Tuesday, 24 July 2012

I shouldn't have cheaped out on my sax strap (Day 22/23)


Rockstars only
                First an apology: I have merged two blog entries into one, given that the 22nd was one of those rare uneventful days. Also, I am only one man, and  an increasingly cranky one. But I promise to my devoted fans to capture all of those unfortunate, internet worthy moments until I get on the plane back to Toronto, after which I will prepare, for your pleasure, a I what I have learned post; it will be insightful but very boring.  

We needed to reorganize the van
                The morning after our evening with Tomahawk was a late one. At 1 pm, we struggled out of bed and  over to Greg’s relatives for a fish fry. It may have been the most delicious meal I ate on tour, complete with fish, potatoes, and a divine taco salad. To top it off, they shoved more beers in our hands which Martin particularly enjoyed. I think he was still drunk from the previous evening. To make a long story short, we drove to Saskatoon while Martin polished off a bottle of wine in the back; him and Greg talked about music the whole way; we spent the night in the most immaculate campsite, named after Gordon Howe; we finished the night with a game of 9 to 9. 

                The next day we rolled out to Edmonton. We had a show that night at New City, a punk rock venue in the midtown. Then came better news: our western connections had landed us a floor to sleep on that evening. We were ecstatic; simple amenities like power, internet, and no bugs are heavenly after spending two weeks camping. 

Greg outside of New City
Maneuvering the van can be an ordeal
                We arrived at the venue for sound check at 6 pm. There was a narrow alley we needed to enter  to load in, which required difficult maneuvering for Matt. First, he drove backwards down a busy as we had driven past it; then he executed the turn too early and was unable to get in, requiring some difficult re-orienting on a busy street; finally, we got him to turn into this narrow driveway on the right. But we had misjudged size of the van. As he was turning right, we realized he about to graze a pole. He stopped just in time, but the side of the van was less than a cm away. After a band huddle, our course of action was still unclear. Fortunately, a seasoned passerby told us how to solve the problem. Matt cut hard right, but slowly, and we were free. Crisis averted. To celebrate, we had some band McDonalds. 

Band McDonalds: a good idea until after you eat it
Inside with our new Edmonton bros
                The venue was a dark basement below another bar. It looked punk rock, decorated with plastic skeletons, bills from previous shows, and chairs, tables, and wall paper that were all black; however, the music playing suggested it was welcoming to eclectic tastes. The crowd was made up of a similar mix of hipster and punk rockers. Like das Drink and Die haus, it was time for the Argyles to unleash their inner punk-rocker. We began the set with one down; a string on Greg's guitar went down. Next was I'll take it; string number two broke. Then we played Blackjacks, a song celebrating the spirit of rage. We played it faster than usual, but still kept it tight. Then, during one of Greg's patented stage jumps, he broke the strap on his guitar; he recovered without losing a step. We kept going strong. The song progressed and we arrived at a pause, during which I usually jump. As completed the move and landed, my sax went smashing onto the stage. Earlier that day, I had bought a new strap and decided it wasn't worth spending the extra $10 for a better one. Now I will have to spend $100 to get it fixed. Yet performing with a disregard for the longevity of our instruments seems to have won the crowd over.  And my sax still worked so long as I stuck to the lower octaves. Greg in particularly played with more than energy than usual. We finished. He was ecstatic, congratulating us all on how well we had performed. We were ready for the big show in Calgary the next day.

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