Tour Diary – the Conquest of Quebec – Rouyn-Noranda and Val D’Or, QC (Nov 26 and 27, 2009)

Rouyn-Noranda and Val D’Or, QC (Nov 26 and 27, 2009)

Rouyn-Norada 1

You might need a little help locating this one on the map: head NNE from Toronto and keep on going, past Algonquin Park, past where all of those pesky roads seem to end, way up there, a little to the East of a town named Timmins. This is the real deal: a frontier town, which, in North America, is very rare in this day an age. Up here there is precious little English spoken, even ordering a BLT from the local Tim Horton’s you best know a few key French words, like, oui, non, blanc, B L T. It’s not exactly the most scenic of towns, it’s functional, built to withstand the onslaught of winter, built to accommodate those in the business of extracting things from the earth. A very basic place.

Walking around these streets you really begin to understand what keeps the separatist movement going in Quebec. This is another country; the large Canada signs on the sides of the fortress like Federal buildings look very out of place. The Fleur-de-Lys flies a little prouder than the occasional Maple Leaf that you might come across. For the average guy on the street, Canada must seem a very fuzzy, distant and inconsequential concept. From my point of view, I love the idea that within my own country I can feel so “out-of-town”.

It was a very nice little theater tonight, beautiful sound on stage and excellent sound in the auditorium. Unfortunately there were very few people in attendance. I thought we played a really good show…one of those tightly played, snarling affairs. I’m not sure if we made much of an impression on Rouyn-Noranda. Hopefully there was at least one person in the audience who walked out of there thinking,  ”….man, that was cool….”.

Rouyn-Noranda 2

Val D’Or is a relatively short, ninety minute ride east from Rouyn-Noranda. It was a grey, wet day. The steady, cold drizzle, the theater being a bit too far out of town, made me think twice about hoofing it in to town. So I spent the day on the bus, a depressing way to spend a day. The alternate was to spend it in the rotting motel on the highway, the bus seemed the better choice. I watched seven episodes of an Australian comedy show called Summer High (or something like that). It was very disturbing and very funny.

We had what I would call a disheartened show tonight: which is probably the worst kind, from a performer’s point of view. It was a very decent little theater inside of a huge local high school, pretty decent production, a very helpful crew, but a tiny audience. I hope we gave them enough.

We head back tonight. I’m not sure if I’d call it a “Conquest”, more like a brief forage, but, overall, we had fun these past couple of weeks bouncing around the highways of Quebec. We have a gig in Miami next week for our friend Enrique Martinez Celaya and then we have some serious work to do in the studio. Have a great holiday. Keep your eyes on this blog for updates about the studio and for news on upcoming Latent stuff.

We’ll be back on the road in March.

Tour Diary 2009 - (Rouyan Noranda and Val' Dor, Nov 26$27 2009) 007_stitch