The Unvarnished Truth strikes again! Just when you thought you've had enough of flowery language, exciting tour photos and like-you-were-there commentary, we subject you, you poor soul, with more of the same! Heavens to Murgatroyd, what kind of torture awaits? Read on, Curious George....


Marquee De Sade

Jumpin' Jehosophat, kids... 'twas quite the whirlwind weekend for your Punch Drunk pals! Two memorable gigs were recorded in the anals of time! (Editor's Note: spell check, please.) This past Thursday, PDC performed at the first ever rockabilly night at the legendary Billy Bob's in Red Deer. Just when we'd had enough rockin' -- he says, cheekily -- the next night we put our 80's goth pop knickers on and opened for the historic Darkroom reunion show at Century Casino in Edmonton. Aaah, the memories, the makeup, the mayhem!

You know you're getting somewhere when they spell your name right!


The Few.... The Proud....

Billy Bob's has been around since long before Mr. Thornton's weird and, personally speaking, criminally unfair relationship with Angelina Jolie. PDC has a habit of being invited to perform in venues we're not expected to. A bona fide country bar is one of them. But kudos to them for givin' us a rip! The staff and management loved us, if I may say so myself. And if it weren't for the frigid temps in central Alberta that evening, the turnout would have been better. Curse you, Weather Gods!! Or at least smarmy, smiling, condescending TV meteorologists.

But Punch Drunk Cabaret fears no stage, no weather, no sparse crowds. no terrorists.... for the Juke Joint Revival Hour presses on no matter the hardship! Speaking of ship, once again, we pressed for duty Capt. Sean Watts, dirigible drummer extraordinaire!    

Thanks to promoter Amanda, hubby manager Big Mike, DJ Nathan and the few but mighty that turned out for that one. Aside from the Wildrose Party delegate who cut in front of me at the hotel reception desk (you just lost my vote, Danielle), we very much enjoyed the company of the faithful in Red Deer.


                Sawbones, promoter Amanda... and YOU!      Foreshadowing: good pal Martin Zinger and Bandmeister


San Paku'd

One of the highlights for sure this year was this gig: opening for the glorious reunion of Darkroom... their first show in 25 years! And hoo boy, did they kill it! The magic was there, the majesty, the musicianship... and your favorite lil trio, Punch Drunk Cabaret had the distinct pleasure and honor of kicking the night off! As a born 'n bred Edmontonian and child of the 80's, this old glam rock heart was bursting with nostalgia! Or maybe just a blocked aorta... I can never tell.

The calm before the storm at Century Casino


The Food And The Famous

We drove from Red Deer that day in, for lack of better French, a shitstorm. Two hours travel thru inclement Hwy 2 weather and traffic but we made it to the venue for soundcheck, schmoozing and preparation for what would become a truly special night in Edmonton music history!

The boys in Darkroom were the friendliest fellows you'd ever wanna rock with. Each of them made their way to us to give a kind word of encouragement and/or praise. Class all the way. In fact, frontman Jim Gray himself ensured we had food and drink in our dressing room, serving it up personally! In his stage clothes!! Or at least his stage scarves... hard to tell... the man dresses wonderfully all the time!


Student and The Master: Bandmeister and Darkroom's Jim Gray



Minutes before we hit the stage getting Shaman Jim's blessing!


It's Not How Big But What You Do With It 

If you attended this sold out show, dear reader, you would have witnessed PDC performing on one of the smallest stage spaces we've ever experienced. Darkroom's 7-piece band takes up a lot of real estate! But since we fear no stage, we made it work for us, rocking the SRO crowd with our steampunk-infused, rootsy bombast... or as one patron dubbed it, weirdabilly.

When we first got word of the gig, your ol' Sawbones had a little anxiety about it.... a local 80's goth pop legend, 80's DJ's in between acts... and us. I thought someone wearing the funny hats would be booed off the stage! But the Darkroom faithful were so gracious and raucous at the same time. Though they were obviously there to see this historic reunion of an Edmonton pillar of music lore, we put people's butts on the dance floor and shook them accordingly. A warm-up act means just that. Whetting the appetite of the masses before the mighty headlining juggernaut comes to gloriously beat you over the head with greatness!! And the mighty Darkroom did just that.


The Masters at work whipping the throngs into a frothy frenzy.... or words to that effect


Pandemonium For Real

One of the more madcap things to happen to us was a special request from Darkroom themselves. Our presence was required during their encore song "Homicide" where we'd get up on stage with them and yelp the chorus like one big happy family. A fun ending for the evening to be sure. As our names were announced by Monsieur Gray to join them onstage for this very cool honour, so were others.... like the audience! Next thing I know, both bands were surrounded by probably fifty patrons on an already claustrophobic platform! I could do nothing but cower behind guitarist Alan Marks using him as a human shield as the stage became swollen with crazed Darkroom fans. It was quite precarious. And dangerous. And bloody glorious!!!  


Sawbones's view during the audience's chaotic rushing, entering and partying on the Century Casino stage



                        Alan Marks: Sawbones's human shield        Bandmeister, Capt. Sean and guitarist/keyboardist Wolf Radke safely behind the chaos


"I Don't Want It To End"

.... so said Jim near the end of Darkroom's awe-inspiring set. For those in attendance, you witnessed something truly special. So many amazing memories from this show.... the choruses, the chaos, the camaraderie!

Thanks to Darkroom for letting us be part of their special evening and especially to the charismatic and forever young Jim Gray.  

Jim's liaison, Chris "The Consultant".

Andrew, Shane and the rest of the crackerjack stage crew!

All the new friends we've made this week!


And that's the unvarnished truth.