Tag Archives: Prince George

A Week of Wax, MoM and DOA!!!


With Joey Shithead Keithley at MoMfest

Some tales of my last week.  It was a week that basically ended a run of 45 days that were pretty busy for me.  I had been to a bunch of festivals, played the lower mainland, been out to Alberta, Artswells, Camballah, Robson Fest…and now all this.  But what an end it was!

When booking agent Joey Balducci wrote me and asked if I were willing to do some shows with Wax Mannequin up here in northern BC…it was pretty much a no brainer.  I had known Wax for 11 years now.  That was long enough for me to have high praise for his art and his character.  In fact I felt real lucky to have the opportunity.  It really only amounted to three shows in between stints at Robson Valley Music Festival and Music on the Mountain Festival the following weekend, but it was a worthwhile venture.

Show one was to take place at the Jack O Clubs Pub in Wells BC.  This was a show that I wasn’t too nervous about even though it was beginning to feel like people everywhere were losing energy.  It was such a busy summer.  So many bands, so many festivals including the crazy one here in town.  I know a lot of people who have been drinking for months and were wearing out.  Nonetheless a pretty good crowd turned up and we turned it on.  By the time the night was over IMG_7484something resembling a successful show had taken place.

One thing I hadn’t counted on was Wax bringing his brother Mr.Money Mustache along for the ride.  Having no brothers of my own I was tempted to feel intimidated by this at first, but in my stubborn way I pushed through.  After all Mr. MM made it a little bit easier being a popular blogger and intellectual.  We certainly came from very different spectrums of lifestyle but that made for all the more interesting conversations.  We learned from each other and challenged each other, we were lucky to get that chance.

Success was less the case with Williams Lake the next night.  Although well intentioned on the owners part the show hadn’t really been sold in a way that caught the publics imagination.  Regardless of that we had been hired to do a job so we did just that.  We were rewarded for the effort by making new friends.  We found that despite the turnout the owner at CJ’s treated us really good.  She was open to new ideas and we both decided that she was the kind of person we could we could work with in the future.  It was a good experience.

Wax Mannequin makes some t-shirts Friday morning before we leave for MoMfest.

Wax Mannequin makes some t-shirts Friday morning before we leave for MoMfest.

In the case of our PG show ownership was not so forthcoming and honest.  What I can say about the Westwood Pub is the girls who work there are very good at their jobs.  The food was excellent.  There are lot of regulars who are loyal to the place and it’s easy to see why.  We realized at the end of the night that no cover charge was collected from ‘regulars’ and instead the measly pittance we were given was made squarely off the kindness of my friends who came to the show.  Despite the fact that I’ll

Lunch at PG city hall with Elissa, Chris Chevious and Mr.Money Mustache.

Lunch at PG city hall with Elissa, Chris Chevious and Mr.Money Mustache.

never play the Westwood Pub again so long as this is how they do business and reward their entertainers…despite the fact that I will recommend to other musicians not to book there…I can’t deny that we had a lot of fun at the show!  Wax was very good and we got to have Jeremy Stewart open.  Some good friends came and partied.  Because of those things I’m still glad it happened.  My next show in PG is on October 1st, it’s the CD launch for No More Trouble In The Peace.  I can honestly say for myself and everyone I know who has played the Legion in Prince George that they found it to be a good experience.  Come to the show!

We stayed at Elissa’s house, who is one of the organizers of the Coldsnap Festival and left around noon the next day for Music on the Mountain.  Friday was amazing there.  Dave Soroka had already started the Sorokathon, a 24 hour marathon of a concert.  I also had some friends come back to town in the form of the Give Em Hell Boys who gave me one of their shirts that says “bluegrass is dead”.  They killed it, and then we proceeded to kill each other with strong drink.  Soon the whole show was over for the night and

Dave Soroka is finished his 24 hour concert and enjoys his meal. He tells me he was about to give up when I came along willing to be the obnoxious jerk to tell everyone to tone it down.

Dave Soroka is finished his 24 hour concert and enjoys his meal. He tells me he was about to give up when I came along willing to be the obnoxious jerk to tell everyone to tone it down.

