CT's Souvenirs and Evidence, Volume Two
As of the last entry where I tell the tale of the Cheap Tragedies LP, we find our friends having just recorded a massive LP whose recording seems to have taken its collective toll on the band, resulted in a near-break-up, and probably left madman Erba wielding a knife more than once in studio shenanigans.
By that point in time though, regardless of where the band stood, Cheap Tragedies had already agreed to come up to Canada to play some shows in Toronto and Montreal with Omegas in May of '08. By the time spring rolled around, I was eagerly anticipating these shows for a number of reasons: killer LP in the bag I was eager to get out, uncertain future (so who knows how many times I'd get to see these dudes play), and a steadily growing live reputation. (As a matter of fact, my friend Wendy Eager of Guillotine fanzine and Sexual Suicide fame, not knowing we were already slated to put out their record, called me after see the band's set at Cake Shop in NYC saying, "I saw a band I think you'd love. The singer stripped half naked, bled all over the place, and attacked the crowd.")
Omegas roadtrips are typical little adventures in and of themselves and getting everything coordinated is always a little dramatic. In any event, we rented a van, piled more people into it than should legally have been there, and headed out to Ontario. The "Toronto" show was actually at a house in Burlington, a suburb about 45 minutes outside of Toronto, and on the way there, someone decided it was a bright idea to buy a bunch of fire crackers. At the end of the 7 hour drive and a trip to the liquor store, we arrive at the house in Burlington, home to the bass player of Eating Glass, Spencer. It was nothing at all what we had expected; Burlington was a pretty nice neighborhood right on Lake Ontario so the houses on the block were all pretty upscale, and moreover real close together. Was this really where we were playing? The neighbors won't care? The owners of the house won't care?? Really!?!?? We got were soon reassured that this was the place; they had shows in the foyer right next to a laundry alcove, and there was to be a BBQ in the back, and moreover, dude's mom generally hangs out. Was a little bit of an unusual scene, but it sounded good to us, and those members of our little group that partake in the drink quickly took to imbibing, and hung out by the lake, and get back to the house for some BBQ. Cheap Tragedies showed up in the meantime; said hi to Tony, and met the other guys for the first time, and chatted about this and that. They seemed a bit tired from the trip and I let them eat and get situated.
Omegas played a set complete with Ryan jumping off the banister, splitting his head open on Spoiler's bass in mid set, and having to get his wound superglued shut to stop the bleeding, but it was all good. Cheap Tragedies went on, and at this point in time they had nothing out by a few songs on a demo that we just distributed over the internet. But when they hit the first note in that foyer between the extra bathroom and washer & dryer, you'd have thought they were a band for ages already. Tony was in top form and the band right behind him didn't miss a beat throughout. Any doubt I'd had as to whether or not these guys would stick around was gone. I'm sure these guys could argue amongst each other about song parts, lyrics, shows, layouts, and recordings like the best of them, but when they hit the stage, they were a unit. This was a fuckin' band. And of course, Tony managed to knock a few folks down during the set, snag a few drinks from folks in the crowd, roll around on the floor in various states of undress, and hit on the mom of the dude's house we were staying at-- all over the course of the set.
As can be imagined, the rest of the night turned into a bit of a blur, but the party went well into the wee hours of night, with fireworks going off in the front yard, Discharge-karaoke over the PA courtesy of Hoagie Skank, Mike the Mosher, and other dudes who joined in the festivities, and acoustic sing-alongs in the back yard. Keep in mind, this is while we tried to convince the gracious hosts of letting us crash in the house. We wound up staying the night, and I passed out underneath a drop cloth. The next morning, after I peeled myself off the floor and got myself standing upright, I caught a ride back to Montreal with CT in the Erba-van, and had to spend all 7 hung-over hours without a head-rest. The Montreal show went off without much of a hitch, even though the late, great Black Dot had just gotten shut down and the show had to moved at the 11th hour, footage of which now appears on youtube courtesy of hardtimes.ca. All said and done, it was such an impressionable time, before it was all over, we already started talking about doing it again next year, and I was more psyched than ever to get this LP out. Now that this one is out, hopefully we'll be seeing another one soon!