In the Van & On the Road Post 6: May 27th – June 8thWednesday, June 19th, 2013
By Travis Miles
It’s 8:30 p.m. on Sunday June 9th, and we are barrelling eastward on the 11 South highway towards Regina. Sitting in the passenger seat, my eyes are glued to the rear view mirror. An immaculate sunset over the flat plains taunts me with its smoky blue and shimmering orange charisma. The western leg of this tour — despite having four shows cancel — has been a total ball. However while I may be taunted by the thought of leaving, I’m more drawn to the horizon and the promise of home it now brings.
We are on our way home, but the tour isn’t over. We still have a homecoming show with Mad Caddies in Hamilton and a handful of NXNE showcases in Toronto.
When I left off, we were leaving Red Deer, Alberta, and I was on the tail end of a horrid sickness. Our show the next day in Calgary had been cancelled so we took the day off with gratitude in Banff. The next morning we awoke early in the van, and began the long trek to Vancouver, where our next two shows were scheduled to take place. Along the way, we picked up a good hometown friend of ours in Kananaskis, Alberta, who was taking his two weeks vacation to join our B.C. leg of the tour. We arrived in Vancouver on May 28th and stayed the night at my dad’s place. The next night we played at The Railway Club. The show was pretty busy and everyone in attendance was enthusiastic. The only downside of the night was that we discovered that our show for the next day was cancelled on account of the venue — which was an illegal after hours club — being shut down. We took the news with ease, trying not to be discouraged and spent the following day exploring downtown Vancouver.
On the 31st we were scheduled to play in Victoria, and took and beautiful afternoon ferry ride to the island. The show was at a venue called the Copper Owl. The stage was inverted and the whole atmosphere of the bar was really cool. With copper tone railings, red carpet, and a round bar in the middle of the room it seemed as though this was the kind of bar you’d run into Austin Powers at.
Being our first time on the island our show that night was well received and afterwards we drove 20 minutes outside the city to spend the night at Mikey from Fire Next Time’s mom’s house, which was a large and beautiful place overlooking the water.
When we arrived there at 2 30 a.m. she (Mary) had snacks and drinks set out for us, and road worn as we were, we took advantage of this. We all had fairly private sleeping arrangements with mattresses, and at that point it seemed like such a luxury. So, After a fun filled night I passed out and slept a much needed long sleep and awoke at 5 p.m.
Our show the next night in Nanaimo had been cancelled, so again we took advantage of the luxurious hospitality, and after enough fun to keep any man smiling for a month, we left the island on June 3rd and stayed the night again at my father’s house in Vancouver. The next morning we awoke to a message from our booking agent saying that our show that night in Penticton had been cancelled due to a family emergency. This email came as a huge disappointment to all of us, and it seemed as though our western leg of the tour was turning into a vacation. Everybody loves a vacation, but we came out here to do what we love and the continuous cancellations were excruciatingly unfortunate.
We didn’t play again until June 6th in Fernie B.C., the venue that night was pretty empty, but again the venue and patron hospitality was excellent and we had a great night as a result. We had the next day off and spent most of it in transit, and on June 8th we played again at the wonderful Wunderbar in Edmonton.
This was our last show together with Fire Next Time, and afterwards we shared a rambunctious hurrah, and bounced about the city all night. When I awoke on a foreign couch, at 11 a.m. I felt sad for a few reasons. I realized that this was the last time on this tour that I would awake startled in a foreign place, I realized that we wouldn’t see Fire Next Time for maybe another year, and I realized that what was ahead of us was a 37 hour drive back home.
Right now, as the sun has just set and we continue through the plains, I no longer feel frustrated, or sad, but happy for the adventure that precedes this post, and for the accomplishment that this tour has grown to be for our band.The next week will be busy for us, and after the last week I am ready to embrace this business with open arms.