road tales

April 2012 Kinley Sk.

This gig is one we've been doing for 10 years. An annual small town fundraiser. I mean a serious old fashioned "community coming together to raise funds for maintaining the hall, park etc"...type of thing...I mean there's a population of I think 28 in the town proper.

The event however draws from surrounding communities and packs about 120 people into the vintage town hall. It has gained a lot of momentum through the years...always sold out and always new faces mixed with familiar. I keep waiting for them to say "yeah we're gonna go with a different band this year"...but every year they call again. I guess we've become part of the tradition. 

The people of Kinley have become like family to us over the years. My wife has a family connection to it from many years ago when her grandma lived there. So every year around the same time we play the Kinley fundraiser. The good thing about playing a gig so often is that we know exactly what to expect. And in this case its always a good time.

Kinley is about 45 min from home for me. 25 min from Saskatoon so its a pack up and drive home situation. No hotel rooms to lounge around in so we just show up in time to set up and have a beer or two in the green room (which in this case is the old coat check room at the front of the hall behind the sound board)

This time in, one of the organizers kids' band wanted to play a few songs to open the show so we figure "hell yeah"(...aahh memories of being 17 just dying for a gig come flooding back.) So they set up on the floor in front of the stage. A great bunch of kids and did a fine job. They played one cover song that lingers somewhere in our set list so when we went on I figured we'd pull it out too and drag their lead singer onstage to do it with us. Again a great job and fun for all.

The show was one of those magic moments.. one of those moments when all the energy is aligned, the boys and me just locked it in, and everyone in the place was just feeling it.

CD's sold well too.

My bass player Vern had never been to this gig before and couldn't believe the atmosphere. I introduced him as the "Kinley Virgin" and they showed him the love.

 
 They have a vintage tapestry hanging on the stage that we typically cover with our backdrop and lights but this year we left it uncovered...just felt like the thing to do..for whatever reason. A real "peace brother" environment in Kinley. Copious amounts of alcohol consumed (and spilled on the hardwood) but I have never once seen a fight there.

But almost....

About the third or fourth time we played there my drummer at the time was standing with me at the end of the night as people slowly dissipated into the parking lot when two guys started jawing at one and one another. One or two pushes and Paul (weighing in at about 120) put himself in the middle, opened his arms toward one then the other and said with a straight face "ok someone needs a hug". These 2 angry dudes looked at him like he was nuts and moved away from his open arms...I was almost on the floor laughing. But they both walked away with no further problem. Paul was nuts...certifiable even...but no harm to anyone and a fun guy to have around. Even now when I think of that skinny bugger stepping in saying "who needs a hug" I laugh again.
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