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Meet the Press

O'Reilly's Pub - St. John's, NF - 12.02.00

Some people say that the number seven is lucky. It's ironic then, that my seventh Punters show was the hardest one to get to. After a year without seeing them and with several cancelled shows in my wake it finally looked like I was going to get to see The Punters again. I flew into St. John's with my Dad on Thursday night with the intent to visit some family, see a hockey game and take in two Punters shows at O'Reilly's among other things. Well, wouldn't you know it but we get a snowstorm on Friday. I never even set foot out of the house. So needless to say I didn't see The Punters on Friday night (though they did play). My family knew that I was pretty disappointed so Dad told me that we would hire the plow to drive us downtown on Saturday if we had too. ;o)

The weather on Saturday was much better than the day before and we made it to O'Reilly's without incident. My Dad decided to walk up George St. with me so that he could find the pub when he came back to get me in the wee hours of the morning. I was supposed to meet my cousin at the door but I ended up walking right by her and didn't see her because just as we got to O'Reilly's, Dad said to me "Look who's there" and pointed at the door. Through the glass I could see Larry. Even though I could only see the back of his head I k new it was him.

So of course I opened the door and tried to shoo Dad away but not before he could stick his head in the door and say hello to Larry. *sigh* Fathers… So anyway, Larry recognized me and said hello. He was in a bit of a rush though since the band was due on stage in about 15 minutes and he was just getting there, so I didn't keep him.

I got chastised by my cousin for not seeing her and her boyfriend standing there by the door. So to make up for it I bought the first round of drinks. We chatted for a bit and I found the Cool St. John's Gang from the GBS message board. They're great people and I'm glad I got the chance to meet them all. They were nice enough to take me in when my cousin decided that she and her boyfriend had better go home since it was getting late.

So the band started and I was in a very happy place. They started off their set with Never Been There Before so that was a good omen for the night (I really love that song). At one point I said to my cousin something about taking a picture so I took my camera out of my purse and right at that moment Larry turned around to fix something or to say something to Rich. Would've been the perfect moment for a shameless butt shot if I had taken a picture then (I didn't). When my cousin and I realized it we both cracked up laughing.

They played a few songs that I'd never heard before. I really liked one of them, but I don't know the name. For now I'm calling it "If I Can't Change Your Mind" because that's how the chorus goes. "If I can't change you r mind, no one will." They played it twice during the night so that was cool. They also played She Ain't You, Christmas in the Harbour and When You Close Your Eyes. The last one involved Larry playing the harmonica. It was a bit too country for my liking but what are you going to do, right?

I got a chance to chat briefly with the band in between sets. I was quite pleased to find out that both Chris and Rich had been to my website and really liked it. Chris even told me that he thought that it was better than their official one. And Rich decided that he'd better ask my opinion of him as a drummer since he seemed to think that I was the Punter expert. There's not too much being said about a new album yet but they've been working on some new songs lately so who knows?

A bit of banter for you:
In light of the snowstorm the previous day...
Larry: "Welcome to Snow Job 2000!"

Larry: *half-singing* "I wonder what it's like...not to have to shovel all G-D day..."

Larry: "I spent all day just shovelling myself out of the house, let alone the car. Anyone want to come over for a shovelling party after this?"

After one song (don't know the title but the chorus goes something like "honey, all you do is bring me down") Larry joked that when Placentia separated from Newfoundland and became it's own country that that song would be their national anthem. And once beer drinking was finally recognized as an Olympic sport you'd hear that song being played quite a bit.

Larry: "This is one of Chris' requests. We try to get all of those in to keep him happy."
Chris: *deadpan* "I'm happy now."

Larry: "How are you guys feeling? Last night's crowd was feeling pretty good. And do you know why that was?"
Chris: "Beer."

It was somebody's birthday that night so Larry played a short bit of Happy Birthday and sent it out to "anyone who has a birthday." Earlier in the night I had wished him a happy be-lated birthday since his birthday had been the week before and Larry seemed almost touched that I remembered.

After the show I went to say goodbye to Larry, who was putting his gear away. The two things worth mentioning about this are the setlist and the hug. I saw the setlist on the ground and asked Larry if they needed it purely for the fact that I wanted to know exactly what songs they had played that night. He said that it was his only one but he had more in one of the cases. So I waited for a bit and introduced myself to their manager, Peter MacKenzie. Anyway, Larry leans over then with a setlist and says "I don't know what show this is from but here you go." Me: "Um...thanks." So now I've got this setlist from some random Punters show that I'm not entirely sure what to do with. And I never did find out the names of all the songs they played.

Just as I was about to leave Larry reached out to give me a hug. The scenario here is him on stage (no more than a foot off the ground) and me on the dance floor with a monitor in between us. Since I'm not wearing shoes with big heels on them I have to get up on my tip toes to reach him properly. Well, just as my arms go around Larry, I lose my balance a little bit. I swear, if he had backed up then I would've ended up face first on stage over a monitor. I just hope that he didn't think I was clinging to him for any reason other than to stay vertically upright. And for those who might care, all he smelt like was cigarette smoke. I hate seeing singers who smoke. It seems like such a shame to risk a beautiful voice.

So that was pretty much my Punter night. I have no idea if they're planning any shows in the Maritimes this winter or not but i would definitely travel to see them again. I've said it before and I'll say it again... The Punters rock!

Melissa :o)

Set List
Never Been There Before (2x)
Prohibition Way (2x)
If I Can't Change Your Mind (2x)
She Ain't You (2x?)
Rise With the Sun
P Stands for Paddy
Wonder What It's Like
Candlelight & Wine
Here's To Life
Will You Wait
Brunswick Street
Electric Jigs
Polka! Polka! Polka!
Nancy Whiskey
Bring Me Down
Heave Away
Jolly Jack or Jim Harris
Whiskey in the Jar
Come Dancing
Fishermans' Blues
Christmas in the Harbour
When You Close Your Eyes
Lots of instrumentals

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.


East Coast Tour Dates

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