The invitation to perform at the BC:Clettes’ Rouge et Noir cabaret in July ‘07 represented the CPs turning a corner in all sorts of wonderful ways; most charmingly, after each of the three nights’ performances, a comely lass would inquire as to whether the band had any openings. Our fan from the first night has remained too busy with the Her Jazz noise collective to make good on the query, while our fan from the last night is now our very own (ir)regular Orange-Eye Sabretooth Skipper, holding down the crucial (I am very serious about this) kazoo-and-slide-whistle end of things. The second night was exciting, however, because the lady who asked us then turned up for our refresher practice on the back steps prior to the third and last night’s performance. While many of the Planks on tap that final night had never met each other before, this new player enjoyed the distinction of not only never having met any of us before, but also not being familiar with any of the repertoire. (And yet when the crowd was called upon to guess which of us was rudely thrust into the spotlight cold, they guessed our eternal x-factor Scruffy Bigbass, on account of his casual man-off-the-street clothing style.)
We have never since played another show with the fearsome Skulltits McGee, a onetime VeloVixen, but she did plant the seed of us sallying forth to her hometown to play a set for upright Victorian citizens. This was clearly a good idea whose time has come, and so tomorrow we board a ferry to cross a body of water and bear some fruit!
Logan’s is renowned as the blue-chip Victoria venue but our friends in Trike whose paths we keep crossing, them always a step ahead of us, made plans to travel to the same town the same night as us and deny us its stage! Actually no, but in retrospect, things amounted to the same. In truth, I hoped to call in a favour from old friend and onetime 57 Varieties regular (a big fan of my old staple Shakespeare’s Got a Gun by Dan Bern) shaggy Shayne, now Solstice booker. Early on problems arose when it became apparent that the venue is primarily engaged by that caliber of semi-pro performers (us, we’re virtuous amateurs) who know what they’re doing nine months in advance. Many of our gigs we find out about less than nine days in advance! All the same, it looked like we secured a booking, lost it, then finally… re-secured it. Now we’re in and, by jingo, we’re going to have an adventure!
I did not have to think twice about an opener: recent Victorian Raghu Lokanathan from Prince George’s the Cottonweeds (and the man who taught me Osasa before the fabulous Artswells 2007 Accordion workshop! I, in turn, taught him Styx’s Mister Roboto. I think I came out ahead in that transaction.) A versatile instrumentalist and accomplished songwriter, he pens dark and serious songs that I, in moments of doubt, envy while putting a clown nose on the hit parade. Between the two of us, I think we complete both sides of the same coin. A wholly original and unique poster design by MeiCom (with layout assistance from Scott “strong cottonwoods” Towson) completes things. If nothing else results from this performance, the commission of this poster alone will leave me vindicated and satisfied at our efforts. Raghu takes the Solstice stage at 8 pm, with the Planks maybe relieving him some 30-45 minutes following. Admission is on a $7-10 sliding scale.
As a preview for locals, Craig of UVic’s radio station CFUV (101.0 fm) will be previewing the concert with some Planks recordings and a telephone interview he conducted chez Squeezebeard last night on his Friday morning (6:30-8 am) comedy show What The?
While we’re on that side of the water, we may be mounting a performance the following night (Sat, Feb 2nd) at the laid-back Ministry of Casual Living (1442 Haultain Street — I hope we are, since we’re also hoping to crash on their floor!) but as of press time, details remain too hazy to confirm.
In the end, the second performance did not happen, and all we got out of day 2 was a breakfast with Trike chez Lady Marmalade and a tired demonstration at the magic store. But we did return with a few action pictures courtesy of Natasha Enquist! Merci buckets!