There’s a modest crowd and some of them are sitting and just sort of hanging out and there’s enough space and room that they have folding chairs for folks and there’s older folks here just for the free music.
“Hi everyone I’m Jem and We’re Starlight Butterfly and we’re really happy to be here at our first Fall Fair. We’re going to play some covers and some of our own stuff this afternoon and hopefully you’ll all come around for our show later tonight.”
We start playing and I step to the microphone. “Here’s one of ours, it’s called Everything.”
*Everything* By Starlight Butterfly.
The crowd likes it and it’s definitely fun and really different being up on this stage and we’re a good ten or twelve feet up and there’s a lot more room to move around up here where it’s made for bands bigger than us and then there’s this much bigger and better sound system that we’re working with and we’re playing in daylight too.
A whole different experience right down to hot the heat is different up here because we’re under a canopy but we’re still pretty much under open sky.
And the crowd’s different too with young couples with some young kids and they’re taking breaks from taking them around and there’s a lot of older folks there too just sort of doing the same thing or soaking up the sun while they get to listen to some music.
We go from that to *Life in a Northern Town* By Dream Academy which has that sort of old rock kind of feeling and it’s a great lead up into doing some Tom Cochrane with his *Big League*
Always a popular song when it comes to playing to a Canadian Crowd.
We go from that into the slower rendition of *Forever and Always* By Starlight Butterfly and then we slip from that into *Summer Side of Life* By Gordon Lightfoot.
That goes over pretty well with folks moving some with the music and lots of foot tapping and I let that lead us into me going to the keyboards and Brooklyn picking up the acoustic and then playing *Someday* By Steve Earle.
And yeah sure it’s an American tune but the words and the style hit chords in people up here a lot especially the first of the song and I’m just playing and so is Brooklyn and it’s Raven that’s singing.
It’s a good soulful tune that leads well into *Carousel* By Starlight Butterfly and from that into *Never Enough* By Starlight Butterfly and we finish out set by doing *Please don’t Go* By Starlight Butterfly.
Hello, good morning …
You’re beautiful …
And I know you don’t know me well.
You’re soulful …
You take the pain away …
You brighten up my days …
I know …
You don’t know me well …
But your laugh, it makes me smile.
I see sunshine in your eyes …
Please … … Don’t go away …
I need to know you better.
I need your smile in my life girl.
Oh that’s not true …
I need more … I need you …
Oh I need you …
Are you having second thoughts?
Are you wondering if I’m just …
Too much trouble …
I know … …
I’m not what you signed up for …
But who’d sign up for this kind of crazy …
Who could take me every day girl …
Hello … good morning …
Do you really think I’m beautiful …
Did you really say I’m …
Worth it …
I know …
I’m sorry that I crying …
And no I can’t stop smiling …
They’ve never said that …
I’m worth it …
I’ve never heard it …
Until you did …
I Love you …
You Take away my pain girl.
And I’ll love you everyday girl …
And there’s cheers from some of the folks there and we attracted a few new folks that came and stopped to listen to us and it was about twenty folks or so and we Wave and do our bows and as they’re doing that I plug.
“Hey this was great and we’ll be doing this time all week long for the fair, if you like our stuff we’re on Itunes and you can come by and chat and talk with us and get some of our stuff. We’ll be back tonight at midnight coming on right after another local hit group Kisses and Thorns!”
I pass the mic to the MC and we head down and Mike’s there with lemonade slushies from the carnival and we have a sort of mini-celebration just enjoying the vibe while talking to people on the way back to our booth where se stow our stuff and head out to grab some food.
We hit the Snack-trucks and they have two of them going well one’s like a food truck and the other one is that concession tow stand that you used to see everywhere and Mike and Brooklyn tell us what they want and they head off to look at some of the baking tables and Kimmie squeals and Max is there with his daughter and his Mom by the look of it and they’re holding a couple of picnic tables for us that we all move together end to end like one big table.
It’s one of those great moments catching me out of time.
Still running high off the stage, energy drinks still sort of going and the greatness was last night and this morning still lingering while we wait in line for our turn at the snack trucks and there’s still sunshine and it’s actually still sort of warm and I’m sipping the lemonade slush while watching kids and families on rides and playing games with the lake wide open behind us.
I lean on Rayne and take a moment just to close my eyes and feel it all and soak all of this in.
We get up to the Snack-cart and we order for everyone with family sized fries and a large order of chili fried with the onions and the cheese on it and two orders of onion rings and then burgers, sliders, and hot dogs.
