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The Punters - Tapps - Saint John, NB - 02.06.99

I saw the Punters last night at Tapps here in Saint John. I had been looking forward to this for weeks. After a week with 6 assignments and a midterm I really needed a night out. I wouldn't be disappointed.

I managed to convince about 14 people to go to the show that night. Me and 3 of my friends got to Tapps around 8:45 and since the bar was still pretty empty so we had no trouble getting a table right up front. Unlike last time I saw them, the band was already there setting up. Seems they must have arrived in town later than expected. One time when I was walking back to my table I passed by Larry. He said Hi to me and asked me how I was doing. Now I wasn't sure if he remembered me from the last time or not. Wishful thinking I guess but I was to find out later that him and Pat both did remember me.

They started the show at about 10:15pm. 45min later than the posters advertised and 15min later than I expected. I chalk it all up to them running on "Punter time". They kicked off the show with Polka! Polka! Polka! I think this is their standard opening. Then after a little introduction they went into Banks of Newfoundland. The crowd was fairly quiet for most of the first set. Larry felt the need to comment on this fact a couple of times. "I saw you guys wolfing down those nachos before the show. So now you're digesting them and that's why you're not up dancing. Yeah, that must be it." Funny thing is, I think only my table was eating nachos before the show. They seemed to be plagued with sound problems throughout the night. Either Pat's fiddle would konk out or we'd lose the vocal mics and one time all the speakers dyed and we were left with just the monitors. But despite the problems they sounded great.

After the first set I went up to talk to them. I was also hoping to get some more pictures (which I did). When I approached them I was greeted with some "Hi! How've you been?"s. They remembered me! Not that big a deal I 'spose but still... Larry said that he had forgotten my name since the last time we met and when I told him he seemed to do the "Oh yes. Now I remember" thing. Pat stuck around to sign my poster and pose for another picture. Actually come to think of it Pat greeted me with a "Hi! How've you been?" while Larry said "Let me guess, you're leaving early. You're always leaving early." in a joking tone. See, the last show I had to leave after the first set. They seemed a little rushed or something so I decided not to hold him up with questions. I figured I'd talk to them again after the show.

After a little while they started the second set. I believe they played Polka! Polka! Polka! again. For the entire second set there were people up dancing. Larry figured that this was due to the fact that we had all digested our nachos and were now free to move. And he decided to tell us this too. During the break I had told Larry that I brought about 14 people with me, all Newfoundlanders. I think he said something like "Oh that's great because every 14th one is free." Anyway during the second set he sent a song out to us.

There were fewer sound problems in the 2nd set. My friends dragged me up to dance for the last 4 or 5 numbers. I say dragged because I'm not exactly your "get up and dance in front of a large crowd" type of person. But it was FUN! Probably the best workout I've had in awhile. :o) And it wasn't so much people all dancing in groups as people dancing all facing the band. It was great!

After the show I hung around and chatted with Larry for a bit. We talked about the new album, MuchEast, the ECMAs, the internet and stuff. Larry asked me to put in a good word for them at UNBSJ because he said they'd like to play there sometime. We must've talked for about 10 or 15min I guess.

It was just a wonderful show all in all. I never did find Bob to sign my poster. Oh well. I'll get him next time. Can't wait for them to come back to Saint John. I'm hoping for maybe sometime in April/May.

Quotable Quotes

Larry: "We're going to play a polka now. People think when we say polka that we're going to haul out the old piano accordian and play some Lawrence Welk."
At this point Pat starts playing something hokey on his fiddle and Larry starts doing the bird dance.

Larry: "Everybody raise your glass and have a toast."
Somebody yells out Sociable!
Larry: "Or if you want you can turn your back to the person next to you and have an anti-sociable. We like to do things different here."

Larry: "Ok, ok. I'm going to stop for a minute now and mention that we have CDs for sale down back. I'm doing this now because I ususally forget and the other guys get mad at me. So. CDs are on sale at the back.", looking rather pleased with himself.

Larry: "Oh come on. That sucked! We're going to try it again until you get it right."
When the crowd wouldn't sing the Woo-hoo part in Fisherman's Blues.
Larry: "Oh wicked! A few more rehearsals and the Bourbon Tabernacle Choir would have nothing on you."
After the crowd finally sang the line. This was about the 5th or 6th try.

Larry: "Since you did such a good job before we going to get you to sing again. You're going to sing whether you like it or not. This song's in the key of A. The key of the people."

Larry: "I saw you guys wolfing down those nachos before the show. So now you're digesting them and that's why you're not up dancing. Yeah, that must be it."

Somebody yelled out for them to sing Barrett's Privateers
Larry: "We don't do that one. We had to stop singing that one when I lost weight. Once I got down below 250 we had to stop. I mean if you don't look the part you just can't pull it off. We're just not big enough to sing that one."

Somebody yelled out for them to sing Peter Street
Larry: "We're not big enough to do that one either."

Larry: "Next we're going to do a song off the CD..."
A person or two let a Whoo Hoo! at this
Larry: "Ahh a fan. Nice to know that someone out there knows we're alive."

Larry: "We have a video out for this next song. You may have seen it on MuchMusic if you're an insomniac or just like to stay up late. But I swear it's been played.", referring to the video for Reena.

After Kelligrew's Soiree
Larry: "If that last song didn't make any sense to you don't worry, we don't get it either. Though Patrick will be available after the show for translations."

New CD Ready
Fisherman's Blues, the 4th CD from The Punters, is now available. On this CD the band celebrates their traditional roots and we finally hear a song from Pat.


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