Tour Journal: OAL Saint John NB

After finally getting out of Halifax, we embarked on a journey to Saint John. From the pitiful google map Olenka had printed off, you'd think that Saint John didn't want anyone in or out. The map made little to no sense. And after a series of unsuccessful turns, Olenka and I were at each other throats. That was immediately all forgotten when we found our destination; The Pirates Place.

The Pirates Place is a house owned by Jim Laracey. A spacious building, in a perpetual state of renovation, and in constant threat of foreclosure. But Jim is a man who loves music. His house is equipped with guitars in various states of construction, amps, drum kit, and fully working PA and mixing board.

Jim himself is something out of a Hemingway novel. A large man with a full beard, boisterous voice, and a big heart.

After soundcheck, we were treated to a huge meal of open faced tacos, salad and apple crumble. As I've stated before, we're eating better on the road than we do at home (so, mothers, do not fear!) Oh, the toppings! Last night, for the first time, I tasted cactus and emu meat. Wonderful.

With full bellies we hit the stage. From the first moment, we knew this was going to be a great show. We opened with the new track "East End". The audience (with a very hippy-leaning vibe), where up and dancing. The smiles couldn't be wiped from our faces.

Most of them knew our old songs, and sang along. During the new songs, they danced and cheered. I danced harder then I ever have on stage, at one point bringing the glockenspiel into the crowd for an interactive version of "Flash in the Pan".

At the end of the set, the audience staged the first sitting ovation I'd ever seen, hoping that Olenka would play a few quiet tunes to end their night. She obliged, and the rest of the band sat in with the audience, holding hands and clapping along.

It was truly a magical evening. The magic continued after the set, when our appreciative host gave Blair one of his guitars. True story. Turns out during the Autumn Lovers last visit, Jim had asked Blair to lean bottle neck guitar playing. Blair hadn't learned, citing the lack of a suitable guitar. Jim graciously handed him a semi-hollow ES 35 copy from his collection. Blair hasn't put it down since.

We must sincerely thank Jim, Leanne, Vanessa, and Zach for their hospitality. Now we're on the road to Moncton, playing an early show then it's off to Sackville for a big show at Georges! Talk soon.


Anonymous said...

he gave him a guitar!?

don't think I'm not following your trip! SOUNDS LIKE AN AMAZING TIME!


Shawn William Clarke said...

Yup. He sure did.