So I'm a bit behind on the old blogsky.... let's see if I can remember....
So we arrived at the Calgary bus station, Wednesday March 24, our friends Josh and Kayla came to pick us up in Kayla's truck, and we headed to Josh's place for some
acoustic jamming. We were scheduled to meet up with Brock Mitchell,
who videos bands for a series called “Shot in the Dark”. We met
up downtown at the Calgary Fairmount, where we were going to try to
get on the roof to shoot the video. After getting past the lobby and
making our way upstairs, the excitement shivers were beginning. Owen
and Kayla had been on the roof before, going through the penthouse
and into the maid's room. When the elevator door opened to the
penthouse floor, we were greeted with a “What are you doing here?”
from a maid. Change of plan, we went down a couple of floors and
found a staircase that would take us to the top.
As the five of us huddled in the stairwell with the sounds of employees on the other side of a swinging door, Owen tried and tried to open the window that lead out
on to the roof. It was definitely one of those situations where if we
got caught, we wouldn't have even been able to run away, we would
have been busted, but not really doing anything really illegal, just
slightly mischievous. The window wouldn't budge, so we headed to the
other end of the hotel to try to find another staircase.
The only other staircase we found didn't go all the way to the top, so we settled for shooting the video in the stairwell, playing “Wake” on the 8th
floor with me playing Owen's guitar case as a drum. It sounded really
good in the stairwell, and the video looked great, it should be up
For the show that night we transformed Josh's kitchen into a stage, it was a pretty low key show, Josh joined us on guitar for a few tunes, and we jammed with Josh's
upstairs neighbour (also named Josh) and a cornet player named Mike.
I've gotta say that the cornet is my new favourite instrument.
Upstairs Josh had also read my blog and knew I was a microbrew lover,
so his fridge was stacked with different beer, along with the 8 pack
taster of Tree Brewery from Kelowna I bought, it was a great night
for my taste buds. Thanks again Josh, Josh, Mike & Kayla for the
Next day we went to an open mic at a place called The Coffee House Sanctuary, it was an all ages cafe, that was really busy with some colourful Calgary youth. We got there
at 7 to sign up and after getting punched in the face by a little
punk trying to get to the sign up sheet, Owen managed to grab us the
last spot on the list.
We ended up taking a walk for a bite to eat, then running into some friends of friends from back home, Jeanine and Lauren, who also had her baby Brynn. We hung out and I
played the drum for Brynn, who loved it, dancing, bouncing and
playing along, it was great. During this time Owen was using a pay
phone and forgot his wallet in the booth. We returned after eating
some yummy Thai food, and found it gone. Getting back to the cafe,
Owen started asking random groups of people if anyone had seen it,
and a guy had it! It was a great break that turned our night around
for the better.
My friend from Stanley, Jamie Thomas came out with her boyfriend, so we chatted while the up and coming stars of Calgary performed.....at around 1030, we finally got up on
stage, played our 3 songs, sold a couple of cds and went home. It was
better than not playing a show...but still not the best show we've
So now I'm up to friday march 26th, we had a tentatively scheduled High School Workshop planned in Canmore that day, but we found out the night before that it wasn't
going to happen...so we used the day off to catch up on interwebbing,
and to meet up with Doug Hoyer, who volunteered to drive us to from
Calgary to Canmore, then on to Banff, then finally dropping us off at
the train station in Jasper.
We weren't really sure where we would be staying that night, but Owen got a hold of an old family friend of his dad's who lives in Canmore, so we headed out of the city towards
the great looming mountains. After some slight confusion on how to
get out of the suburban hell we found ourselves in, we finally made
it to the highway and pulled in Canmore early evening. We had the
familiar feeling in our stomachs, so we went to the best brew pub
I've ever been to, The Grizzly Paw. A little expensive for our
liking, but it was a great meal, and really good beer.
After the meal we located Ian's house, an amazing, tall ceilinged house with a great view of the mountains. We sat around the table, drank wine, told stories and played songs
until it was time to head to bed. We were heading up to Sunshine
Village for a day of skiing and boarding the next day, so we wanted
to get going early.
We got up, showered, got fed by Ian, and then hit the road. Driving up to Sunshine was a great memory lane kind of thing, when I lived in Banff, I'd usually hitch hike up to
the mountain, it was nice to not have to do any walking with
snowboard gear. We got our gear rented and by 11 we were riding up
the gondola, enjoying the view and the fresh air. It was a beautiful
day, a little windy, but nothing short of a blizzard would have
dampened the day.
After our day of frolicking on the mountain, we headed into Banff, first into the Samesun hostel to see if they had rooms and to spread the word about our free show that
night, then on to Bruno's Bar & Grill for a free meal and some
Playing in Banff was a real trip for me, I spent a winter here in 2005, then came back for a bit in 2006, and I promised myself that I would make it back out to play within a
few years...it took a little longer than I expected, but it was
another goal accomplished. Bruno's was especially fun to play at, I
used to come every wednesday for open mic. The bar had changed a
little bit, but it was still the same guy (Gary) running the place.
I had a bunch of friends from different groups show up to the show, Jamie and her bf Jesse made the trek from Calgay, Julia Grant came from Canmore with some friends,
Amanda Markey apparently lives in banff now after finishing school in
St Andrews, and my friend Janelle, who I met in Banff in 2005 and
hadn't seen since, made the trek from Calgary as well. It was awesome
to look out into the crowd in a place that feels like home and see so
many familiar faces. By the end of the night the bar was quite full
and we sold a bunch of cds.
After the show we headed to my old watering h***, The Pump & Tap. 5 years later and it was still Dave, grumpy bald guy on the door and the same handlebar moustached
guy behind the bar, its nice to know some things stay will always be
the same, even in a transient town like Banff. After a couple games
of pool, they shooed us out onto the street, I went to the hostel for
some sleep, and the boys decided to save some cash and sleep in the
An early wake up call got me out of bed at the unholy hour of 9am after a night in Banff, but we had to catch a train in Jasper at 230, so we needed to get on the road.
After some coffee and muffins, we jumped in Doug's 2000 Windstar,
gold in colour, and hit the road. If you're reading this Doug, thanks
again for the good times, and reliable transportation this weekend,
it was much appreciated!
So here I am, sitting on a crowded train somewhere in the BC rockies, its a combination of rain and snow, so we can't really see the peaks, but the landscape is
beautiful none the less. If it were nicer I would definitely not be
taking the time to type this up. Things are still going well, the
road is tiring, but well worth every second. It's going to be
strange tomorrow knowing that we'll be at the most western point of
the tour, all that will be left is to turn around and head back east.
A comforting yet sad thought. I'm pumped to get home though, lots of
shows in the east have been being booked for Gordon Gets Lost as well
as me and Owen (Owen and I, for all you grammar checkers, you know
who you are) Its going to be a big summer!!
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