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March 9th – Toronto – Smiling Buddha

photo by Amy Decorte

I’ve never really been a big fan of Toronto, and when Shannon and I pulled into TO with a vehicle running funny, I had a feeling that this trip wasn’t going to go well. I dropped by a Canadian Tire, and a Ford dealer to try and see what the fix for a car that decelerated slightly while accelerating. They weren’t able to diagnose anything, so they didn’t charge me and told me that I shouldn’t have any problems. So I took their word and continued on with Toronto.
For some reason, this trip has been filled with Burritos. Every other city we go to there’s always someone that recommends burritos. So, here’s a shot of Shannon and I at a burrito place in Toronto, taken by our friend Amy Decorte. It was delicious, but I also ate most of Shannon’s, so that left me asleep on Amy’s couch for several hours in a food coma before the show.

David Phu - City of Glass - Photo by Shannon Lepere

The show that night was at the Smiling Buddha. We showed up pretty early, but got to hang out with all of the other acts. Dane Hartsell, Val Halla and City of Glass were joining me, and were all cool and personable. Everyone’s got their own thing going on: singer/songwriter, living in Nashville, traveling the country, showcasing, etc, etc. We had a pretty good crowd out that night, but unfortunately the sound wasn’t all that great. Either way, everyone was into it and stuck out the duration of the show. It was great to see City of Glass particularly, because I’d be playing with them the next night in Hamilton as part of our 2-day mini-tour together.

All in all, the show was a lot of fun, despite the burritos having the potential to have spoiled the evening for me. So, Toronto remains in my good books. About time!

David Phu - City of Glass - Photo by Shannon Lepere

December 5th – Winnipeg – FAIL

Winnipeg, you are a nightmare.

Here’s the story, from the beginning of the day:

I woke up late in Saskatoon since my alarm didn’t go off properly! Damn technology! I then got into my car as quickly as possible and took off for Winnipeg. I was going to stop in Regina, but due to time constraints, it just wasn’t feasible so I skipped it. I got a speeding ticket in Manitoba and found out that that province has the highest fines in Canada, and almost in North America.

I got to the show in time, and set up quickly, only to have several things fall apart, resulting in my first ever no-show. I took my gear down and paid the rental fee for the space, and went to hang out with Bucky from the Liptonians, as I hoped it could cheer me up a fair bit.

We dropped by The Cavern for a bit, then headed to the Royal Albert. As we left the Royal Albert (we parked a couple streets over – a few blocks from Bucky’s apartment) we noticed that the passenger window had been smashed and there was glass all over the seat. We got inside and I did a quick check to see what was missing. My laptop, one of Shannon’s cameras and my theremin were all missing. Conveniently they all had carrying bags, but they took the time to put the laptop into the bag, after finding it in the back seat. I guess Ontario plates were the give away, as I didn’t have anything lying out on the front seats at all.

Bucky was very helpful, watching the car as I filed a police report at 1:30 in the morning, and helping me to empty out my entire car into his apartment (on the 5th floor), so that I could park it in the Hospital parkade. I took a cab back to his place, and made some calls, barely sleeping. Of course it was a weekend, so no auto-glass shops would be open, so I covered it in cardboard (didn’t have tape), and made due with that.

Again, I want to thank Bucky for being so friendly and helpful with everything, he even had hiccups for about 2 hours throughout the ordeal. Bucky does not approve of theft or the fact that my thoughts of Winnipeg may be temporarily tarnished.

Alternatively, I’m super excited about my car’s new facelift, and the fact that Bucky found shopping carts to move all my gear with! I’m also thankful that I still have a car and gear, as the theft could have been much worse!

October 5th – Peterborough – The Spill

The next night I performed in Peterborough, sharing the stage with Paper Beats Scissors, a cool trio from Halifax. The frontman Tim used some loops, and had a string player and a percussionist with him. Besides that, the thing that made Tim coolest was that he was the first and only person to ever look at my set up and say “oh, Quadro…cool”. He actually knew what the red piping stuff was!! He grew up in England, so he was familiar with it. It blew my mind. Also, the next act was Volcanoless In Canada, from Saskatoon. I’d run into these guys at CMW a while back and we keep running in to one another along the road, so it was great to hang out with them, and finally share a stage.

I put that photo up on my twitter account, and of course Kyle Lees decided to look into it a bit more, and retorted with this little cartoon:

That’s several comics of his that I’ve made it into now!

So anyway…

I slept in the band room upstairs by myself, as the other bands had places to be. Ah well. I woke up the next morning to feed the meter, and eventually made my way to Canadian Tire to get my vehicle serviced for the first time on the trip.

A perfect score except for a broken light on the license plate!

September 26th – Gorrie – Gorrie Hall

Gorrie is an interesting tiny town with an awesome name. With promoters like Yvonne Payne who live for metal, it’s the perfect place for Gore-fest. Sadly, I didn’t get to partake in said festival. However, I did get to play the first of several all-metal shows on the tour. The 26th was at a small hall with several acts, including Starring Janet Leigh.

The drive to Gorrie, looking a little bleak, but beautiful at the same time. Reminds me a little of the Jerry Bruckheimer logo.

The first indications of Fall. GET THEM OFF MY BRAND NEW CAR!

Cutest little pug ever! Yvonne’s pet Maggie.