Weekend At Bonesie's II

The Unvarnished Truth is finished.

Part one, that is! The following is the second of two tasty bite-sized chunks of empty literary calories.

And dear reader, if you've made it this far in the blog, you could be a band member or simply lost. No matter... let us forge ahead on this back-to-back journey like two gentlemen about to shoot each other at 10 paces.

I Pad

Aaaah, nothing like a string of performances in close proximity to put hair on one's chest (apologies to albinos and females). In this case, three in two days. After Wabamun, we retired back at the swinging bachelor pad of yours truly. My place made an effective home base in Spruce Grove as the next show was on Canada Day practically down the street from me.

Rock, Mock & Barrel

Environment Canada had the forecast high on July 1st at 30 degrees plus humidex. What better way to spend the holiday Monday than rocking out in front of a festival crowd whilst mocking Mother Nature's good graces by over-dressing for the day?


The Canada Day Celebration, as it is known, proved to be quite the awesome gathering of professional, technical and organizational talent despite the lackluster festival title. Tents galore filled with all manner of vendors, walking balloon artists, creepy stilt people, the wafting scent of citronella in the air.... and I believe nearly all of Spruce Grove and then some came out to enjoy this perfect day. It was a fully family friendly atmosphere and, thankfully, for the grown ups, there was an adult oasis in the welcome form of a beer tent.... which was our first performance venue at 5pm.

Presto Change-o

We arrived pretty much dressed for performance in our fancy shirts, pin stripes and semi-comfortable footwear as we didn't want to chance being caught with our pants down, as it were, without a change area when we needed it.

After loading in and setting up, 45 minutes and a couple pounds lost sweating in a giant enclosed vinyl tent later, it was over. The thirsty beer crowd enjoyed the effort of putting on a show and gave us their love in applause form. I could've used the kind of love that comes in electric fan form, but I digress.

Hugs & Disses

Someone not on the ball scheduled us for soundcheck at the big venue (where we'd be opening for Harlequin later that evening) right at 5:45 so we had to hustle out of the stuffy beer garden quicker than you can say "hot enough for ya?".

The stagehands at the venues were outstanding. Morris, Megan and rest of the crew are super well trained and organized. You need to be when running a festival of any kind! This stuff ain't easy, friends. So hug a roadie today.

Chill: The Homonym

Beer tent.... check. Main venue soundcheck... check check. Chill 'til performance time at 8. Check. Hung out at hospitality tent, eating, staying hydrated, stretching (for me anyway... old war injury.... I was hit in The Balkans).

Holy Crap It's Hot

Holy crap, it was hot! Probably the hottest weather we've ever played in... and definitely warmer than the day before. While the big summer family festival summer crowd are all walking around in shorts, sandals and suntan lotion, your perspiring Punch Drunk heroes are dressed in obligatory, full-fashion regalia, sweating like an overworked orifice in a hot yoga class.

But the show must go on! And in our case, style is part of the show (which is also handy as a visual diversion so as to hide any bad notes one may play).

We rolled out rhe usual array of PDC originals and PDC-flavoured covers. And every time we swing, people want to dance. It's a given. Ya gotsta dance when you're at a Punch Drunk show! But when the temp is over 30 and the humidity is rising, folks tend not to wanna shake a leg, cut a rug or other energy-sapping, dance metaphor.

Better To Burn Out Than Fade Away

BUT THE SHOW MUST GO ON!! And since there were few dancers, I guess we were the show. Well, we pride ourselves on puttin' on a show, and not just for the audience, either. But to set as a bar, daring our fellow festval mates to raise it, from veteran headliners to whatever snot-nosed-punk-indie-emo-cutter bands are on the bill. And speaking of which, who's gonna top passing out while performing!? [Editor's Note: NOT a sexual reference!]

Ok, so nobody passed out. Although I was thinking up there on the big main stage that I could very well expire from heat stroke but that I'd at least leave a well-dressed corpse.

Post Haste

After the show, it was another case of "you-were-great-now-get-the-hell-off-the-stage-and-clear-your-shit-from-backstage-but-you-guys-were-great-take-that-goddamn-water-with-you-hurry-up-we-run-a-tight-ship-did-I-mention-you-guys-did-great-now-beat-it", etc. But not before hanging out with Canadian legends, Harlequin. Nice fellas. They didn't mind that we sweat a lot.

Non Sequitur

The Rev and Bandmaster Randy B were enjoying a well earned summer beverage in the beer tent afterwards when a couple of dubious toxicity ambled by and suddenly started the conversation by asking if our guys were going to fight each other. Bandmaster replied that, in fact, he and Rev were actually bare knuckle boxers out of Hobbema. And given the gift of snake oil persuasion he possesses, they bought it hook, line & sinker without ever having to throw a punch.


After a day of successful rocking, sweating and schmoozing, the Punch Drunk party continued back at my place. Sorry to disappoint but we did not bring a bevy of bubbly babes back to Bonesie's. Just four pals after a long weekend of rocking and misadventures cutting loose a bit.

Went until 4:30 (sorry, neighbors!) until the booze, smokes and lasagna ran out.


Ok so like I have a cat trap. Its a humane, safe and fun way of capturing loose, by-law illegal, neighborhood felines that poop in my yard. Catch cat. Take to animal shelter. Owner pays to get it out. Vengeance complete (sorry, neighbors!!).

The reason this is significant is that the band gets drunk and throws a few dozen empty bottles into my yard. One of them blocks the entrance to the cat trap I put out that evening, rendering the thing ineffective. Silliness.... or simile?

The End For Sure This Time

A wacky, whirlwind weekend comes to a close. And the festival season has only just begun! Thanks to:
Laurie from Horizon Stage in Spruce Grove whose idea it was in the first place to have us play.
Jeff Nyback for having our back.


And that's the unvarnished truth.



photos by David Chapman and Jeff Nyback