July 06, 2014
It's been quite a while since I've posted an update. My apologies. Part of the reason for this is that with Facebook I can immediately post what's happening with us. In fact, many times, even when we were in Spain, Daryl would post video or pictures straight from soundcheck and they'd be up in a couple of minutes. However, I do realize that many fans don't have a Facebook account, so I think it's still important to post every month or so....The second reason I haven't sent in an update in awhile is just because I've been so damn busy. This is a good thing, however - it means we're working, and my motto has always been "A working band is a happy band".
In May we released our 13th full length studio CD "Bastard of the Blues," only one week before "Metal on Ice" and two weeks before leaving for a whirlwind tour of Spain.
First the new CD: We were rushing right down to the wire (as usual) to get everything done. There were a couple of hiccups which threw our schedule off by a couple of days, but once again we pulled it off in time. I had a record release party here at Planet Helix with all the usual suspects, and sold about 30 CDs that day. Everyone had a blast, the weather turned out great, and it couldn't have been a better day. The very next weekend I performed with old friends Lee Aaron, Darby Mills of The Headpins, Nick Walsh of Slic Toxic, and Carl Dixon of Coney Hatch at The Opera House in Toronto for Metal on Ice. M.O.I. initially was a book written by Sean Kelly talking about the Canadian hard rock/heavy metal bands from the 80's that influenced his career. The book roared to the top of the Indigo charts and so Coalition Management thought it would be a good idea to have the singers of the bands talked about in the book come together and record a CD of said band's hits to coincide with the book. The CD went out in Walmart Stores across Canada. It was at that point they decided to bring those singers together for one night, and that's how the Metal on Ice Concert came together. It was a wonderful night with lots of good vibes, much like a friendly family reunion. I got a couple of acoustic guitars signed by everyone for my friend Dave Southen to auction off here in London for charity. The first guitar has already sold for over $800.00.
The M.O.I show was on June 10th, and it was only a few days later where we hopped a plane for Barcelona, Spain to play three dates in that beautiful country. We were met at the airport by promoter Robert Mills, who just happened to be an old friend of Lynda's, and driven to our digs at the Apollo Hotel. We had a couple of days to kill before we had to play, so on the next night we went to see Johnny Winters next door, walked down to the Rambles (the main street), explored the market, went shopping, and drank a lot of alcohol. I don't think I've ever seen the guys in such good moods. The weather was gorgeous and the food was out of this world.
Our first gig was at the Salomandra Club in Barcelona. Fans waited outside for autographs and we happily obliged. The next night in Pamplona was the same, only a larger crowd. Our back-up band had built a runway on the front of the stage. Imagine my surprise, when in the first song, as I walked down that runway, the whole crowd started singing "No Rest for the Wicked" with me. What a rush! We ran out of all the merch we had brought over that night-50 CDs and 40 shirts.
Our last date was in Madrid. The city had just won the big soccer match and the whole city was celebrating downtown, which hurt our gig a little bit. Even so, it couldn't dampen our spirits. We played the best we had played on the tour that night, and once again hung out with fans by the stage door and at the bar across the street. It was a warm night full of summer smells, and after the show the band gathered in Kaleb's room to watch fireworks from his window. Everybody felt we were just starting to find our groove and nobody wanted to go home. Unfortunately, the next day they had to do just that, leaving Lynda, myself, and Chris behind, as we were traveling back to Barcelona and staying on for a couple more days.
The very next week after returning home we were scheduled to play "Canadian Invasion Day" in Sioux Falls, S. Dakota for that city's annual RIBFEST with old friends Loverboy, April Wine, and Honeymoon Suite. We got into town a day early and were put up by the organizers at the Sheraton Hotel by the airport. This gig was put together partly by Mike Reno of Loverboy with the promoter Chuck Brennon. A big thank you to Mike! Ribfest had been an annual event for many years in Sioux Falls, but what was different this year is that they moved the event to the fair grounds. The weather cooperated big time and that day broke all attendance records. (15,000) I hung out for a large part of the weekend with Brian Greenway of April Wine, as we're both members of the Masonic Lodge. I also had the good opportunity to meet Dee Snider and slip him one of our new CDs, Rick Springfield, and briefly Steve Percy of Ratt.
THIS UPCOMING WEEK
This week Helix will be performing at the SCENE Music Awards here in London, Ontario. SCENE has strongly supported the band over the years and so when Brett asked us if we would play this year we quickly agreed. Should be fun...
On Friday, July 25th we'll be performing with The Headpins in Truro, Nova Scotia. I've already been receiving a lot of email from fans in regards to this festival gig. Then, on Friday, August 15th we'll be in Spanish, Ontario for Rock n' Roar with Trooper. I'll be interviewed on-air the morning of the gig (8:30A.M.) by Bobby Alexander of The Moose in Elliot Lake. The next weekend we head west, beginning with a date at the Century Casino in Edmonton on Friday, August 22nd. This particular weekend will have it's fair share of driving/flying. On Saturday, August 23rd we'll be up bright and early to hit the road for Lethbridge to play that night at Whoop-Up Days. We have a long history of playing the city, having initially performed there in the late 70's at the infamous Alec Arms. Aw, the memories! (or was it the mammories?-LOL) We have to be in Calgary the next morning to catch a flight to Saskatoon for ROCK THE RIVER with Streetheart & Prism. For anyone that hasn't caught these two bands in a while, I highly recommend it. They both will blow yer socks off.
SEPTEMBER: On September 5th we will be playing in Cambridge, Ontario, which is the home town of both Chris Julke and Fritz. It's for the Cambridge fall fair, so we're expecting a big crowd.
OCTOBER: For the second time this year we will be overseas, this time in Germany, Switzerland, Finland, Sweden, Norway, and possibly Denmark. Here are the dates:
Thursday, October 9th / Garage / Munich, Germany
Friday, October 10th / Rock City - Star Club / Uster, Switzerland
Saturday, October 11th / Paunchy Cats / Lichtenfels, Germany
Sunday, October 12th - In progress
Monday, October 13th - In progress
Tuesday, October 14th - In progress
||Wednesday, October 15th / Rock Cafe St. Pauli / Hamburg, Germany
Friday, October 17th / Backstage Rockbar @ Livingroom / Sandviken, Sweden
Saturday, October 18th / Scandic Swania / Trollhättan, Sweden
Sunday, October 19th / Rockbåten M/S / Harmony, Sweden
Monday, October 20th / In progress / hopefully Denmark
Tuesday, October 21st / On The Rocks / Helsinki, Finland
Wednesday, October 22nd / Harry B. James / Stockholm, Sweden
Thursday, October 23rd / Ritz / Örebro, Sweden
Friday, October 24th / Denim & Leather / Jönköping, Sweden
Saturday, October 25th / Gjerdrum Kulturhus / Gjerdrum, Norway
Upon returning home to Canada we will be picking right back up the very next weekend (Friday, October 31st) at the Newfoundland Club in Cambridge for a big Halloween bash.
Tentative: November 15th / Vancouver
Saturday, November 22nd / The Deerfoot Inn (with Greg Goddovitz) /Calgary, Alberta
Friday, November 28th / Army and Navy Club - Brantford Toy Drive / Brantford, Ontario