We loaded all our stuff in the bus and boarded the ferry for Vancouver island for a weekend of shows. The last time we were in Nanaimo our show got cancelled at the last minute. Even though it was a bummer, we managed to make the best of it by getting together with a select handful of concert would-have attendees, and partook in a late night game of grounders in a local playground. It was there that we built the relationship with the guys in Top Men, a group of ridiculously creative guys with a sound that would remind you of a slightly more psychedelic version of Chromeo.
Fast forward several months later. Paul, the drummer from Top Men had informed us of the theme behind this show a long time in advance. Robots vs Ghosts. Cruel Young Heart would be the robots, and Top Men would be the ghosts. Fans would have the choice to dress up as they please. Representing the ghost clan, or the robot army, and after both bands had played the robots and ghosts would engage in a dance battle that would determine who would rule the world from that day forward.
When we arrived at the venue we couldn’t believe what we were seeing. Top Men and their crew had completely transformed the building and stage. There was a giant robot head behind the drums. Its mouth would open up in a plume of smoke, spitting our band out on stage to play our set. There was a grave yard, ghosts hanging from strings all around the stage, a giant gun with the robots used to attempt to kill the ghosts, balloons that came down from the rafters, and confetti cannons to cover the robot and ghost fans in a blanket colour. We even had two robot back-up dancers on stage during our set.
When the crowd of people started coming through the doors and filling up the venue with their robot and ghosts costumes we knew we had better have the camera rolling, because there was going to be a lot of funky things happening that we needed to get on film for you.
We debuted our disco ball head that night. You might see it come out again when the moment is right. There were some pretty rad costumes, one girl had a silver get-up with a big square robot head with giant eyes. Another guy had a big white, red and green robot suit. Nanaimo, YOU ARE COOL!!!!!!
THE AFTERMATH! CASEY IS JUST STANDING THERE IN HIS LITTLE GOLD TIGHTS NOT KNOWING WHERE TO START…
We arrived on the festival grounds at 3am to find what seemed to be the remnants of some kind of pre-festival staff party. We were greeted by a lady names April, who seemed to be the appointed mother of the festival staff. She showed us her camping area which was up behind the stage next to the beer gardens/staff/performers zone. She even showed us her kitchen, which was a series of tables, a fridge and a BBQ, and told us that if we were ever hungry, we were to come see her and she would fix us up a meal. At this time, most of the campers has gone to bed. But there were a few staff members walking around the festival grounds with beer in hand, to excited to sleep, so we decided to stay up a little longer to make a few new friends.
Thats when we met Wafflez, and a few of his fellow crew members. They offered some of their beverages, and we hung out on their tail gate and admired the rows of hippie busses, campers, trailers, vendor booths, and the massive stage with it’s giant while canopy that resembled the bow of a boat, or a big alien frog when it was lit up at night. After we had a few brews with our new friends, Blacky, Mark and our stage tech/friend “Millzy” decided to go set up their tent, while Casey and I found a nice place to park the bus and crash.
The next morning we woke up to find that we had parked right next to a skatepark, and the sound of kids dropping into the pipe was too much to sleep through. we could also hear the sound of golf carts ripping around getting the rest of the festival set up. After a few minutes Casey and I stumbled out of the bus to find our good friend Jessie Lightburn sitting in a golf cart communicating orders in into a walkie-talkie. This is the girl who made the whole Rhythm On The Rock dream become a reality. She wanted to stay up the night before to greet us when we arrived, and tried valiantly, but putting on an event this big had her in her asleep in her camper before 2 am. After a round of hugs Jessie introduced us to the rest of her crew and the front of house sound tech. We also met up with Darryl the stage manager, whom we met the last time we played in Comox. After we found Jennie, Roco, Wafflez and J.R. the whole fam-damily was back together and we headed onto the stage for sound check.
After much needed breakfast, it was time to move our camp site to the band camping area. We were given a golf cart (ohh yea, special treatment) which we used to transport our tent down to the designated camping area. When we got there we set up next to Emily Spiller and her crew of happy campers/musicians. After some more introductions we headed down to the river for a much needed bath.
When it came time for us to play the sun was setting over the festival and people were starting to come out of the woodwork (or perhaps the forest) By the time we launched into Love & War ten minutes into our set the crowd was showing us all the love they had. We bought a bunch of beach balls and wrote CRUEL YOUNG HEART on them and kicked them out into the crowd. Jessie even joined us on stage and sang during our cover of The Killers “When You Were Young”. I took a giant Canada flag which I had spray painted R.O.T.R. on and tied it to the end of my mike stand. After our set Darryl and I went down and gave it to a girl in the front row. Hopefully it is now pinned up on her bedroom wall.
We met a lot of really cool people this weekend. One was a traveller from Montreal named Gabriella. During the course of the festival she would show up every now and then, and simply hang out with us and play songs on a mini white keyboard that she carried around with her. And then without any notice at all, she would simply disappear. Could she be a ghost? Who’s knows. We also spent some time hanging around with the Maurice, and the guys in his band. They were a a bunch of yahoo’s right after our own hearts. Millzy even got a picture of John Paul Maurice wearing our disco ball head. (This is coming out at your wedding buddy)
They performed after us on the first night, and after that we spent the rest of the night chatting with them and Roco. She was one of the coordinators of the festival, and the mixologist behind the famous “Rocotini” (one shot of whisky, white wine, red wine, vodka, juice and another mystery shot of whatever is available) pour over ice and serve garnished with a square of toilet paper. Perfect for any occasion.
