Eviction and Evacuation
For myself, 2018 began with an eviction notice. Actually, with six eviction notices and a bailiff who harassed me by mail, e-mail, parcel service, and finally face-to-face. The landlords are gutting the apartments they’ve wilfully watched erode over the years and replacing them with shiny new spaces at shiny new prices. A common narrative in my neighbourhood these days – but that’s another story.
2017 ended with my bathroom sink falling off the wall. Yes, falling off the wall – it took seven days and some choice language to get a plumber into the place. This week the toilet pipes cracked. The waters are revolting and it’s time to react.
Three years ago, I had applied for jobs teaching English in a number of countries around the world and was choosing between my top two when I got an e-mail from DJ Champion’s manager asking me if I wanted to meet Maxime. The two came to the pub where I had a musical residence at the time to watch me play. At the end of my two sets, after I had put the tables back into place and settled into my after-gig pint, they asked me to sing with Champion and his G-Strings at Festival de la Poutine in Drummondville, QC, at the end of that summer. The show was on the same day I was meant to be packing up my life and leaving for a year. I chose music. The festival was fantastic – my first time in front of a crowd of thousands – and a few months later I was in the studio with Maxime recording Best Seller.
The past two years I’ve spent touring with the band, playing galas, festivals, TV shows and playing solo gigs in between. It has been fantastic. I know I made the right choice and I’ve loved every town I’ve discovered, every beautiful musician I’ve had the sweet pleasure of playing with and the new friends I’ve made. But there’s that itch. That part of me that has had an eye on the horizon – and let’s be honest – the part of me that wants to get the hell away from Montreal winter for a short reprieve.
Last fall, I went to Toronto for two weeks to play some gigs and open mic nights and to try throwing myself into a new musical community. It was a great experience, but I still wanted to go further. One time while I was busking in Carré St. Louis and a young man with a lovely smile came up to me and said, “You are so lucky. You can go anywhere in the world and do this thing that you love.” This interaction has been in my head since. I can go anywhere and try, so why don’t I?
I’ve got some things to figure out this year – where will I live when my lease is up? Where will I take my songs next – who can I get to play with me? How do I want these pieces to grow? What’s my next move? But first, I’ve got an itch to scratch. I have got to get out of my comfort zone again.
And so, it is with great anticipation (and a couple jitters) that I tell you I’m getting on an airplane on February 5th and I won’t be back until March 5th. My plane lands in London, England and returns from Dublin, Ireland. I have two gigs booked in London, so far and I’m going to fill the month with gigs, open mic nights, adventures, new sights, soggy temperatures and hopefully a couple of new songs.
So if you have some friends in the UK and Ireland, send them to my facebook page so they can come to a show. If you have some tips about what to see, who to hear, and where to dance or stare at stars, drop me a line. Check back in on this blog to follow me on my journeys. See new sights with me on my instagram account. And as always, watch me put it all out in the music on my youtube page. My landlords can’t unsettle me if I unsettle myself first. I wish you all a 2018 of the best of the old and the even better new. I’ll be back in March to share stories and songs. Cheers to upsetting old habits. Here’s to the glorious unexpected.