Just one of those days

by Cesco Emmanuel

Our drummer for the Canadian leg of the tour (Walter Mclean) said it – ‘Just one of those days’ and it was.

We had just finished playing a great show to a packed house Thursday, August 9th at the Festival du Bout du Monde in Gaspe, QC. So it would make sense that the next show would not be so good.

Now, considering that we almost missed our flight on Wednesday night getting into Gaspe; Friday morning’s trip started off good. We were on time for our flight, we left on time and although we had a fair bit of turbulence on reaching Quebec City which continued to Montreal, we made it in one piece.

We had enough time to get to Sherbrooke.

We got our rental car and decided to get a late breakfast. Then we got stuck in traffic, and I must say that Montrealers are not the most pleasant of drivers. So it took us a while to find a spot to eat.

We grabbed brunch eventually and started to make our way out of Montreal towards Sherbrooke. We turned on Atwater street and realized something was terribly wrong; a car had overturned and the Police and Fire Services were on the scene (I sincerely hope everyone in that accident survived), we got out of there after waiting in line a while and drove to Sherbrooke.

And that’s when Walter said it, I told him not to say it, but he did anyway. ‘Just one of those days’ he said. I told him that the minute you say that, things start to happen.

And it did.

It took us longer than usual to get to the hotel in Sherbrooke, only to realize that instead of three rooms for six of us, there was just two. The festival hadn’t catered for all of us. So things were not off to a good start. The hotel had no free rooms, so two of us had to sleep on cots on the floor.

We left for soundcheck at 3PM for our show in an hour. It took us a while to find the place and that’s when the torrential downpour happened. We finally got it to park our cars at the festival grounds and were told that our set had to be delayed until the rain stopped. The rain did slow down, but our first show was eventually cancelled.

Our next set was going to be at 10PM. Soundcheck was at 9.30.

So we went back to the hotel, and rested for a bit. We left to grab dinner at 7.30 or so and headed back to the venue for 9PM. We reached there after getting a bit lost and waited to do line checks after the previous band finished.

It was a comedy of errors next. Only one guitar amp was working, there was no bass amp, no congas, the drumkit came without cymbals initially, but soon enough we got some for our drummer, much to our relief. The bass and rhythm guitar had to go through the stage monitors, our percussionist had a much scaled down rig to use.

We did the show, starting 45 minutes after our scheduled time, at first with hesitation, but all things being considered the sound was pretty decent on-stage. However there was another show from the stage right behind us and thus in-between songs, we could hear the next band loud as ever.

The crowd was rather appreciative though and we finished our set on a high note.

But talk about a day when everything was out of whack and most if not all of us didn’t want to do that show. But we did it anyway. The people who paid to hear music didn’t deserve to go through that and after the first few songs we were in full swing mentally and so we gave it our best shot.

We were all glad that gig was over, because it was indeed, one of those days.

Thanks to our sound engineer who made it all happen.

I look forward to a good night’s sleep