Tour Journal: Timber Timbre Ottawa/Montreal

I've never listened to so much Arts and Crafts music in my life. Friday morning, after Thursday's fantastic show at the Courthouse, found me in a rather surreal position, fingering through A&C's catalogue of CD's and Vinyl. "So.... I can take anything?". I probably asked the question 10 times.
With a box of albums the three of us (myself, lap steel virtuoso Simon Trottier, and Timber Timbre front man Taylor Kirk), made the 4+ hour drive to Ottawa. We were late. Again. 2 hours late (we're not always like this, I swear). But we arrived to find Great Lake Swimmers still sound checking (frustratingly so). I'll need a new paragraph to explain something.

Churches. They always sound like a good idea. What's not to like about a church? Especially for a band like the Great Lake Swimmers. Problem with most churches is that they don't come equipped with their own PA and sound. The promotion company has to bring their own, and their own sound guy, who isn't familiar with the room (not to knock the sound man, he really did his best). The other problem is that churches are notorious for electrical problems. Every light in the building could be the mystery hum that's resonating from the monitors. Needless to say, the set didn't go as planned. But the Great lake Swimmers were fantastic, any bugs from the sound check (and our set) were gone by the time Tony Dekker and crew hit the stage.

Let me tell ya abit about Tony and his band. If you've ever wondered what Tony is like in person, I'll try to give you an impression. The man is seriously committed. He was so focused during sound check and the show that one could be excused for thinking him a bit rude. But after the show was a totally different story. The whole crew (roughly 10 in totally) went out for poutine. After sharing a Lox Club sandwich with drummer (and Gentleman Reg cohort) Greg Millson, I was entertained by a dollar folding trick, care of Mr. Dekker! He's a very friendly, funny guy.

While the Swimmers curled up in their Motel 6 beds, the three of us continued our Journey. Simon was particularly interested in sleeping in his own bed, as he'd been couped up in a car with Taylor and The Ghost Bees for the last month. So 2 hours (and a mind blowing listen to the new Dirty Projectors album) later, we were in Montreal.

The next day was spent lounging hard. We left the house briefly to pick up some fruit, yogurt, granola and croissants, but the majority of my day was spent in front of the record player listening to Son House, Richard Crandell, Woody Guthrie, and various Constellation Projects (have you heard Land of Kush yet? So cool).

After sleeping most of the day, Taylor rounded us up and we headed to Theatre Plaza (early!) for the last show of the weekend. What a great venue! Gorgeous building, with a big stage and a great system. And four rooms for the bands!! Although, we only spent time in one... stealing the Swimmers beer. Sound check was perfect (thanks to Rodrigo, a top notch sound man), and the show was magical. It was amazing. The moment we started with our bird-noise intro the audience fell into a hush. They were captivated for the entire performance. It was really magical. Taylor and Simon were in top form, I felt truly honored to be playing with such talented musicians.

The Swimmers were magical as well. I had a better spot to watch the show here than I had in Ottawa, and I got a chance to really drink in the performance. What a solid band! Tony's voice is real star though, it can be extremely warm and soft, yet still captivate an entire audience. The man has worked hard to command that kind of respect.

The next day was equally relaxed, a nice breakfast out with Torngat's Wurlitzer man Mathieu Charbonneau and his lovely girlfriend Chantelle, followed by record hunting at Aux 33 Tours, where among other things, I picked up a cool mono version of The Velvet Underground and Nico. Taylor and I said goodbye to Simon, and made our way back to Toronto. The trip was again full of Arts and Crafts albums, Bell Orchestre, Jason Collett, Apostle of Hustle and one album that blew both of our minds, Valley of the Giants (I'm currently looking into why they never released another album, I'll keep you updated!). I also did a quick interview with Taylor, which I'll put up shortly... even though it's probably the worst interview I've conducted.

But I digress.

We finally got in at about 10pm. I think Taylor in particular could use a break. He's been on tour, without stop for a month, taking care of bookings, lodgings, and driving. If you're interested in seeing Timber Timbre again, there is a big show coming up soon, which I don't think I'm aloud to announce so.... Keep checking in!

Also check in tomorrow, when I'll have an interview up with Weewerk and Monotreme recording artist Barzin.

1 comment:

Cody Walker said...

Fantastic show in Montreal!!!
Sounded great.