Two months off the road can seem like an eternity when it comes time to packing up and preparing to head out again. A sickening mixture of anticipation and dread flows through the body and then muscle memory takes over, you find yourself tucked away in your bunk, the rattle and hum of a bus rolling down the highway buzzing away in your ear, that antiseptic clean-not-clean smell in your nostrils and it’s like you’ve never been away. At least we are in one of our favourite parts of the continent, the Pacific North West, and it’s October, one of the most beautiful months of the year out here.
Bellingham, WA: We couldn’t have picked a better day or a nicer town to kick start this little jaunt: a cloudless, sparkling blue sky, mid-70’s temperature with a light breeze, Mount Baker’s snow-capped peak in the distance, a perfect day to wander around and explore. It’s been over ten years since we’ve played here, which is too long to stay away from a cool little town like this: a couple of great coffee shops, a specialty donut shop and one of the best used book stores that I have ever come across….all the necessities for life on the road. It was a very nice sized audience tonight and very appreciative. They helped us to get through those opening night jitters: an excellent way to start this run.
Edmonds, WA: Another excellent day and this time we find ourselves on Pugent Sound in another quaint little Washington State town (perhaps a Seattle bedroom community these days). This town doesn’t have the university presence that Bellingham has, it’s a little more upscale and therefore not quite as engaging to the itinerant musician, but those ocean breezes make up for any lack of a boho scene. Another full house tonight and another excellent crowd. This is kind of fun.
Covington, WA: I’m not quite sure where we were today….it was very close to Seattle, let’s call it a Seattle suburb. We lost those high blue skies as the clouds rolled in and we were stranded out in the middle of nowhere behind the venue, which was a Performing Arts Center attached to a high school. It was a strange day. Not a bad gig tonight…we were a little unfocussed at times but there were some nice moments and the audience picked us up when needed.
Vancouver, BC: Back across the border to a strange gig in the East end of Vancouver. Two shows tonight at a very odd little venue, The Cultch. We’ve had our problems attracting an audience in Vancouver over the past few years and tonight was no different. The first show was sold out, the second, not so much. Unfortunately we suffered a bit of a meltdown in the first show, we just couldn’t find each otherand so we flailed around for ninety minutes. The second show was a lot more focussed and we felt slightly redeemed. After the show we packed up and headed for another border crossing and a nine hour overnight drive to Bend, Oregon and a much needed day off: a cross country flight, three border crossings and five shows in four nights….yes, a much needed day off.