If you've read the previous Diary entries, you know that this information is now being channeled from the world beyond. This communication cannot be broken. Nash and I have a special word that opens the portal; 'huggies'.
This is the kind of gig I would not be allowed at, although some hotels are very dog-friendly. Then again, those dogs are upstairs in the suites, sprawled out on the king-size bed beside their master, while I'd be down in the basement licking up stale beer and guarding the master's bandages! The dressing room has no direct access to the outside world, and my needs would be difficult to accommodate. 'Think outside the box' takes on a whole new desperate meaning when you're a dog cooped up inside a hotel basement, and all you want to do is take a dump in the parking lot. Other than that, my role as dressing room security remains spotless.
The Drake Hotel is one of those funky, old hotels that has been refurbished and given a new lease on life. It's in the west end of Toronto, the trendy part of town, and it has a young clientele who work hard at being hip.
The downstairs club is called The Underground, and the person promoting this room has a lot of young, amateur bands and solo performers eager to use this very cool performance space. Trying to please everyone, the promoter has been swamped with requests to use the room. Unfortunately for Nash, tonight the promoter has double-booked the club.
There is another group doing a CD release party with an opening act as well. When Nash arrives at 6 pm time for his typical three-hour set-up, he finds out about the extra booking the hard way; the CD release band is already set up on Nash's stage with no room for his equipment. A full drum kit and a Bass Fiddle don't help matters.
This event has been booked from 7:30 to 9:30, leaving Nash and Corpusse with very little time to set up. There is a third act with Nash tonight as well, but he's afraid to ask for the details.
Nash calmly goes 'Postal' on the promoter, informing him that a double-booked room is the most amateurish thing any promoter can do. Without instigating bad blood with the band, Nash diplomatically explains to the other musicians that they too should be furious with the promoter. They don't need Nash invading their CD party, and Nash doesn't want them on his stage. It's that simple.
With the promoter begging for forgiveness, the band agrees to move some equipment so Nash can get started setting up. A small amount of room is made available at one edge of the stage, but thirty minutes into the set-up and the opening act for the CD party begins performing on the dance floor. Nash gives up and goes out for dinner.
It gets even more amateurish for Nash's show. With the CD party people out of the way, Nash and Corpusse prepare the stage for their collective performance. It's only 9:30 but there is at least an hour's worth of set-up and sound check left to do. Nash and Corpusse have done many gigs together in the past and they both respect each other's professionalism and preparation. Tonight's set-up has been rushed and everyone is full of anxiety and frustration.
Nash is also aware that there is another opening act, which consists of four suburban kids from 'hip-hop high school' who are 'gonna give us some cool rappin'.
Oh my God, now it's a High School Cafeteria Gig!
Although Nash is appalled that the promoter would allow such a cheesy booking, this White-Bred (typo intended), Wannabe-Cool-Rap-Teenage-Ninja-Turdles are allowed to do their thing on the dance floor, shouting bad rhymes and un-syncopated rhythms over their totally un-original Microsoft Beat-Box sounds. Who in their right mind thinks this is either electronic, art, socially relevant, or original music? They also use swear words, then giggle about it.
Look out Eminem! The Canadians are coming!
Without the slightest concern for any of the other performers' equipment, one of the kids jumps up on the stage, causing Nash to go 'Postal' once again on the promoter. Nash makes the promoter sit on the stage to keep the drunken, irresponsible twits away from his instruments.
Is Nash being too harsh? Think of the consequences. Had any damage been done to the stage equipment, either Nash or Corpusse might not have been able to perform, all because of the juvenile antics of the opening act.
Trying to gather their senses, Corpusse and Nash focus on the intended show. Corpusse and Nash are a team, and the overall effect of the two performances is always bizarre and entertaining.
Corpusse is a monster-poet-ranter-social dramatist, accompanied by Lorenz on Synth and drum machine. Together they make some evil doo-doo.
Tonight, things begin well for Corpusse, but soon Lorenz's keyboard starts crapping out and Corpusse is left to do solo vocal rantings but it's just not the same.
After thirty minutes they cut the set short in disappointment. There is a curse upon this gig, and Nash and Corpusse know it. Is it possible the earlier invasion of the stage had something to do with it?
Nash expects the worst for his own set tonight. What else can go wrong?
The performance goes surprisingly well, but two out of three slide projectors blow their bulbs and Nash plays in semi-darkness for the last three songs. An appropriate end to a frustrating performance in a great room.
The Underground is a professional performance space, with a great stage, sound system, and the best in technical support. Too bad the room is not managed in a way that reflects well on The Drake Hotel. Only if there is a more mature and responsible attitude towards the space, and a professional approach to stage-managing, will they attract the kind of first-class musicians who can fill the room with serious paying fans. Otherwise, it's just kids with a new playground.