear the gig was not a gig but a kerfuffel.

    I'm hoping we do better here in Calgary -- I'm confident we will! :)

    See you Tuesday!

  2. Well at least some people will actually know we're coming! :-)