MONDAY 4 JULY
We left Edmonton on Monday afternoon and drove through the night weaving through the mountains, passing semi-trucks and catching glimpses of wildlife in all too close a proximity to the highway. After a long day/night of driving we arrive in Vancouver at 4am and find much needed sleep at our friend Kaitlen’s house, who is all too kind a host.
TUESDAY 5 JULY
Tuesday morning we woke up and grabbed breakfast at Bon’s on Broadway. I know some people love the place while others hate it, but you can’t argue with the price. $2.95 for the Breakfast Special means the whole band can eat for $20ish, which is nice when you’re on a budget. After breakfast we packed into the van and headed to the beach. On the way there I cut off a bus (after signalling for awhile) and the driver laid on the horn. When he drove past he said “Not so smart,” out the window of the bus. I then drove us into and right back out of Stanley Park. Eventually we made it back to the park and met up with my friend Spencer who just moved to Vancouver from Edmonton. We spent the day laying on Third Beach catching rays before meeting up with another long-time pal Anna for dinner and drinks at a place called Six Acres. Six Acres is in Gas Town and rumour has it that K-os frequents the place fairly often, which I don’t blame him for… there are dozens and dozens of specialty and imported beers from all over the world. Afterwards we picked up some sixers and hung out in a park near where we were staying. Word to the wise: Swings will make you far more drunk than you actually are in a very short period of time. Bedtime.
WEDNESDAY 6 JULY
We didn’t have all the much to do on Wednesday. Anna offered us her place, so after coffee we moved all our stuff to our new temporary residence. We decided to check out some of the shops on Main and came across an old pal Kevin Cherney hanging out at Dandelion Records. Kevin plays in All Purpose Voltage Heroes who have an album ready that we should all bug them to release. Lucky for us, he is taking the summer off and spends the rest of the day showing us around the city. For dinner we get some cheap sushi, then pick up beer and head back to Anna’s place. We drink on the front stoop for a few hours before watching ‘Sandlot’. I fall asleep immediately as I often do. Apparently in my sleep I grabbed Erik’s arm and hit him in the face with it. I wake up just as the movie ends. The house is too hot for sleep so I head to van for the night.
THURSDAY 7 JULY
I woke up bright and early on Thursday morning and realizing the door had locked behind me the night prior set off in search of coffee and a washroom. I walked back and being that it was just after 8am sat on the front porch, drinking coffee, reading and smoking cigarettes. After an hour or two the rest of the boys woke up and we headed for breakfast with Anna, Kevin would meet us there. We polished off some benny’s, said goodbye to our friends, spent a few hours downtown and then caught the ferry to Nanaimo where we were playing at The Cambie that night. The Cambie is a bar with a hostel over top, a hostel that bands get to stay in when they play. We talk to the barmaid and she gives us the key to room #9, the room for bands. We head upstairs and I open the door without knocking or thinking that we were possibly sharing a room with someone else. I open the door to a sloppy looking girl and her boyfriend glaring at me from the bed. I pull the door shut and we run back downstairs embarrassed and not entirely sure what had just happened. The barmaid explains that we’re supposed to be sharing a room. We decide to beat it and check out the town, let the dust settle for a bit before heading back to the room. I have to recommend a place called Pirate’s Chips for chips. Good place, good people. After a few hours we walk back to the venue and head to our room for the second time. Just as I put the key in the door to room #9 the girl from earlier comes ripping around the corner in a fit of furry screaming like Miss Piggy, “You can’t go in that room! That’s not your room, my personal belongings are in there! You have to go and talk to my mom the bar-manager right now!” Completely confused and a little bit intimidated we headed downstairs and get given the key to another room across the hall. We load in, make some copies of our record, play a set, and chat with the locals. We met a man who was on the run from the cops for selling crack in Surrey and another man who claimed to be fresh out of a mental institution. Erik saw the latter dance and sing for the local RCMP while being videotaped, the man later tells Todd and I that he had to sing and dance to avoid getting a fine. Fine police work, I’m not so sure, possibly entertaining though. Nanaimo is a strange place. We head to the bunks fully clothed and sleep away the night.
FRIDAY 8 JULY
The next morning we get out of Nanaimo as fast as we possibly can but not before an encounter with the charming girl from room #9 in which I try and explain it wasn’t our fault about the room situation the night prior. She stares blankly off into space which is fine because we didn’t really owe her any explanation in the first place. We get into Victoria after a short drive and the boys go for breakfast while I head to meet a friend for pizza. Afterwards we reconvene and drive down to CFUV to do a live set and interview on air. They’re a friendly little station and we enjoyed our time in their confines. We rush from the station to Lucky Bar in time for soundcheck with our man Darcy, one of our favorite sound guys we’ve come across. We played with Freak Heat Waves and Horse Girls, two amazing locals. Afterwards we went to the beach with a bunch of new friends and drank PBR by a fire. In the meantime, our cell phones were picked up by American towers across the water so we turned them off to avoid roaming charges. It was a good time. We made it to the promoter Lauren’s house where we were staying for the night. I have decided that for now I am indifferent to pull-out couches, they are neither good nor bad, they simply exist. Never the less, we appreciate any place to sleep and appreciate Lauren for all her help in Victoria. We always have the best time at Lucky.
