Comin' 'Round The Mountains (pt. I of III)

Howdy-do, faithful fan! This edition of The Unvarnished Truth sails into uncharted waters via those big pointy things sticking out of the ground out west....  the rocky mountains! Last week, Punch Drunk Cabaret played it's first shows in beautiful British Columbia.

Apologies for the blog's delay... your ol' Sawbones is not a professional spermologer (look it up, sicko!) so it's taken this long to come down from both the high of a mini-tour with my band of brothers as well as the one from all the second hand wacky tobaccy I've inhaled. Plus I've been mourning the disappearance of our beloved mascot, Flasky the Flask. The little gaffer didn't make the trip with us and I fear he may be missing or, worse yet, empty.

Hipster To Hippie

We left the big smarmy city for Dunster, BC. Kamloops would follow with us wrapping up the weekend in Banff. In said Dunster we were to perform at the 9th Annual Robson Valley Music Festival -- just a gem of an event with the venue and campground nestled in the mountains with the mighty Fraser River beside us.

I love these secluded, outdoorsy festivals. They're a hippie heaven wafting (among other things) peace, love and dreadlocks  everywhere. Hygiene is low, spirits are high and everyone is a serious appreciateur of music.

No (Synonym For Anus)'s

The difference between gigs like this and corporate stuff is that no one has an agenda and everyone wants to help and they do it with a smile on their face. It's really the best of people. 'Twas remarked that not one person we could find, be it crew or patron, resembled the hole of an ass.

Sorry But I Had To

The common area full of vendors was like out of a medieval movie... jesters and squires and handmaidens and lutes and the only thing missing was a Friar Tuck-type character who eats one bite of something and throws it away, eats one bite of something and throws that away, etc. Speaking of which, I did my best impersonation of the portly friar when, during breakfast, I tried some sort of trippy, magical, gelatinous new age soy bar. One bite and I deemed it unworthy of my constitution. So I threw it into the bushes. Saw the same spot an hour later and a tiny Doug Henning was growing there.

Aside from that small gastronomic inconvenience, the hospitality Hippie food was alright. True, there was no meat in any of the courses and with names like Glory Bowl, Thai Sunshine Delight and Flavorless Pile Of Compost Fodder, I'm surprised we didn't all just space out,  join hands and sing Kum-ba-frickin-yah.

It's Just A Flesh Wound

While checking out an artist backstage, The Rev. Robin Eklund took a small tumble down a crevasse and scraped his arm pretty bad. Refusing first aid, he soldiered on and played the set like a champ. The following is a list of things that could very well have happened in a fall like that but thankfully, miraculously, didn't:

 - broken collarbone
 - broken forearm
 - broken pelvis
 - broken family jewels

Somebody was definitely looking out for him.... maybe that's why he's a reverend.

The Rev's bloody gash

Smell The (G)love

As many interesting scents as well as sights & sounds here... the aforementioned wafting hippie madness... incense masked body odor... stinky but well behaved children... a veritable  olfactory kaleidoscope! As far as the show itself, the festival's patrons truly embraced every musical act (although I personally wasn't physically embraced by anybody). From Australian long pipes and modern looping devices to native hip-hop and lil ol' us, folks enjoyed it all. Indeed, this crowd was full of didgeridoos... not didgeridon'ts.

The Robson Valley throng

Naturally, they loved our well-dressed but high energy performance. The Rev rocked, Bandmeister Randy B bandmeistered and I continued to play with an unblemished record of not losing my hat or suffering heat stroke.


Lost kids: 1 -  A distressed little boy named Josh misplaced his mom or vice versa but made his way up to the stage where we implored the sympathetic throng to reunite the two. Yep, pulls at your heartstrings, it does. Sadly, I clipped him on the head with my bass as he left the stage. Sorry, kid... getting lost is dangerous. And so is rollin' with PDC.

Bikes possibly run over by our truck: 1 - Parked rudely in the bush, some guy's velocipede was sacrificed as we turned our vehicle around on a narrow road. I hope it wasn't that kid's.

Cool folks whose names I sort of remember: 4 - stage manager Chris, monitor guy Barry, Big Dan the stage hand, the Hill Mystery Cowboy

The Hill Mystery Cowboy and Sawbones... best hatfriends forever!

Opportunities to hear a song by Soft Cell that weekend: 1 - thanks to Shara... co-founder of the fest who also jammed a mean, rockabilly version of "Tainted Love" with us!

And that's the unvarnished truth.... for now.

To be continued!