Quote of the day:
“I eat so much because I don’t have the intelligence to stop. I’m like a cow. If I could, I’d eat until I died.”
– Lewis Carter
Friday, November 11th, 9:00 am, Victoria, Remembrance Day, 2011
I wake up in my own bed next to the box of Cheerios I ate half of while passing out to “Law and Order.” Oh, to be spoiled by the simple existence that is my life at home. It was weird, to be back only for a day, attempting to tie up loose ends, making mandatory payments for my ghost while I’m away, calling all friends to come to the show tonight. The boys in Ten Second Epic roll up around noon and fill my house with good cheer and road stories about getting stinkin’ drunk and taking advantage of free services such as complimentary beverages and food, hotel amenities and positivity. I make them coffee and let them abuse my facilities for all they are worth. I send Andrew downtown to “PIG” a local smokehouse establishment, to eat, and when he returns he shakes my hand. The boys in his band show me his FOOD BLOG dedicated to everything he has eaten while traveling. I think I may have found a friend.
It blusters and rains in James Bay as we arrive at the White Eagle Hall. The venue tonight is nice and well-maintained with a stage and chandeliers, fancy stuff, one of the nicer halls available for an all-ages stomping ground, and we really had to fight for it this time. And by WE, I mean Cam Birchill, our friend and promoter, who is as solid and brilliant as they come. Believe me, it’s not very often you come across such a dedicated and hard-working independent agent such as this. By this time the hall is filling with gear; dozens of guitars left out to warm up, a mountain of speaker cabinets, the cluttered merch tables, that electric hum and hiss of the all-ages show PA plugged into bad outlets. And then there’s all of us band dudes, all shining examples of what not to do with your life. Yes, we smoke and we drink and we curse too much, we make bad decisions, we are always broke and between jobs, but we get by and hopefully inspire at least one person to be a bit creative. Somehow these shows happen and kids come out. They still come out, and every time I play one of these things, these matinees, I am reminded of how when I was a kid, in a small town in the middle of nowhere, bands would come play for basically nothing and I would go regardless of curfew so I could be inspired, and later go on to write my own songs. Although, it did take me some time to stop writing bad teenage poetry (Or did I stop?) It is a comforting rock and roll nostalgia.
Ah, the ridiculous excitement. Like I said, I’ve been to and played so many of these since I was a stupid kid I’ve lost count, but they are still the best. Especially in Victoria, you get no folded arm, cross-genre, bitter rivalries here, I’ll say that much. Just enthusiastic music fans who come out to support their favourite local entertainment, and nine times out of ten, the venue is left unscathed and still available for the next show down the road. “The Harbour Sound” plays and it takes me back to good days. I remember all the times we used to play with them under their old pseudonym “Along Way Home.” Even before Acres of Lions existed. It is tight and good, clean, unabashed, pop-punk, just the way I like it. “On Call Heroes” gets the room sweaty and kinetic, the way an all-ages show should be, every break-down and group-chant a shirtless memory. We play next, and the first thing I do is get shocked by the microphone. Perfect. Our brand new set consists mostly of new songs and I get the sense that these people know why we are here and have stuck with us since the beginning. I am awestruck by the enthusiasm and the sing-alongs and hey, why not throw stage-diving and crowd-surfing in there too? Some of the kids even request a few old songs in which we oblige. Bless their hearts. How could we not? It is nice to come home to such a thing, amazing and unique, our little underground scene. Ten Second Epic plays a wonderful set and the Victoria crowd goes nuts. The band and I spend their show-time trying to remember the last time they played here and making up alternate lyrics to their songs, which will never be appropriate to post on here, let me assure you. If you see us at a show, ask us and we’ll sing them for you. Really starting to like these guys. Broners all around, for sure.
Special thanks to Cam Birchill, for all the great work he does, to all the bands for playing tonight, to Samantha for the photos, to The Zone 91.3 for their support and to all our friends and fans in our beautiful city for coming out. This was the best.
Check out some pics from the show HERE.