Thursday, November 10, 2011

Vintage Bistro, Hampton, NB

We're up and about early, for no good reason. I pick Big Dave up at his hotel. We go to Joe's Diner in Hammertown for one more breakfast. We Google up all the Thrift and pawn shops we can find in the Fredericton area and then we visit them all. We check out a few shops downtown and then we can't delay any longer. We put $40 in the tank and head down the backroads towards tonight's show.

Hampton, NB is a nice little town- now kind of a suburb community of Saint John. The Vintage Bistro is located there. I've played it a couple of times before, and I really like the owners and what they are trying to do. Quality food, quality wine list, nice decor, friendly staff. They've got two rooms for shows- a big, concert like space with amazing acoustics, and a smaller space at the front of the bistro area. Which area we play will depend upon what sort of advance ticket sales we've had. Meanwhile we've got a pleasant ride through some pretty country.

We get into town early enough to do some serious, drive around promotion. In fact we're in early enough that we park behind the local rec centre and sleep in the car for a couple of hours. It's come to this point. It doesn't seem to matter what kind of down time we have- we are just tired all the time. The waiting for things is brutally tiring. The doing of things is marginally easier. Sometimes it's much easier to drive all day and do a big show than it is to be counting the hours down in the Lincoln. We sleep. We drive. We promo. We go to Tim's. We sleep. We promo. We go to the venue and wait for it to open.

We'll be in the small room here tonight as there have only been light advance sales on the show. Dave's not feeling well today, so I do the set up and the sound check- not a long process, and I'm glad to do it. We've got small, windowless rooms in the attic above the venue. Clean, practical, monk like. I wonder about fire. I guess we could die in a place like that. I'm not going to worry about it tonight. It's all recently renovated, and I think our chances are pretty good.

Come show time the room is lightly populated. One couple from Ontario has seen us two or three times before- and came across the show by accident. Another gent attended our guitar clinic at Long and McQuade in Saint John a couple of days ago. I was expecting more people out from Saint John, but I don't know if the CBC drive shows there picked up on us or not. They've been pretty good to us in the past, but one can't expect to get prime coverage everytime through.

Dave and I have a good show. We are aware that we are reaching the end of this long adventure, and I sense that we are both listening to each other, listening to the music, pushing it a bit, savouring it a bit. It's been a great ride. I know that Dave and I have done some of the best shows, and played some of the best music of our lives on this tour. We're older now, and the world is changing. We don't know if we'll get to do this again, or when. The only record of all this is what we can remember, and what the audience may remember. I believe these impressions will only be richer in years to come.

The night is over before we know it. We sell one CD. We climb up into the attic and call it a day.

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