On Tour: One hand clap no more Kelowna

Our first tour of Canada we played a pub in Kelowna. It was a soul sucking gut wrenching experience. It was busy but full of teeny bopper kids that were there to score chemicals and booty. There were a few ‘working girls’ too if I recall. We left everything we had on that stage and the kids were semi indifferent until the end of the night where everyone tells you how great it was. This example best sums up the experience….
Mid Performance …….
ME – Who wants free booze (we were sponsored by Sailor Jerry)
Crowd – Silence

I mean really? Most spots would claw over each other to taste the goods. We learned to suck it up on that gig. Later when we were back at the Kelowna Villa licking our wounds we were reminded of the Joel Plaskett tune where he references Kelowna with the line “picture the sound of one hand clapping, now picture half that sound, Thats why I hate that town”. This made us feel moderately better.

The second time we performed at a venue designed for mamby pamby soft spoken kind of acts. The sort of place where the owner is actually afraid of the drums and INSISTS on doing the sound even though they don’t know anything about that tedious, technical assembly of sonic science. The room was full of speakers which is fine if everything is mic’d but if not you have vocal and acoustic blaring at the back of the room with the drums and bass way at the front. Brilliant. We realized that That room was also not for us and thought maybe we would have to skip Kelowna next tour. This was a bummer as I had lived here years before and still had lots of friends and family that wanted to see us perform.

Not too long ago I was relating our Kelowna experience to someone and including the Plaskett story when I was informed that Joel no longer sings it like that and has made amends with Kelowna. Confused and feeling defeated I thought, “Well you can’t please em all and maybe Kelowna just isn’t for us”.

I had known about The Blue Gator Bar from my old days living in Ktown and performing with Dog Skin Suit. It was in a new location now and at our previous gigs we were told by our friends that we had to play there. So after much emailing and rustling I finally got us in there. Last night was our first of two nights. It was amazing. Dancers right on the first tune. Great crowd that ate up the originals all night long. Good Staff and a nice owner. All the things you want in a gig. It is clear that this venue is going into the list beside Mikey’s in Calgary, Blues on Whtye in Edmonton, Buds in Toon town, The “Ho” in Canmore, Tofino and a few other venues we play that just kick ass. A fine mix of people and no pretentiousness, except for a few hipsters. It was like old home week for me as I got to reconnect with lots of old friends and got to hang with some family too!

I guess things really do change and you just need to keep looking. Don’t take defeat. Don’t lie down. Stand up, dust yourself off and try harder. Like my mentor and friend Morgan Davis says – “keep pushing up on it”. Thats good advice I think about everyday.

There are some funny circles in life that appear to run a lot of things, but just underneath where they spin their wheels there is something else, a dark cool place where Real resides. A place where what you get IS what you see. Where people ARE who they are crazy or sane. Where true effort is recognized and applauded. This is where we spin our wheels. It’s a heavy load but we’ll keep pushing up. One bleeding set of ears at a time.