I thought I would give you all a report on our Show out in Steinbach to brighten
up your day. I hope Dave is able to pick up this email in his travels in the
U.S. cause I know he will get a good laugh. He better not laugh too hard because
they want us back this month with Dave in tow.
Farm Gig 2001
Friday Nov.2nd - Left straight from work with my SUV loaded down with
instruments, microphones, D.I. boxes, cables etc. I always try and plan for
disasters which quite often happens when someone is organizing an event and
aren't musicians or sound people. It was a nice 1 hour drive south to Steinbach
where I passed lots of coloured trees and small farming villages such as St.
Adolphe, New Bothwell, Otterburne and Tourond. About 2 miles
out of Steinbach I turned south again through the village of Kleefeld till
I reached a gravel road out in the country called Penny Lane. I found Al &
Pat's farm house and pulled in to be greeted by their Golden Retriever and
the whinny of the horses in the choral. I had a quick bite to eat and then
Al and I ran over the numbers we were going to do. Al informed me we were
now the headliners for the night since an act cancelled and they wanted us
to do a 45min. set instead of the original 4 songs :-0 We madly put together
more material in a record 15mins.
- We drove out to Steinbach from Al's farm along with his son William and
his girlfriend and found the Mennonite Church where the function was to be
held. There was no organizer to be found or sound operators which made me
a little worried and we talked to one performer from Steinbach who was practising
on a piano along with a machine that adds drums and orchestration.Sort of
a one man band :-9 Although he was pretty good and wrote his own stuff, mostly
Country Songs about the love he has for his wife.
7:00 - Finally the sound guys arrived and start setting up for the
7:00 pm show and at the same time everyone started pouring in for the concert.
All 250 of them. So I realized we were not going to get a sound check. Still
hadn't met the organizer but I happened to find a sheet of paper by the sound
board listing the performers and the order they would be playing. We were
listed last instead of in the middle of show like we were told. We followed
a German Opera Singer, two Ukrainian Dancers, a two person play about Peanut's
characters Charlie Brown and Lucy and a male German comedian and impersonator
who did a Celine Dion and Elvis Presley impersonation. How can anyone possibly
follow that! :-0 Curraugh was finally up and we opened with 3 pipe tunes with
Al on Northumbrian Small Pipes and me on guitar. Al then proceeded to try
and get the quiet and normally reserved Mennonite audience to sing along on
a couple of songs: Country Boy and John Kinaka. He threatened to keep singing
the songs all night until they joined in and to my surprise the ploy worked.
Having got the audience going we slipped into Bonnie Ship The Diamond and
Chicken on the Raft where we actually had them clapping and singing. Wow we
have corrupted Mennonites :-) We ended the night with me singing We May and
Might Never and Al playing the whistle. Everyone applauded appreciatively
and the MC was upset we didn't play longer. After the show I finally got to
meet the organizer and she said they didn't have the cash to pay us right
there and could she mail us cheques :-( Anyway I agreed and we headed back
to Al's farm around 11:00pm and I sat up with him and his wife for awhile
watching TV and then crawled off to bed upstairs. I had been put up in their
younger son Ryan's room and the ceiling was painted like the sky with glow
in the dark stars. Cool :-) Maybe I'll try this on my bedroom in the city
and throw in a few flaming glowing asteroids for good measure.
Saturday Am - I was awoken by a call to breakfast early in the morning
where I sat down to a bowl of porridge and brown sugar and a cup of coffee.
It was a warm and sunny morning so I wandered outside with Al to help with
farm chores and I got to feed the horses oats. There was an electric fence
around the horse choral so in my brilliance I decided to grab a hold of it
to see if it was alive. All three hairs on the top of my head stood up and
I did a wonderful impression of a Morris Dancer I think Talis. Anyway I packed
up my stuff at noon and headed back into the city to prepare my radio show
for Sunday evening.
So that's it in a nut shell and I received a cheque in the mail for our performance
on Thursday :-) Hope you enjoyed a day in the life of Curraugh and the Farm