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Meet the Press

The Marquee - Halifax, NS - 06.30.01

We arrived at The Marquee a little after 9:00pm and were promptly told by one of the bouncers to go to Hell. Hell's Kitchen that is. It seems that the band was running late and the upstairs of the Marquee wasn't ready yet so we were asked to wait downstairs. Me and my friends found a table and we sat with Lisa and Mark (friends who I'd met earlier in the day). Fiona and Jason (more friends) showed up not long after. Once 9:30pm rolled around we started checking every few minutes to see if we could get upstairs. The band was scheduled for 10:00pm. Around 9:55pm they let us upstairs. There was almost nobody there at first. The place filled up later but for the first bit the big dance floor was completely empty, save for one lone enthusiastic dancer. At 10:15 I decided that the band was running on Punter-time. At 10:30 I figured they were just plain late. They eventually started the show at 11:00pm.

The band kicked off the night with Candlelight & Wine. The music sounded as good as ever. We were treated to several furious fiddle sets, a cover of a Mavericks' song and two relatively new ones, When You Close Your Eyes and If I Can't Change Your Mind. Back in December I mentioned that I found When You Close Your Eyes too country for my liking but the thought never crossed my mind this time around. As I mentioned earlier the dance floor was completely empty during the first set which prompted Larry to comment on how he felt like he was at church, all the people sitting in the back. Near the end of the first set, Larry declared that they were going to open for themselves, so stick around and they'd be back with a big rockin' set.

I think it was also during the first set that Larry told a little story about their equipment. Seems that the gear they had rented wasn't there when they went to pick it up the day of the show. So the band spent the day driving around Halifax trying to find replacements only to find out that their rentals were at The Marquee the whole time, locked in a room downstairs. "So ladies and gentlemen, we are as stunned as we look."

For any who are interested Larry was looking especially good in a teal tshirt, black velvety/velour pants and red, what looked to be, Gazelle sneakers. The rest of the band was in your basic musician black.

One thing that confused Fiona and I was that during the breaks in between songs instead of doing the customary sociable Larry insisted on the crowd raising their glasses and yelling ‘Cheers!' Something just didn't quite sound right about that. I guess I'm just used to the whole ‘Sociable!' thing. But either way, not a big deal.

By the time the second set rolled around Fiona and I decided that it was time to get on the dance floor. So we hauled up a few more friends and let the dancing begin. Over the next 8 or 10 songs I two-stepped, bopped, waltzed and twirled. I even taught my friend Troy how to two-step properly. By the time the guys finished the set and were back for their encore my feet were sore from my shoes. I noticed a few other people had kicked off their shoes and were dancing barefoot. Now, dancing barefoot in a bar is probably not the smartest thing to do but the thought never occurred to me at the time so off came my shoes. The floor wasn't so crowded that I needed to worry about someone stepping on my toes and dancing was a lot easier without having to worry about my shoes coming off (slip-on shoes). I think the band was trying to kill us with their final instrumental set. It was fast and furious and went on for what seemed like forever. We danced till we couldn't dance no more.

After the show Mark and Lisa took off. Not too long after them, Fiona and Jason left. I made Troy and Charles wait a few more minutes because I wanted to say bye to Larry. Chatted for a few moments, gave him some tips on winning over a Saint John crowd, he gave me a hug and that was end of show. Me and my two friends made our way back to our Dalhousie residence room and tried to get some rest before the Big Birthday Bash concert the next day.

Every time I see them this band keeps moving higher and higher up my list. I'm really looking forward to the chance of seeing them again in Newfoundland this summer.

Melissa :o)

Set List (in no particular order)
Candlelight & Wine (2x)
Never Been There Before
Prohibition Way
If I Can't Change Your Mind
Rise With the Sun
P Stands for Paddy
Wonder What It's Like
Here's To Life
Will You Wait
Electric Jigs
Bring Me Down
Heave Away
Whiskey in the Jar
Come Dancing
Fisherman's Blues
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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