Tag Archives: calgary

Calgary Folk Festival

Oh. I’ve done it again. It’s the end of the tour but there’s still ten days of stuff I haven’t told you about yet. Damn. Let’s start with the coyotes.

Calgary Folk Festival was located on Prince’s Island, in the middle of Bow River. I checked, and it’s not the Bow River that’s mentioned in the Cold Chisel song of the same name. The island is right next to the city (or amongst it, really) but it still feels pretty remote when you get out there, and I sure wasn’t glad to see this sign on the bridge:

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There are only three bridges to that island. If the coyotes took the bridges, we’d be done for! That made me a little nervous. Leash pets for their safety?! What about the humans? I wasn’t really sure of what coyotes were capable of: I have no real world coyote experience, and only really know about them through Wile E. Coyote, Coyote Ugly, and the ones in Red Dead Redemption. They can mess you up if you’re not careful.

That reminds me: something that seems to be happening a lot on this tour is the confusion that results from walking into a conversation and not realising it’s a conversation about something that happened in a video game.

“Yeah man, I was out in the desert and all of a sudden I was surrounded by wolves, and they killed my horse and then I had to run to the next town which took like ten minutes.”

“Hang on, you’re talking about a video game, right?”

It sounds pretty bad if you think they’re talking about real life.

“I got on the train again, and I got further than last time, but I kept getting shot at by the guys on the roof. I never know when they’re coming.”

Anyway, back to the story. Coyotes. No, we covered that. Where were we? Oh yeah. Calgary Folk Festival. Another folk festival with those workshop things that only happen at folk festivals.

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That’s us with Etran Finatawa. Coolooloosh were on stage too but, honestly, I found it pretty hard to take a photo that included all three bands. Ollie probably did a much better job: when he’s awake and not playing keyboards, he’s usually taking photos.

Next: Toronto.

Edmonton via Calgary

Asleep on the bus. Ricky walks past the bunk and says it’s 6.30am. Time to get up. We have to be on TV soon. Fish around for yesterday’s t-shirt. Sniff. Meh, good enough for TV. Open the curtain. Ricky is walking up and down the bus trying to wake everybody up. Put jeans on while still in the bunk. Degree of difficulty: high. Hours slept: five. Songs to play: one. Estimated time until you can go back to sleep: two hours. Swing legs out of bunk, realise you’re sleeping on the third level, and it’s a long way down. Almost land on Ricky in the confusion. Realise that the ground-floor bunk in your quadrant (front-left) hasn’t been slept in, and could have been used as a junk bunk. Realise that you could have kept your suitcase in there and didn’t need to sacrifice all that leg room in your own bunk. Damn.

Bus kitchen. Tip some Corn Flakes into a cup: we don’t have any bowls. Tip some skim milk into the cup: we don’t have any full-fat milk left. We don’t have any spoons: to make things worse, we also don’t have any forks. Attempt to drink cornflakes. Degree of difficulty: high. Beyond a certain flake-to-milk ratio, which I have exceeded on this occasion, the flakes really want to form an immovable puck at the bottom of the cup which, when it eventually decides to move after much cup-upturning and cup-tapping, will land on your face.

Stand in the street for longer than expected, waiting to be picked up to go to the TV studio. The guy went to the wrong hotel. Finally get picked up. Be confused at the route we’re taking: I thought this place was only two blocks away? The car takes six left-hand turns. There must be a lot of one-way streets, and the driver must be allergic to U-turns.

Inside. The show is called Breakfast Television. When Ricky said we were “playing on breakfast television” and I wondered if he could be more specific, I didn’t realise he actually meant we were “playing on Breakfast Television”, with capital letters. Somebody’s been to Tim Horton’s. Thank you. The host of the show has read the tour diary, and liked The Umbrella Story. Nobody else in the band knows what she’s talking about. I could write anything about those dumbasses and they wouldn’t read it. Just kidding. Hi guys. Coffee, maple dip, play Call Me Home. Get driven back to the bus, the from-journey being much quicker than the to-journey: yes, we really were two blocks away. Bus. Sleep. Wake up in Edmonton. Happy birthday, Kieran. Drink VB (found some at a bottle shop two blocks away) and listen to Cold Chisel. Run back to the hotel to get on Skype. The rain decides to bucket down. Borrow an umbrella from reception – a much less embarrassing one than the one in The Umbrella Story. Gig.

Damn. Forgot the camera again.

Kieran smuggles beer out of the venue inside the umbrella. Return the umbrella to the hotel. Sleep. Wake up in Calgary. Farewell, bus. Hotel. Sleep. Next: Calgary Folk Festival.