Nooze

T.C. Folkpunk

The gig at L'Inspecteur Epingle was amazing. Best audience I've had in at least a decade. Sorry Toronto, but you've been out-classed. The Montrealers' reaction to, and appreciation of the arts in general is miles ahead of the Anglo portion of our little nation. Before the show, I was comparing notes with Matt Lipscombe, and between the two of us we came up with typical reactions to musicians from across the country, which I'll share with you now:

VANCOUVER

Them: So what do you do for a living?

Us: I'm a musician.

Them: Really? Have you played with anybody famous?

TORONTO

Them: So what do you do for a living?

Us: I'm a musician.

Them: That's nice, but what do you do for a living?

MONTREAL

Them: So what do you do for a living?

Us: I'm a musician.

Them: That's fantastique! Where can I get your CD? When's your next gig?!

Another thing that struck me as unique about the gig was the audience's willingness to contribute to the cause when it came time to "pass the hat". Toronto gigs have taught me to dread the passing of the hat. I'm accustomed to most of the punters trying not to make eye contact, or if they do make eye contact, it's with a look of "oh no, he's coming this way and he wants money, which I don't want to give him even though I really enjoyed the show and why couldn't everybody except me work for free and life is so unfair". By contrast, when it came my turn to walk around with the hat at L'Inspecteur Epingle, I had people across the room calling "Timothy! Ici!" while waving a five dollar bill in the air. There's a back room at the pub which houses a billiards table, but it's sort of separate from the front room where the music happens, so I didn't wander back there with the tip hat, thinking that the pool players weren't really part of the music crowd. About twenty minutes after I finished though, an elderly gentleman came from the back room looking for me. He couldn't speak a word of English, but he managed to convey to me that he liked my music, and asked where the tip hat was, because he wanted to drop in a few dollars. Imagine that, somebody came looking for me to give me money for playing music. I thought I was in Oz for a second.

Toronto might be the nation's financial hub, but Montreal has all the riches. Not surprisingly, I'd like to play Montreal again (and again). I'm thinking I'll only play Toronto if Frank Makak will do the show with me. Bonus points if he brings a crowd with him.

Speaking of Frank Makak, I highly recommend his new CD "A Cause Without A Devil". And like Billy Bragg, Frank is one of those performers who just stands there alone with his Telecaster and makes the job look easy. His website is located somewhere around: http://www.frankmakak.com So go to Frank's website or his MySpace page, pretend you're from Montreal and are willing to spend a bit of cash on somebody's artistic endeavour and buy his CD. It's time we Ontarians learned to recognize the value of something rather than just the price of something. Besides, I had to go all the way to Montreal to get a copy, so you're getting off easy.