Right so it’s been a while, huh? Well I went to Canada for 2 weeks and came back and had the post holiday blues for a week and didn’t feel much like even writing about the WONDERFUL time I did have in Canada.
I spent a week in Vancouver which was mostly for family stuff and it rained a lot and generally was a bit rubbish but I did make it out to a couple gigs. Went to the new Rickshaw Theatre which was pretty frickin cool. It’s right on Main & Hastings (worst corner in Canada!) and was an old abandoned Chinese movie theatre which they re-opened as a all ages / bar venue. It still has signs up in Chinese and all the old seats. It’s rad. I bumped into a trillion people there and saw the always fun Tranzmitors fronted by my old friend Jeff McCloy.
I spent the following week in Toronto which was way more like a holiday (32 degrees!!) – swam in Lake Ontario, got into a bike accident, saw the Yankees and Blue Jays, went to Toronto Island, had 4 brunch dates, saw a ton of bands and had a brief summer romance.
I went to Nick Flanagan‘s monthly stand up comedy. The first time I met Nick he was on tour with the Deadly Snakes opening for them as a stand up – kind of weird at a rock n roll show but hey I wasn’t complaining. It was the last night of the tour in Vancouver and I was lucky (or unlucky) enough to get a pair of Nick’s white briefs as merch (think they were XL so I couldn’t even give them to my boyfriend). I have to say stand up isn’t exactly my thing BUT it was a fun night out even just to see the legend that is Robert Dayton (formerly of Vancouver) performing in a robe and make up.
Toronto has a new venue Parts & Labour (named due to the fact it’s in an old hardware shop) which is run by the guys behind Oddfellows and more importantly the bands are booked by one of my oldest Toronto friends Mark Pesci who very nicely put me on the list for the opening and second nights of the venue. It’s a concrete basement, capacity 170, no stage and wooden bleachers with a bar and table hockey. But that’s all you really need for an ace venue.
The opening night was Bitters’ record release party. Bitters are Ben (from Fucked Up) and Aerin with Jonah from Fucked Up playing live drums. I caught the first 2 bands but missed Bitters as I ran off to the Horseshoe Tavern to see the Diodes. The Diodes are a classic Canadian power pop punk rock band actually from 1977. Their most famous song is “Tired of Waking Up Tired”, I have ALL their records somewhere (probably on cassette). I was a bit iffy about going to see them as most of my friends were like “no way am I going to the Diodes gig – LAME!” but how wrong they were! They were super tight and I could sing along to every song and it sounded amazing! Sure they’re old and grey and probably more overweight than they were last time but it was soooo much fun.
The last night I was in town I saw Golden Triangle from NYC at P&L who were fucking excellent! Please come over to the UK. Really good psych / dancey / rocknroll with 2 female singers and a smokin’ hot bass player (that is if I fancied girls).
I love Toronto so many good friends, good weather and everything is flat and close together so you can bike everywhere!