September 10th @ Free Times Café

Despite the ubiquitous references in all manner of TV shows and movies, I was never asked, on my first day back at school, what I did over my summer vacation. In fact, I don’t ever recall a teacher ever showing the slightest interest in any aspect of my life outside of school. Perhaps others of you actually had a “what I did on my summer vacation” experience but not me. I don’t think I missed anything, but I thought I’d use this occasion to tell you, dear readers, one of the things I did this summer.

Over the past few months, I spent some time contemplating the difficult and challenging question of determining the essence of Gordon’s Acoustic Living Room – the band that I am a member of. One of the reasons that I had this opportunity was that the band took a hiatus over the summer and so I could ponder these bigger questions as opposed to how to play an A7sus chord on the mandolin, the sort of practical question that often take up time as we prepare for our gigs.

As regular readers of these missives will know, and as those who have actually seen us live or on video can attest, we are, when we are at full strength, a 10-piece ensemble. But we are also nothing if not flexible, and so on occasion we have operated as a nine, eight, seven and even on occasion, a six-piece group. During my contemplative time I pondered the question “Is there a number below which the Living Room would no longer be the Living Room, and if so what would that number be?” To take it to the extreme, if one member of the band was doing a solo show, could that be seen as a Gordon’s Acoustic Living Room show? What about if one member of the band did a show with nine other people, none of whom were members of the band, could that 10-piece group be the Living Room or would it be something else entirely? These are weighty questions.

One reason I was thinking about these issues is because at our upcoming show on Sunday, September 10th, yes the second not the third Sunday of the month, we will be performing as a six piece with a special guest. And no, the special guest won’t be Sting, even though he is playing in Toronto this week. I don’t want to get into the complicated history we have with Sting, there is a non-disclosure agreement in place and I may have said too much already.

The other reason I’ve been thinking about the essence of the band is because one of the people who will not be present is Rory Gus Sinclair – our bagpipe player. As far as I know, this will be the first gig in our 53-year or so history where Gus will not be present. Don’t worry, he’s perfectly fine, he’s just decided to take a few months to travel across Canada and the US with Mary, his partner. It’s kind of an Easy Rider thing but with a camper van rather than motorcycles and also a happier ending. Gus’s current exploits are further proof, if any was needed, that 70 is indeed the new 20.

What this means is that there will be no bagpipes played at our show, which will be a first for the Living Room. I want to reassure folks that there will be at least one pipe tune played, but it won’t be played on the bagpipes (something that I personally think is a great leap forward).

There are a couple other things about the show that I want to alert people to. It will, of course, be at the legendary Free Times Café (College just west of Spadina). Due to a film festival event being held at the Free Times, doors for the show won’t be opening until just before eight. We’ll get started around 8:15 and don’t worry, it will all wrap up before 11. And because of all these changes, there will be no cover.

Hope to see you there.


P.S. For those who feel a Living Room show isn’t really a Living Room show without the bagpipes, Gus has agreed to play a medley of pipe tunes on Sunday at 8 pm Eastern Time wherever the hell he is, just as if he were at the Free Times – and it’s possible that if he’s a only five or six hundred kilometres away, and you listen real hard, you might be able to hear them.

September 10th Set List:
Set #1: Set #2:
Setting Course For Lewis
Barometer Soup
I Go To Pieces
Word For Sky
Something Stupid
Slow Dancer
Pair Of Brown Eyes
Carefree Highway
One After 909
Lucky Now
Night Rider’s Lament
Hank Williams Tonight
Country Squall
Girl In The Transparent Dress
Sucks To Be Me
California Stars
Down Where The Drunkards Roll
Yellow Submarine