I was sitting in what was now a very loud Sorokathon…that was enough to piss me off sufficiently leading me to stand up and announce ‘why don’t you all take part in a Shut-the-fuck-up-athon, he’s been playing for 14 hours already.  You didn’t come in and listen all day but now you wanna come in and talk over top of his show!?”

Someone yelled, “we don’t like you anyway Joey.”

I retorted, “then I have nothing left to lose in telling you to either shut up or get out!”

At supper the next day Dave thanked me saying that when I spoke up was right when he started to really doubt he could play for 24 hours!

Soon I was in Darlene and Harold Prince’s bannock shack eating moose meat and drinking beers at 8am.  Sleep came hard and I was unable to party so wildly the next day and night.  I had a show of my own to put on.  We were on right before legendary punk band DOA stole the festival!  So we put a little extra jam into our show and DOA noticed.  I’m sure the crowd seemed to go off as well, but that didn’t matter so much to me.  Joey Shithead gave me a half hug when we got off and said ‘great fucking songs, great fucking show, great fucking band man!’

DOA killed it!!

DOA killed it!!

I’ll take that!

DOA was amazing next.  They played all the best songs from my favorite record of theirs, War on 45!!  They were hot hot hot!!  I don’t know what else to say about it.  Hippies were moshing.  I was pounding beers and in near tears.  It was a thing of beauty.  But it didn’t stop there.  I got to spent a little time with the band after.  It was just a real special night all around.  One of those days that reminds you why you sacrifice so much to keep at this music business thing.

The next afternoon was the One Last Show…when I get up on stage and pull together all my favorite singers and friends who are left at the end of the festival and put on one hell of an opry!!  Joining me on stage was Dave Soroka, Wax Mannequin, Raghu

The One Last Opry

The One Last Opry

Lokanathan, Iyan George Bruvold, Tax Free Liqour, Twin Peaks, Jeff Andrew, Party on High Street, Zonnis and yet more.  The stage was teaming with musicians of all sorts.  It was the 6th time I had done this at MoMfest but it just keeps getting better.  I think I’ll call it the One Last Opry.  We end every one with the One Last Song, I guess you could say after six years that it’s the unofficial anthem of the festival.

No sooner did the show end we got in the van and were gone.  We had to get our kids from our friend in PG.  Just like that I was home the next day…summer feels kinda over.  I think about this last 45 days, I’m elated sometimes and then for a moment am tempted to feel the depression.  It’s really hard to put out so much energy, but as I age I am aware of it and try to find good ways to process all the feelings I get from a trip like that.  The best way is simply to put it down in a blog, then forget about it and move on…it’s time to plan the next show.  Why bask in the glow when you could be making steps to get back to that happy place…to get back on the stage again.

with DOA!!

with DOA!!


Three Wax Mannequin Shows and Two Festivals

Aug16: Jack of Clubs Pub w/Wax Mannequin, Wells BC
Aug17: CJ’s w/Wax Mannequin, Williams Lake BC
Aug18: Westwood Pub w/Wax Mannequin, Prince George BC
Aug20: MUSIC ON THE MOUNTAIN, Fort St.James BC **
I got one ridiculous week ahead of me.  It starts with travelling to Dunster BC all for the chance to stand on a big stage that faces gorgeous mountains and sing to the marvellous folks that are going to ROBSON VALLEY MUSIC FESTIVAL.  We’re all happy because it’s a 7pm set, the only time all summer we are scheduled to play early.  There will be kids there so don’t expect us to play that stupid fucking Andrew Neville song haha.
Then next week starts off by playing a set of three shows with one of my favorite performers, Wax Mannequin.  I met him at my first Artswells, to put that in perspective this past one was my 11th.  Already then I loved what he did, there’s no one else like him.  No one else writes songs like he does or commands the stage in such an epic yet silly manner.  Wax Mannequin is as good as it gets!!  I’m glad he’s my friend and I’m glad we’ve been able to work together so much over the years despite living 4000km away.
Then it all winds up for me at MUSIC ON THE MOUNTAIN FESTIVAL in Fort St.James BC.  It’s the lastival for nearly all of us, although I do have the Barkerville Cowboy Festival coming up in September.  We have the extreme honor of sharing the stage with the legendary punk band DOA!!  I mean come on folks, this is a big frickin deal.  We go 1-2 on the mainstage that Saturday night and it is sure to be a highlight of my year.
Then things slow down before I go on the warpath to promote NO MORE TROUBLE IN THE PEACE, our band new ass kicking album.  See you on the trail folks.

