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Thoughts and musings by members of the Arrogant Worms

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Urban Carmichael - our friend 

We were saddened to learn that our friend Urban Carmichael passed away earlier this week. We met Urban when we did the Stan Rogers Folk Festival for the first time many years ago. We had heard about Urban and how funny he was but nothing could prepare us for the person we met. We must have laughed for three days while we there and still laugh remembering his classic lines. In the backstage area, people just gravitated to Urban so they could hear his stories and his jokes. He was one of a kind and we'll miss him very much.

I found this article that was written about Urban a while ago and it contains just a taste of his humour. Enjoy. www.williamthomas.ca/urbancarmichael.shtml

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Regina - Feb 6th 

The drive to Regina was actually pretty easy and it ended at the Hotel Saskatchewan. It’s quite posh. Every once in a while we get to stay in a really nice hotel and the timing was perfect for our tired, sick and lazy bones. The mattress had a remote control so you could figure out your sleep number. I fell asleep trying to work it out. Tim stayed behind in the hotel while Trevor and I took part in a song writing workshop put on by our fine promoters. We did a couple of tunes and talked about our process of writing songs. When you break it down, it all sounds all scientific and deliberate. Who knew? It was fun and hopefully a bit helpful and insightful to the people there.

And the show was awesome too. Probably our biggest crowd ever in Regina. The venue was a great church downtown and the crowd was fantastic. Always fun playing in churches with new things to distract us and take our attention. But man did I sleep well when it was over.

Saskatoon - Feb 5th 

With Great Big Sea playing in town the same night, we were a bit worried about the crowd size at the Broadway Theatre for Sunday night. We needn’t have been concerned as our fantastic promoter Robert packed a very vocal crowd in and we had a fun show. Tim is getting ever more comfortable with the material so he’s getting a little more lippy on stage. Well done, Tim.

Since the show was at 7pm, we were finished and out the door by 9:30. Rock and roll!! A nice early night full of rest so we can mend ourselves. Not really. We were summoned by some friends downtown and ended up staying out until far too late carousing and having all kinds of weird fun. Not much sleep before my alarm didn’t even bother to go off the next day. Ugh.

Fort Saskatchewan - Feb 3-4 

It is so cool to play in a new theatre. Everything is shiny and new and smells nice. The Dow Centre in Fort Sask is such a place. We had two nights here and both shows were heaps of fun. We did bunch more rehearsing on Friday before the show. Tim is rocking along nicely and even speaking during the show. He’s from Northern England so he speaks a little differently than we do. Entertaining for sure.

Both Tim and Trevor enjoyed the karaoke bar at the hotel both nights after the shows. Trevor even won a $50 bar tab for his singing prowess. I preferred the comforts of my hotel room and the local walk-in clinic where I got some antibiotics to try and kill this bronchial cough. Such a rock star with my pills. I surely infected the microphone and hope that Tommy Hunter doesn’t use it after me. I don’t want to be responsible for him getting sick too. I just can’t afford the legal team right now. Who doesn’t like a bit of phlegm though? Come on!

Spruce Grove - Feb 2nd 

After the Calgary show, Mike had to fly back home for a family emergency so our friend Tim Readman from Vancouver has been filling in on guitar. Tim had a bit of warning but not a whole lot. We picked him up at the Edmonton airport at 2pm on Thursday and motored up to Spruce Grove to our hotel to rehearse. We did that for a couple of hours and then went over to Horizon Stage for our sound check. The fine tech crew at Horizon had worked with us before and we expecting Mike to be stage left so the microphone was set for Mike'’s height. Mike is about 6 foot ’3” for those who don'’t know. Tim is about a foot or more shorter than Mike so it was rather humorous to see Tim approach a microphone that was no where the top of his head, let alone his face. Trevor is most pleased to not be the shortest in the band right now. And I'’ve never been the tallest at anything. Me giant!

Anyhow, we rehearsed right up until the start of the show and then just hit the ground running. Tim was a superstar. Filling in for Mike is not easy and he did a great job. It was also nice in a way for Trevor and I to be forced onto our toes for the show. Trevor and I did all of the leads (sore throats and all) and Tim kept his head down for most of the show. The audience was amazing and very understanding if a chord was wrong or we looked confused. Luckily that didn'’t happen too much and the show was a blast. We definitely miss Mike but Tim was great.

In Mike'’s absence though, I Am Cow was not performed during this show so some people after the show serenaded us in the lobby with it. Tim was taking notes. Good boy.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Calgary - Feb 1st. 

The Paint the Town Beige Tour started in Calgary on Wednesday night and it couldn’t have started better. The crowd was hyped and large. Almost 1300 people made it a record for us. Thank you, Calgary. The Polyjesters did a fantastic opening set and really got the crowd going. I’m pretty sure we did alright too because the crowd seemed to continue to rock. This stupid cold of mine won’t go away but I warbled through the songs and made more rock poses than usual and very likely slapped my butt a few times as well. The new songs were well received which makes us very happy. The biggest roar of the night seemed to happen for I Am Cow. People really seem to identify with that one for some reason. I guess it helped to be in Alberta. We also reminded the audience that everyone in Alberta just got a $400 surplus cheque from the provincial government and we encouraged them to blow it on CDs by bands from Ontario. We call it transfer payments. Anyhow, it was a fun show at a fantastic venue. Many thanks to everyone at the Jack Singer and our promoter Josh for a great time.

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