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April 2nd – Ottawa, ON

Jesse Nelson at the Rainbow - photo by Anthony Armstrong Photography

Monday nights can be kind of tough. However, Ottawa was great at the Rainbow. I’ve been there several times on a Monday now, but this was by far the best. Joined by my old friend Jesse Nelson (originally from Terrace Bay), we ran an early show to a great crowd.

When I first met Jesse, he was one of the Small Town Skaters in Terrace Bay, and responsible for bringing in bands through town, as well as raising money to get the skate park built. I had no idea he even played guitar. Man, he can play AND sing! Kind of in a way that reminds me of punk rock that’s been redone acoustic. He’s also an awesome photographer! Check out his website here.

Live at the Rainbow - photo by Anthony Armstrong Photography

His friend Anthony was also there, taking some sweet photos. You can check out his Flickr by clicking here.


March 16th & 17th – London and Ottawa

Finally played at the Dude Ranch in London! It’s this awesome punk rock basement where they host shows on weekends, and I was originally scheduled to play there a while back, but the basement flooded. I was glad to be back in a little haven of Northern Ontario settled in the South. Seriously, everyone involved in that house is either from TBay, Schreiber, Marathon, Terrace Bay, etc. Unfortunately, they’re moving out / moving on, so this was the 3rd last show at the house. I only managed to take one photo throughout the whole night, but there was lots of sweat, singalongs and BBQ throughout the whole night! Big thanks to the fellow Ranchers for hosting me, and I’ve already been sporting my new shirt for the past few days.

Here’s the snapshot of Thousand Young, but Black Frame Spectacle and Arkham Dispatch also killed it that night.

Thousand Young at the Dude Ranch - London, ON

Ottawa was a fun time – y’know – hanging with Ignacio and Alicia (the usual folks I spend my birthdays with), but this time it was a St Paddy’s day partay. Josef Mieto (Ottawa), Redbird (Vancouver) and Portage and Main (Vancouver) also joined me at the Avant Garde Bar – where the theme isn’t so much green, but red – it’s a socialist Russia themed bar. Again, my pipes and shirt fit the theme well and I didn’t have to worry about colour coordinating with the occasion. Turnout was decent, but thankfully we didn’t get a lot of the rowdy green-beer-drinkin’ drunks. I think they were upstairs with Deaner from FUBAR.

Live at Avant Garde Bar


Zaphod’s in Ottawa

So it turns out that I have a lot of friends in Ottawa. For some strange reason, there are quite a lot of Thunder Bay-ites that have decided to relocate there. Is it because it’s like southern Ontario while still being ‘North’? Who knows.

Anyway, this particular stop wasn’t on my birthday (NB, almost every other visit to Ottawa has been on October 9th), but rather a bitterly cold evening in March. I stayed (as usual) with my good friends Iggi and Alicia, who unfortunately couldn’t make it to the show because his family’s genes have decided that they were all to inherit very weak achilles tendons. Stuck in a wheelchair, winter is not a very convenient time to try to take public transportation around town.

Either way, I loaded into Zaphod’s for the first time, and met with Liam Epps (from Ace Kinkaid) and the Acorn Trail, the two other acts on the bill. As you know, Liam and I now go way back as I even spent last thanksgiving with his family in Kitchener, playing trivial pursuit on a team with his grandmother. We lost.

photo by Shannon Lepere (www.shannonlepere.com)

So, before the show began, Shannon and I met up with our friend Diane for some Mexican eats, and this very small little restaurant near the marketplace. I was so excited because it has been years since I’ve had Inca Kola (the last time was when I was visiting Machu Picchu in Peru).

Eventually, the show started at Zaphod Beeblebrox (named after Douglas Adams’ The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy), and Liam showed me up as an analog one-man-band. He combined his drumming skills while playing a mandolin and some other things as well, all at once. I went up afterwards, and was then followed by the Acorn Trail, currently a three-piece, but it was really nice to see a band incorporate a lapsteel guitar, not a very common instrument for indie acts.

photo by Shannon Lepere (www.shannonlepere.com)

The show was over by 11pm, a nice change from the usual 3am. There was a long lineup of Thunder Bay friends to hug and catch up with, so I didn’t get to spend as much time with you all as I would have liked, but there’s always next October!

March 20th – Ottawa – Avant Garde Bar

Alicia Furness and Ignacio Santander-Alfonso - photo by Shannon Lepere

We returned to Ottawa after the Wakefield show, where Shannon and I ended up walking around the Glebe district, checking out different shops and signs. We met up with Ignacio and Alicia, and we decided to head to “The Works” for supper. There they have epic burgers, including pop in large measuring cups. We managed to get there just before the supper rush, so we were even bribed to leave our booth sooner with free milkshakes. Who were we to complain?!

Interior of the Avant Garde Bar - photo by Shannon Lepere

That night I played at the Avant Garde Bar again, except this show was different from the last time I played there. It was just an acoustic show instead of a metal show. Amanda Cottreau and her partner Steve Perron joined me, but the show ended earlier than expected because the room was ready to party, and not necessarily in the mood for serene acoustic music. I went on early, but we probably should have reversed the order, as my material tends to be quite loud for just one guy!

Steve Perron - photo by Shannon Lepere

The next morning we ended up looking at pawnshops where we found a bunch of sweet used CD’s after having breakfast with my old friend Dionne Roche.