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After a few days of songwriting and the showcase on Sunday night, Monday brings a welcome day of rest and relaxation for me. But while I’m out wandering around Charlottetown and taking in the sites, my agent Terry O’Brien – along with many other international agents - is busy having meetings here with Canadian promoters as part of the music conference Showcase PEI.
On the Monday night I join the conference delegates to watch the PEI rock band showcase at The Guild, which includes the rather nifty Paper Lions.
This is probably the only rock gig I’ve been to that boasts free oysters!
On Tuesday it’s time to take our show on the road, and after a very speedy recording session in the morning to get our newly-penned songs down, we set off for Halifax, Nova Scotia. There are some fairly serious distances involved, and we seem to be driving along the same stretch of pine tree-lined road for about four hours. It’s a glorious sunny day, we’re taking it in turns to DJ, and in fact it’s a really enjoyable drive. Our show in the evening is at The Carleton, and goes well.
We enjoy a day off in Halifax on Wednesday, we do a little tour of local guitar shops in the day and then head to Rebecca Cohm Theatre where Catherine and Chris (Catherine’s guitarist) are taking part in a benefit show for the legendary Canadian singer-songwriter, Ron Hynes, who is currently very ill. There’s clearly a huge amount of goodwill and admiration for Ron in the air tonight and it’s nice to be able to hang out backstage and soak it all up.
After a couple of great days in Halifax it’s time to leave Nova Scotia and head to Fredericton, New Brunswick. Our show there is at the Cedar Tree Cafe, a lovely venue with great food and coffee that has just started putting on gigs. We play to a full house, and there are multiple standing ovations during the show! It’s so rewarding to play to an appreciative and attentive audience, you couldn’t really ask for more. Afterwards we treat ourselves to a ginormous beer and nachos at a sports bar for a truly North American experience:
Friday brings our last show of the tour and a it’s short drive to Moncton to play at The Empress Theatre. It’s another great show to a warm and responsive audience, and Rob Oakie of Music PEI is here to MC.
The following day we head back to Prince Edward Island, I’ve got a 5.30pm flight back to Heathrow via Montreal. But before that I’m treated to a lovely farewell meal with Catherine, Chris and Isabelle (Catherine’s daughter). I’m told I couldn’t possibly come to PEI without eating one of these fellas:
It’s been the trip of a lifetime coming here, a real buzz. I hope to be back soon. Thanks to Catherine and Chris for being fantastic people to tour with, and special thanks to Rob Oakie of Music PEI and Neil Pearson of EFDSS for making this happen.