Road Blog: Friday September 08, 2023 - Montréal, QC
September 8, 2023
We left our London AirBB on the early side, 9am, and jumped on the 401 towards Montreal. Time was tight so we didn’t get our usual sitdown, greasy spoon restaurant breakfast and had to settle for the Canadian institution Tim Hortons. My bagel sandwich was pretty good but Jake wasn’t impressed with his breakfast. It was my turn in iPod rotation so I played Kick Axe – Vices. They’re a Canadian metal band I discovered on the radio back in 1983. There are songs about rock and being on the road and actually being on the road to rock and I proposed we start ever drive on our Fall Tour with a ceremonial playing of their “On the Road to Rock” song. Jacob wasn’t sure what to say and Gabriel squashed the proposal with some amendment that made it infeasible. Anyhow, it’s a decent record. I dozed a bit through Toronto and woke up on the other side. We stopped for a bio break and saw a crowd of annoyed tourists sitting outside their bus. According to the ladies in the pantry store, a semi was parked incorrectly and carelessly backed into the bus, it’s cargo of iron trusses smashing out a couple of the windows. Other than that the ride was fairly uneventful.
We arrived in the Montreal borough of Verdun right at 5pm, nearly hours to the limit after we’d left London. My pal Eric and his fiancé Trixie welcomed us into their upstairs apartment where we’d crash. We got briefly caught up they had some business to tend to while we had dinner. We landed at a Cambodian place called Les Street Monkeys and it was awesome. We got a bunch of small plates to share squid, green papaya salad, bone marrow, garlic stems and spinach, spicy fried wings, and mushrooms. Gabe and I got a Microbrasserie Le Trou du diable red ale, a local fav of mine from time spent in Shawinigan, and we headed back to the apartment to pick up Trixie and head into the city.
Every September for the last several years, save two lost to Covid, we’ve played Barfly this weekend. It’s an annual draft for Kearn’s Hangover Golf Tournament, and we’re the entertainment. Barfly is a smaller joint that sits in a great spot on Saint Laurent street in the heart of the nightlife of Montreal. I’ve known Eric, and the owner Anthony, for a long time now, and just the fact that Montreal is an amazingly cool city always makes this a great weekend.
Opener last night was a dude named Mack MacKenzie. He and I have been friends forever virtually and it was great to finally, after all these years, find ourselves in the same room. He’s a weathered road dog, the leader of the great band the Three O'Clock Train, and we had no shortage of war stories to share about touring, venues, and all that goes along with it. He was solo-electric, running his Tele through my Fender, and his songs and delivery were really great. I was hanging on every word, and that’s not always the case with a solo singer/songwriter.
We went on sometime after 10 to a good, attentive, and rowdy crowd. They weren’t scared off by a little volume, and were receptive to what we do. It was a bit steamy, but always a fun set at Barfly. Afterwards it was the usual – sold some merch, did some talking, took some photos, loaded out, and headed back to the apartment where we crashed out before very long at all. It was great to see pals Dany, Ilse, and James!
It’s just after 8am now. I’m clocking in at about 7 ½ hours sleep combined for the last 2 days. It’s gonna be a marathon today – driving to Toronto to play The Dakota Tavern with Erika Werry. It’s been a minute since we’ve played Toronto, so we’re looking forward to seeing our friends and finally playing The Dakota! Then we’ll drive home afterwards, road worn and weary.
THANKS to Eric, Trixie, Anthony, Gwendo Lyn, Mack and every one else for an awesome night in Montreal!! Xx