It was a pleasure having Millzy on the trip. He did most of the filming, and it took him no time at all to figure out how all our equipment works. Were looking forward to taking him on the road with us in the future.
Thanks again to Jessie and everyone in the R.O.T.R. family, you made us feel right at home. Can’t wait to do it all again next year.
We are super excited to announce that we have made it to the Semi Final round of The Voice of the Cellar Competition!
Music BC and the Cellar Nightclub are proud to announce the Voice of the Cellar, a contest supporting BC singer-songwriters!
We have narrowed down 18 bands to 6, who are competing for over $20,000 in cash and prizes, including $5000 for first place, Epiphone acoustic guitars for the top 3, and gear and prizes from Armoury Studios, Sennheiser, Tom Lee Music and more!
Love & War was a song we played at our very first show. It has been around for quite a while, but never got to see the inside of a studio until now. After winning The Cellar Launch Project, we decided to use our two day studio prize to finally give our single the love it deserves.
So here you have it! Not yet released, only a few of our close friends have a copy of this beauty, LOVE & WAR.
Thanks again to everyone for coming out to Celebrate Canada day in Campbell River, and a big thanks to Ryan Mennie and the whole gang at 97.3 The Eagle for being the first station to play our “new’ song. I working on the video for our Canada Day set and will get it posted asap.
We are headlining the Eagle Telus Stage Campbell River Canada Day Event! The event includes such great acts as The Left, XLR8, Ellisa Hartman & Luke Blu Guthrie, and Who Is Barbosa. So come on down to Robert Ostler Park and come hang out with us we will be there all day and performing at 9pm.
If you can’t make it to Campbell River we are also playing in Victoria on June 28th and Nanaimo on June 29th. Click on the up coming shows links on the side for more info ——————————————————————————————–>
I bought a hammock from a beach vendor in Mazatlan. Needless to say I am loving every second spent in this blue and white nest. Maybe it’s because winter has finally said goodbye, and the suns rays are poke out through the clouds, but whatever the reason I think everyone needs to get a hammock and adopts the practice of the Mexican siesta. you can expect me to be doing all my blogging from this one spot for the rest of summer.
We are getting ready to head to Kelowna to play at Habitat, a venue we have been trying to get into since we started this band. It’s probably the best venue to play at in Kelowna, so we are putting some extra flavour into our show to really show the folks a hoot’n toot’n time. May 17th is the lucky day and were playing with Fields Of Green.
As for today, Andrew and I (James) will be heading into the studio to start recording another single. It’s called Alive And Well. It’s about the summer time, inspired by our many surfing trips to Tofino. Photos will be posted to our FB and twitter as per usual.
Thanks for reading, hope to se you in Kelowna, I hear its nice this time of year. ahhhh summer…..
Your favorite flavour of pop tarts are back from Mexico.
We had a great time, I got a chance to catch up on my beer consumption and got a lot of song writing done too. Now that we are back I though I would give you an update before my tan wears off.
We recorded our next single Love & War. We did a special pre-release of the song at The Cellar in Vancouver a while ago. I am putting together a video of our studio experience which will be posted in the near future.
It has been a while since we have release any new music, mostly because we have been so busy playing shows and picking out new stage clothes that will burn a hole in your retina, so we will be bouncing in and out of the studio in the next couple months releasing a few more singles.
We will be heading off to Kelowna, Victoria, Nanaimo for a few more shows, and then Campbell River where we will be headlining at the Canada Day Festival., playing right before the FIREWORKS!!!!!!!!! We will also be doing an acoustic set live on-air at 97.3 The Eagle.
See you next week when we take you into the studio to get a first hand look at all the ‘studio drama’ involved in creating a multi-platinum single. Someone is getting voted out of the studio…..DUN DUN DUuUuUuNNNNNNNNNN………………..
Well…..the unthinkable has happened, we lost! The number one team in the Western Conference beat out by the lowest standing in the first round of the Playoffs. I can only imagine the number of people showing up for work late in the morning with sunglasses on, popping Advil all day. For us hear at CYH headquarters, the hard work is just about to begin. If you’re not aware of our wager with Edmontonians “The Flash Jam”, here are the results. Since the Canucks lost to the Kings, we will be covering a song of theirs and posting it on Youtube. These guys are talented, so believe me when I tell you that by the time we actually start to dig into what ever song it is they choose for us, I’m sure we’ll be spending the first week scraping our jaws up off the floor. Wish us more luck than you did the Canucks!
On to more relaxing things!
James and I have been spending the last week vacationing in Mazatlan, Mexico with our family. We’ve had the pleasure of staying with our aunt and uncle at their time share place which is no more than a minute walk from the beach in the Salomar district.
We have seen some amazing places, from the most lavish condos in the marina to the lowest slums where the people make a living digging through trash at the dump! The most amazing thing is the value of our dollar down here. A person could save up for a year and come live like a king in Mexico! It’s no wonder why so many Canadians and Americans come down here to retire.
Today we went surfing and it was just as hard as I remember. The waves weren’t too amazing, nothing to write home about, but the price…..let me tell you! I can only hope I’ll get another chance to suck at surfing for only $7.50 (100 pesos)!
In other news, I am getting freakin brown!! The locals are starting to approach me speaking Spanish…..”No hablo español!”