12' Rock

This is The Unvarnished Truth.... an unabashed personal accounting of road life with Punch Drunk Cabaret. Why? Well, I don't do much else for the band so why the hell not? Otherwise, I'd be sitting here on my day off eating cheese snacks and drinking rider beer.

This edition of TUT takes place the day after our visit with Nickelback. We not only got to attend their show this past Friday in Edmonton but were fortunate enough to meet the fellas personally. Your ol' Sawbones can't tell you how we managed to do that. Suffice it to say we have friends in high places and that this isn't the first time my dashing good looks has opened doors for us.

l to r: Sawbones, Nickelback's Ryan Peake, Bandmeister Randy B


After the high of witnessing the very pinnacle of rock success, we humbly got back to work the next day doing the exact same thing those Alberta-boys-done-good in Nickelback did done do -- perform live. So we packed up the PDC jalopy and hit the road. Destination: Peace River.

 Friendly, if humble, greeting




There's a wonderful group of people up there in the land of local legend, 12 Foot Davis. They're known as the underground Music Society. Sounds secretive and conspiratorial, don't it? But you couldn't find a nicer group of music-lovin' folks around! Several times a year, they put on these events where young, old, hippie, hipster, blue and white collar alike gather to just plain enjoy original music. Heaven for a meek, lil trio like ourselves! Speaking of meek, we loaded into the Senior Drop-In Centre.... an unassuming place to host a raucous, rawkabilly swingfest! If there were seniors there, they had better take their heart pills because there would be a rippin' good time in the ol' drop-in centre tonight!



Humble beginnings                                              Is this true? I've never dated one!


Building Your Audience (And The Stage) 


Once we entered the venue, and much to our bemusement, the stage was still in the process of being built. But local carpenter Tom's Jesus-like skills in the wooden arts would prevail, therefore preventing me from a case of the collywobbles. And Lord knows you don't want that! 


Tom workin' his wood                                              Setting the stage, as it were



Stage built and sound checkin'                                    Bass eye view of BRB and the Capt.


12x12 = Rock!


Things kicked off at about 9:30 with between 80-100 paid customers eager to experience, well, the Punch Drunk experience. And given that we were given less than 12 sq. feet of stage room to work with (Unwritten Rule Of Rock 'N' Roll #49: fear no stage), your PDC pals were challenged once again to deliver despite this adversity! Bandmeister Randy B gave a gloriously guttural vocal performance while ripping up the fretboard like Jack The Ripper with a plectrum. Capt. Sean Watts commanded the cocktail drum kit with panache, aplomb and precision viciousness. I... well, I do what I always do -- make it look like I know what I'm doing and flirt with women unsuccessfully. 

Five new tunes, or ones we haven't played in a while, were busted out this evening among the other (if-radio-would-only-give-us-a-chance-they'd-be) hits. Shake Dust, Long Haul Short Fuse, Columbian Smokeshow, Through The Curtain and Goody Two Shoes were given new life. And this was one of those rare crowds where they were more interested in your originals than your cover tunes. Are these people from another planet? Nope. Just nice folks who like good music.


Some nice, music-lovin' Peace Riverites



Trying to look tough and not working


"Who The Hell Is..." Dep't 

Your ol' Sawbones loves local legend lore. And every town's got one. In Peace River, an actual feller by the moniker of 12 Foot Davis is their indigenous character of repute. The reports are that during the Gold Rush, Mr. Davis staked a claim of land only twelve feet by twelve feet.... and struck it rich. So we honour 12 Foot Davis's memory by playing on a stage roughly the size of his famous claim. We sure ain't gettin' rich! But our hearts are more the richer for having performed for the wonderful denizens of Peace River.


More Wonderful Denizens


Thanks to Soundman Cam, Carpenter Tom and the underground Music Society's Sue and Micheline for their passion in the musical arts. And booze. Thanks for the booze!

And that's the unvarnished truth.