SATURDAY 9 JULY
Saturday, we’re slow to rise and quick to shower. Around noon we get out of the house and make our way downtown for breakfast. When we were around last, the rest of the band went for breakfast at a run of the mill diner while our road man Marc and I ate at a fantastic little place called MoLe. This time around there was no way we were leaving Victoria without the whole band experiencing MoLe. I would go as far as saying it’s collectively the best breakfast we’ve experienced anywhere and the service is unbelievable. As our order was being taken by one waitress, another was topping up our coffee. I had french toast with mango chutney and raspberry jam, topped with whipped cream and maple syrup. Delicious. After breakfast we split up for awhile, I meet my friend Jae again and we get coffee next door. It was nice and sunny so we sat outside. The weather has been fairly good all trip. I think the rest of the guys went thrifting. Anyway, we had a ferry to Vancouver to catch so we drove out to Schwartz Bay for the 4pm departure. Matt Goud from Northcote ends up being on the same ferry so him and I shoot the shit in the smoke pit and bask in the sun. He’s a good man with a heart of gold and always nice to run into. A crazy woman shows us a video of her dog that she has pretended to be her dog’s voice in. It wasn’t very good. Soon the ferry ride is over and we navigate our way to the Anza Club where we’re playing later in the night. We load in and do a sound check before meeting up with Kevin and grabbing dinner. He takes us to a place called Budgie’s Burritos and we fill ourselves up. The show starts at around 10:30pm and we’re up first. We play a quick set and enjoy the rest of the night.
SUNDAY 10 JULY
I head for breakfast at Nice Cafe with Kaitlen. The rest of the guys go to check things out downtown. After breakfast we go to the arcade on Granville St. with Kaitlen’s friend Stephane reconvene. Tetris is easy until the music gets intense, then you’re quick to fail. Classic arcade games will always hold a place in my heart. Combined I think we spend about $30 in quarters between six people. We get pitchers on the patio at The Cambie and enjoy the afternoon sun. We get hungry and walk through China Town to another friends house and BBQ. Beautiful day. Vancouver is 125 and celebrating. Dan Mangan plays a great set in the night time at Stanley Park.
MONDAY 11 JULY
All I remember is drinking games with Kevin Cherney. I don’t remember much of them though.
TUESDAY 12 JULY
Bon’s. Highway. Nelson. Tired boys go to sleep quickly.
WEDNESDAY 13 JULY
Breakfast is probably my favourite part of the day. We don’t know where to go in Nelson so Devin texts his cousin who recommends The Twisted Fork. We decide to walk instead of drive down. Turns out it’s a little bit of a hike but the walk through the rain is refreshing. It’s not coming down too heavy. We arrive to find an old pal from Edmonton working as the host. It’s good to run into people you don’t expect to run into. He ends up finding us a house show for later that night. Breakfast is delicious. After breakfast we give Tyler Toews (who I know from his days in The Rocky Fortune) a call, and we end up heading over to his house for an afternoon jam. It was interesting to hear what his instincts provided to our songs. He’s definitely welcome to join us any time. After some afternoon beer we head to Margaret Anne’s place to set up for the show. Our first acoustic show. This should be interesting. Twenty-ish people turn out and we play songs for them. No mics, just singing into the air. We end up playing Tigersong three times. The people of Nelson are a good bunch. It felt good to play to them. Really good. The party is over by 11pm.
THURSDAY 14 JULY
A big day of driving. Nelson to Calgary. About 8 hours. We hit the road and catch Canada’s longest Free ferry across the Kootenay lake and wind through the mountains. At one point I pass two semis in a 600m passing lane around a bend taking Ol’ Moeisha up to 130km/hour. We make it to Calgary in one piece just in time for load in and sound check. We always manage to make it to Calgary around Stampede time. It’s a crazy place to be. There are people dancing in the streets to Top 40 DJ’s and cowboy hats everywhere. Cowboy hats with shit faced idiots of all kinds under them. An inebriated American woman and her husband sing ‘Oh Canada’ for us and buy a cd. We drink Steam Whistle and play to our friends and family. Slow night, weeknight.
FRIDAY 15 JULY
Time to go home. The highway between Calgary and Edmonton is the worst. Straight as an arrow and heavy with traffic.