This Last Weekends Prince George Debauchery

PG rarely disapoints me.  We were set up to play at Riley’s Pub, sponsored by CFUR FM and housed at the Days Inn Hotel.  The first thing that stood out to us was how cool the staff was and how swank our hotel rooms were.  These were some real sweet rooms for country bumpkins of our likes.  I just sat there with my family eating sushi Leah had grabbed at that decent to-go joint up the street.  We don’t leave home all that often and a nice hotel and some city food made it easier.

From that moment on we preceeded to stink up the entire place.  At first the stench came on very slowly…but by nights end the rate had increased such that there were some really bad smells left in Riley’s Pub.  There was more liqour spilled that night than some bands see consumed in front of them during the course of an entire show.  The floors were sticky and the stench of stale beer greeted me when I walked in the door the next morning to get my gear, the floor so sticky that my patchcord had to be peeled off the stage as though it were duct tape.

When we hit the stage the room hadn’t completely filled, but I didn’t care because the Leafs beat the Canadians and my buddy Ryan scored me a Hockey Day In Canada toque at the Prince George Cougars game that very evening.  Before long many familiar faces arrived, the show succeeded in becoming a sellout and a resounding party.  I was very impressed at Prince George’s will to party.  The dance floor was always moving and the drinking was impressive.  Large men were showing us their tits while friends danced on the stage to songs that minutes before people had demanded in request.  This was a crowd that wanted to hear as much as we could throw at them, so four nearly four hours we did just that.

Scotty Dunbar came up on stage as well to sing my friend Andrew Neville’s smash hit Stupid Fucking Things.  Somehow we got the crowd roaring and in the end the whole bar was singing while I stood there drinking and smiling.  This was as good of audience participation as one could hope to get.  Somehow that triggered a number of friends to come up on the stage which barely fit our four member band.

Although no serious harm came of it the biggest problem was that the stage sections were sort of floppy in the middle. If I moved myself around energetically in my designated four square feet the microphone sway back and forth until it would start to bop me in the face like a woodpecker on a tree.  I learned to account for this in my limited exagerations throughout the show but the people who came to dance on my stage had no such chance.  I happened to have four beers piled up around my pedal board but as the stage began to flex, the microphone began to bop and the beers began to drop on and off the stage spilling their contents.  Why I had four beers is all due to the enthusiastic generosity of my Prince George friends.

My band played awesome.  I love those guys.  We had so much fun in the hotel rooms and in the after party at our friends house just five minutes up the street.  It was so great.  I’m sure so much more happened but for some reason I don’t remember much more of it than that.  It’s taken me a few days just to conjur all that up, I’m pretty sure I didn’t imagine all this.  Sure feels like it now that I am out working in a bush camp in such a very different setting.  I guess the only thing we can do is try to repeat the evening, play another kick ass show and see if we remember any of that.

Whaddya think, should we do it again in April before the summer leaves us unavailable?

Outlaw Band In Prince George: January 18th 2014


Saturday, January 18th at Riley’s Pub in the Days Inn. Tickets only $10 at the Days Inn Front Desk and at CFUR Radio office at the University. Get your tickets as a great Stocking Stuffer for your favorite “Outlaw”

We survived our epic New Years Eve with Scotty Dunbar opening and now can look forward to our next show up in Prince George! Spread the word, bring your friends, your mom, your dog, your grandpa, and even bring that boy who lives in your attic surviving on buckets of fish-heads. We might not play for so cheap too often in the future, so catch us while the price is right! We got some new material to throw at you and are on top of our game.  We loved playing Stompin Tom songs for ye’s last time we were up, but this time we’re especially excited because we’re gonna do what we do best….be ourselves. This aint gonna be no sit down and talk kinda show, this will be a flip the tables and dance on the spilled beer sort.