Thursday, February 21, 2013

Never 2 Olde To Rock

       During a early pre-dawn satellite Internet surf out here at the lodge, I came upon an ad that got my attention. The gist of it was, a musical act could get a set at a downtown Vancouver venue, with an enthusiastic, pretty much hand picked audience, and a shot at....well, who knows.
There will be a team of judges present whom at best case scenario, invite the preferred acts back out for an encore for the benefit of the Warner Bros. talent scout in attendance, or to stretch out the evenings entertainment as needed.
That's it. No promises. Just a quick set, make some contacts in the industry and a good adventure to talk about at the old folks home someday.
I assume the Warner Bros. talent scout works for the entertainment giant, and not Warner Bros. Hardware Store or someplace. After our set we are allowed a 'wardrobe change', by which point I would probably need a change of underwear, then get paraded over to a red carpet in front of an Entertainment Tonight type facade with the cameras and flashing bulbs then expected to, according to the contract, " intelligently about our music". After I just drove out of the remote BC back country a few hours before, and managing to navigate my shaky way downtown Vancouver, I think I better just to stick to trying to look cool.
Well the whole idea sounded like too much fun to pass by. Right then and there I emailed the link to Blackwater M/C front man Josh Fairbrother, whom was on the road somewhere in Ontario. Despite the early hour here on the west coast, it was mid-day back there,  he messaged back within minutes, "Hell Ya!".
    So.....Joshua forwarded a link to some studio tracks he and I did last Spring and one thing has led to another. The promoter sent the documents  to e-sign yesterday.
A serious conference was held via satellite between high ranking members of the BlackWater MotorCycle Club. I stated that I was looking on craigslist for a white Elvis jumpsuit to wear, and  would do the gig for blog post value alone! Front man Fairbrother, 25+ years our junior, always up for a challenge, is keen to perform his original garage rock for a crowd. "Lets have fun with it!" he writes back.
Our Bass player Ross Edwards down in Squamish is in from the start. He's keen for the experience, and wants to be there if I really do show up in a white sequined jumpsuit.
Well, going to make good blog material if nothing else.
I figure the worst that can happen is the record label guy will tell Josh to dump the two old dinosaurs.
   I'll add any Hotspring Lodge subscribers to our VIP list that would like to come out and hear some bands play their hearts out. Oh wait a minute, nobody subscribes to Hotspring Lodge. I wish.
Audience/VIP members are required to dress to "...upscale nightclub attire." 
No sneakers. No hoodies. No gang bling. No riff raff allowed,  and though not mentioned specifically, I assume farmers overalls would be included there as well.
Looks I probably eliminated my entire handful of readers right there.
According to the contract, "...artists are encouraged to project their image onstage".
Maybe I better go check the classifieds for platform clawed dragon boots, and a demon lizard breastplate  outfit.  Instructions on fire breathing, spitting fake blood, and exploding drum kit may not hurt either.

I better go trap the packrats out of the tour bus, pump the tires up, and see if it starts.

 Six weeks later......
     The day before the Showcase we met up at Sound n Soul  recording studio for a practice and put the set down on some rough tracks.

I used the studio electric kit. First time and they take some getting use to, playing rubber cymbals is plain weird and your sound comes from speakers across the room, but it saved me hauling my heavy beechwood set up the elevator and spending an hour or two of studio time to set up and mic it.
We don't much see the 'knob wizard' as Josh calls him, he sits back in his control room behind glass panels.
 Sound n Soul studio reels here....

    Soon enough the big night was upon us, and there was no shortage of butterflies and anticipation. It was similar to the addictive feeling I got before motorcycle races years ago, in a past life. Not necessarily fear, but a primal apprehension going into an activity with consequences.
There was a basic kit provided, so I just had to set up my snare, cymbals, and drummers throne. Ross and Joshua plugged in, then we looked at each other as if to say, "OK, here we are".
The emcee approached the mic, looked at his notes, then tapped it to see if it was on, "thump thump thump".
"Alright!", he shouts, "The band is ready to go, all the way from PEMBERTON BC, lets hear it for.......... BLACKWATER MC!"
"WHEEEEEEEE!!", "WHOO HOOO!!!" goes the Blackwater Posse from stage front, what they lacked in numbers they made up for in volume and enthusiasm.
It seems to me the rest of the crowd is looking at each other and saying, "...from where??".
Joshua took a deep breath and stepped up, "I want to thank y'all for comin' out tonight, it means a lot to us".
He and Ross swaggered up in front of the drum kit, exchanged a brief word then looked at me.
I checked my spare stick was where I put it, did one last reposition of my throne, adjusted the shades, then did a most cool two handed stick flip that hardly anyone noticed to signify that I was ready for business. Ross planted his Boulet boots firmly on the stage.....Josh hit the opening chords......and the lights went up.
                              We opened with the driving 'Get Mine'.

                                Followed by the percussive 'Big Bang'.

                                Then the mysterious 'Fire Escape'.


                               The colourful, 'The Road Electric'.

Last song of the set was the fast tempo, rollicking, 'Leave It To Me', which ends with us together at stage center and me standing up at the kit for the final few bars into the train wreck of an ending.
"WHOOOOO HOOOOOOO!!" went the packed house.
Well that was a hoot, and worth leaving my peaceful home in the woods for.

But I had been dreading this next part...
                                         "Thank you, thank you very much...".


                                              Blackwater MC have left the building.

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