east coast sampler: moncton, sackville, charlottetown, cape breton, halifax…

Well somehow Saturday night at Plan B in Moncton was even better than Friday night, and not just because the singalong was great, but we met a gazillion new friends (numbers approximate) and there are pictures from the “after party” that are perfect for my use as blackmail. We were up relatively late on Sunday (the crack of 11AM) and made the slow sojourn to Sackville, NB to play a matinee-style show at the Bridgestreet Cafe at 4PM. It is impossible to predict what will happen at shows on tour, but we definitely didn’t expect Bry Webb from The Constantines (which is lead guitarist John Law’s favourite band!) to walk in and order some sandwiches while he was on his way to Halifax. We gave him an album and he apologized for not being able to stick around for the show — he had a show of his own to play in Halifax. It wasn’t really something he needed to apologize for…

Monday we had a day off so we headed to Charlottetown, PEI to enjoy the red sands, the delicious potato-based cuisine, and to try to find a show to play. Charlottetown is exceptionally picturesque and we wandered the streets as tourists do and found out that not much happens on a Monday, except the open mic night at Hunter’s Ale House. So we signed up, played a few songs for an immense crowd of people, and generally had a great time. It was late late at night when we found a campsite, slept it up a notch, and then the next day re-wandered the streets until our show at Baba’s Lounge with Thought Beneath Film and The Stimulants. The crowd was great and just kept growing as the night went on until we hit the stage and enjoyed the impromptu singalong from a fellow during Laura’s song “standing still”. The only problem was he didn’t know the words. Drunken revelry ensued and by the end of the set I was on the dance floor jumping up and down to “in your defence”. Now that’s a full-on show!

That night we slept on the floor of Mark’s house — he is the bass player for The Haunted Hearts — and we were up early to catch the ferry from PEI across to Nova Scotia. We enjoyed the brisk salty breezes and I got to level 25 on Galaga (which was in the ferry’s arcade section!) and then we were back in the van for the drive to Cape Breton because we had another day off and we wanted to enjoy the east coast. It was absolutely gorgeous, and the drive took about twice as long as it should have because we kept stopping for pictures. We eventually found a sweet campsite, slept a small amount, and then hit the road again to make it to Halifax for our soundcheck for the Halifax Urban Folk Festival: HUFF! We were playing at The Carleton with Alan Gerber and Harlan Pepper, and the sound check alone sounded better than anything we’d done up to that point on tour. We played for an exceptional crowd in one of the best listening rooms in the country and had a great night. Alan Gerber and Harlan Pepper both tore it up, and we spent the wee hours chatting with Ron Hawkins, from Lowest of the Low. Tomorrow we play a legit theatre — with rowed seating! — but it will still be hard to top that experience.

bry webb, daniel romano, harlan pepper, alan gerber… and us!

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