Flood Of Support

A tip of the hat to you, friend, for you have stumbled upon yet another taste of Punch Drunk Cabaret's glamorous road life perspective known as The Unvarnished Truth. Read on and be bedazzled!

This past July 12th, duty called as Alberta Music, the Starlite Room and others banded together for Calgary flood relief. 'Twas a great chance for us to fellowship with some cool indie bands from Edmonton and Calgary whilst performing for a worthy cause.

Rev At The Rev

Aaah, Edmonton's Starlite Room.... infamous venue of great history (formerly The Bronx and The Rev, where our own Rev. Robin Eklund has performed there many times in various incarnations over the years) and bane of behatted bassists. More on that momentarily. Tonite was the second of a two-night celebration of music and charity -- lauding the thriving Alberta indie muso scene whilst helping our Southern brethren still recovering from the floody nastiness that had befallen them.

Quoth Jack Sparrow, "Why Is The Rum Always Gone?"

Now I don't want to complain, especially during a noble and charitable cause such as this, BUT....

Since the backstage area would no doubt be very crowded, I arrived at the venue dressed for the stage. And as always, in my coat pocket, I carry with me my trusty Punch Drunk Cabaret brand flask (available now for only $20.00). And on any given night, it is filled with a delicious concoction of, as the church might say, satan sauce. The club doorman saw it fit to single out ol' Sawbones and frisk me. Yes, pat me down like I was a suspected cat rapist or something. Now, ladies & gentlemen, your humble scribe is not above a little snake oil sales once in a while but a miscreant and common criminal I am not! To further this personal outrage, I was then asked to empty the contents of said flask onto the pavement... GAH!... my tonic (for medicinal purposes only), gone.... now staining the street like a bladder baptism. Admittedly, my manhood was tested... thought I was going to break down and weep for my liquid loss in front of the doorman.

Suffice it to say, not my favorite way to start a gig. But it turned out he is a fellow bass player and a decent sort. Just doin' his job.... I guess.

PDC, pre-performance, outside of the venue, close to the downright criminal rum stain.

False Tart

Backstage was the usual state of higgledy-piggledy -- cramped quarters, frantic last minute guitar tuning, mirror preening (guilty!). Fortunately, there was a nice spread of fruit, bottled water, chips and baked treats for the bands. Unfortunately, however, we went on late... par for the course for any multi-act show. Naturally, they didn't tell us until we had guitars in hand and were ready to step on the stage... nothin' like gettin' all excited in anticipation of a particular act then having cold water thrown on you, rendering you flaccid and wanting.... artistically speaking, of course.

Who Cut The Machismo?

Once we finally got the green light to play, we were then introduced by our lovely MC and organizer, Jessica, as performers of rockabilly, outlaw country and steampunk swing with all the ferocity of AC/DC. The gauntlet was dropped and the challenge put forth to live up to that introduction! (Editor's Note: Fellas, maybe "with the ferocity of Depeche Mode" would take the pressure off.)

So like the true pros we think we are, and with only a 25 min set, your PDC pals took to the stage like a lion, unleashing a roaring six-song barrage of almost punkabilly proportions! One must maximize one's window of opportunity.

Bandmeister Randy B, The Rev and your ol' Sawbones did our plum best to win over the Starlite crowd, charging thru our short set with all the vaudevillian charm, musical integrity and sexy machismo we could muster. (Editor's Note: Machismo? Sexy??? Uh, no.)

It's Who You Know

 - a very stoned young lady who insisted on pawing my hair like it was spun gold. Well it is, as far as I'm concerned, so's I couldn't blame her.

 - a self pro-claimed Jim Beamed-Buddhist-Tibetan aka Willow Bear with a penchant for existentialist conversation and zen archery. Former soundman, infantryman and all-around colourful character.

 - Minni d'Bomme.... she of the fabulous River City Revue burlesque troupe...after chatting with her about the sparkly stuff these gals like to utilize in their shows, I swear I heard her use the word, "clitter". Was it, for lack of a better term, a slip of the lip? The way these saucy burlesque babes toss around innuendos like juggling balls, it would not surprise me.


 - Jessica, the hard working organizer and MC.

 - Friendly Starlite staff (even my rumjoy-killing doorman friend)

 - Jazzy Jeff Nyback again summoned to be our eyes, ears and muscle. Though I must apologize for accidentally misleading him to set aside a similar looking pedal board as my own at night's end. Took it to my car, marveling how light it was, only to realize that I had directed Jeff to grab some other man's equipment.

"Jazzy" Jeff Nyback

Pee Diddy

My lasting memory of the evening: saying goodbye and safe travels to my fellow PDCers as The Rev piddled in the parking lot. When you said you gotta go, I thought it meant you were leaving! Don't mean to embarrass ya, Rev.... but it was damned funny.


Don't know how much monetary support was raised for flood aid but every little bit helped and a lot of good will was cultivated, too. 'Twas no city rivalry during this event. Just some good ol' fashioned neighborly helpin' out in musical guise.

And that's the unvarnished truth.