The Punters - Tapps - Saint John, NB - 12.03.98
I got to Tapps around 9:00. First thing I noticed was that the place was kind of empty. It never did fill up either. I think at peak there were maybe 30 or 40 people there. Which was too bad because they sounded good that night. So we ordered some food and while we were sitting there I said "I hope more people come." which got misunderstood for "I hope they come." I said I wasn't worried about the band not showing up because there they are. They were walking in the door just as I said this. Larry walked right over to one guy and sat down to chat for a bit. Turns out it was his old roomate in university. They made a couple trips to the bar and the stage in the next half hour. I didn't talk to them then. I'm not sure why. But they kept passing by me and I think I got a smile from Larry at one point.
Anyway, in true Punter form they were running on "Punter time" and started the show at 10:15. They started off with Polka! Polka! Polka!. From the time that they entered the door till the time they got on stage Larry kept shedding clothes. Starting off he was wearing a brown jacket, some sort of black shirt and one of those tight black shirts. By the time he hit the stage he was only wearing the tight black shirt with black leather pants.
They played for about an hour in their first set. I had a table that was right up front so all I saw when I looked at the stage was the band. It was pretty cool, almost like a private concert since there weren't many people there. I'm sure I got a couple looks and smiles from Larry (and maybe Patrick) during the show. Most likely because I was the only one singing along. Not to mention taking pictures. I only got 4 though. Whenever I took a picture I'd get a goofy look from Larry. There are some advantages to not having a lot of people up and dancing in front of you.
So they finished the first set. I decided that I better ambush them while they were all still on stage. :o) I walked up to the stage and Patrick was the first one to notice me so I asked him if they would sign my CD. He seemed rather surprised but said "Sure! Now let me see if I can find a pen." I said "Oh I've got one here" as I haul out my Sharpie marker. Patrick: "Oh look at that, she even has the right kind of pen." :o) I think Larry was the first one to sign it because when he opened up the case he kind of did a double take and said "Wow, I haven't seen one of these in awhile." Turns out I have one of the copies of the independent release of said she couldn't dance and not the new re-release. So after he signed it he introduced himself to me. Same with Patrick and Bob. Brian had disappeared by this point. Larry asked me if I was from here and I said yes but my parents are from Newfoundland. Him, Patrick and Bob seemed to kind of huddle around a bit as if thinking "Oh! A fan!" I asked if I could get a picture and they said sure. But Brian, as aforementioned, was missing so Patrick said that he would go get him. "Larry, you stay here and hold down the fort." To which Larry replied "Ok!" while pretending to block off the stage.
Then my mother came over to take a picture because I wanted to be in it. Surprisingly enough she really likes the Punters too. Larry introduced himself to her and she told him that she was from Carbonear. Larry then tried to guess her last name: "Noel? Garland?" "Nope" "But my guesses were good weren't they?" And they were. He knows his Carbonear names. He told us that this was their 30th day straight of touring. I told him that I didn't know how they can tour like that. To which Larry replied "As long as you don't think about it you can keep going. But once you stop to think about it you're done." I asked Larry at one point if they were selling the debut CD there. He said that he thought they had sold out but to go ask John (tour manager / tech guy). I mentioned that I had seen them on Vicki Gabereau. Larry seemed even more surprised that I had seen it. He asked me how they looked. I said "Oh it looked good!" He told me that they were worried and a bit nervous about it. "You do the same thing you do every night but there are all these cameras around."
So by now Patrick has returned with Brian. So Brian signed my CD while the rest of the guys try to find the best lighting. Larry jumps up on stage to try and turn more lights on but somehow manages to turn off the remaining ones. After he gets those lights on again (turns out they blew a fuse with the extra lights) They finally decide on a spot and strike a pose. Mom takes one and then Larry tells her to take another one just in case. I think Mom was trying to zoom or something because it took a bit and Larry said jokingly "Hurry up, I can't suck my gut in all night." :o)
After the picture Brian took off again, I think Bob was talking with someone else, and Patrick went to talk to his Dad (who was there for the show). Larry asked us if we were going to stay for the rest of the show. Rather dejectedly I told him that I had to go because I had a 9:30 class in the morning. So I thanked him again for signing my CD and everything and then we left. On our way out the door Patrick paused in his conversation to say good-bye.
I did stop and ask John if they had any of the debut CDs but they didn't. And just as I was walking out the door I grabbed a poster off the wall. I think I could easily say that I was the biggest fan there that night. If nothing else I think they got a kick out of me wanting autographs and pictures. It was a fun night, even though it wasn't long enough.
Larry: "It's like the Solid Gold Dancers up here now. Oh, Oh, Oh!
Stayin' alive, stayin' alive."
Larry: "This song is about back when pirates ruled Newfoundland."
Larry: "Folks don't try this at home." (while changing guitars)
Larry: "I guess it's my turn to do all the talking tonight while the rest of the band just pokes fun at me."
Larry: "Get all the people you like Punters stuff this year for Christmas. Hey and for those people you don't like, get it for them anyway. Maybe it'll really annoy them."
Larry: "Everybody's getting Punters stuff from me for Christmas this year. Even Mom. She's getting a tape."
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