I like the burgers, they’re big square patties but they’re like really thin and they cook them really fast on a flat top and they do salt and pepper on each and then it’s all according to the menu stuff in combinations with stuff like the veggies which are all super thin and the lettuce shredded like McDonald's and there’s choices of sauces too.
I get a double patty works which is great with a melty slice of cheese and then there’s russian dressing and all the trimmings. I get both kinds of pickles though the dill slices and the sweet slices.
We pay for everyone’s as a band gesture even Max’s and his Mom’s which goes over really well.
Darlene who’s Max’s mom says. “Wow thanks girl that’s really nice of you.”
I beam at Max as we sit and he’s already blushing because of that. “Well it’s what goes around comes around Mrs. Williams. Max has helped us out without much of a thought of it being out of his way a whole bunch of times so this is just good karma.”
She looks at him with this look that’s...it’s that parental happy look when their kid does something pretty stand up.
He blushes more.
She grins and ruffles his hair into a mess. “Call me Darlene.”
That’s when we go around with the introductions and then Dad and Uncle Mitch show up from another part of the food area with a big cardboard beer/pop flat of corn on the cob wrapped in tin foil and hot off of the grill.
Which goes over really well.
Most of us like it and Kimmie’s never actually had it before.
Which does have me look at her. “You’ve never had corn on the cob before…?”
She shakes her head. “Nope, it always looked fun and stuff but that’d require my parents to stop and actually do stuff like regular folks and admit that the world exists past our condo and their work and our schools.”
Dad’s like. “Not even company barbeques?”
Kimmie makes a face. “Nope, mom would pitch a massive yelling in Japanese fit is we did anything as messy as this or close to it.”
I look at Carmen because her life was really restricted and I’m kinda looking in horror as she’s rolling her cob in ketchup on a paper plate with a lot of pepper.
She’s looking at us. “What?”
Molly’s like. “Eeeww gross.”
I say. “You look like you know what you’re doing.”
She nods. “Corn’s big home and it was one of those things that mom still liked plus as long as we didn’t slather it in butter like Canadians do she was okay with it.”
Mike’s like. “Yeah but ketchup?”
She grins. “Yeah it’s a thing from home.”
I had to say. “I thought you did the lime and the cheese stuff.”
She nods. “Yeah some do but that’s like a more Mexican thing. I’m not sure where the ketchup thing came from down home but they eat it like this home.”
She offers me some and I try it and it’s… “Wow that’s disgusting…”
Which makes her laugh and we all try it and of course Janey loves it being a kid and Kimmie says that it wasn’t bad.
After we let the food settle we head off to the rides and the midway to go and see things and we’re also doing footage for our videos and getting good scenes but we’re also talking to folks about their rides and their games and how long they do this, how long their family has done the whole working the rides thing.
And that turns out to be generational too.
I mean these rides are levers and pedals and not all the automated buttons and things so there’s this element of an actual hand on the wheel as it were.
There’s an art to running a ride, spinning a car or a seat just so for people and even in how they treat people.
I’m even jotting down thoughts like this too so we can add them in either as narration or subtitles.
And it’s not just the rides.
Though they’re fun.
I hadn’t done these for a few years caught in that trap of feeling to grown up to go out to the fair by myself.
And well fear too...Adam and friends would have had me for sure here.
But right now it’s pretty awesome.
Especially doing this with Rayne.
And kissing and necking and just a lot of holding hands and having fun.
Plus the ride guys are pretty awesome letting us take some pictures from the rides.
We’re all the way busy and having fun all the way to a little bit past suppertime and after we’re making our way back to our booth and doing things there and selling stuff and talking to people.
Mike and Molly are both sort of out of the way editing video stuff for us and just getting things started and Kimmie and Rayne and I are giving lessons in between just hanging with folks and as it gets later and later we’re doing more and more make-up stage faces in prep before our show tonight.
We close things up with most of our stuff pretty sold out and we head to the backstage area and there we meet up again with Dad and Uncle Mitch and Billy and Davey are there along with Danny and Kate Sawyer and Lorna McAlister and a whole bunch of others and we’re there actually pretty early so we end up watching Montreal Raildogs which is a sort of rap/hip hop group and they are from town but two of the band members are from Montreal I guess and the name’s a thing based off of back when they lived there and the kids hung out by the railyards and the subways.
They’re not have bad and kinda have a skater vibe thing going on and they mix up some street french with their lyrics which had Rayne nodding and I’m kinda lost. I speak a little but they’re so fast that I’m missing it.
But they do this end song that was actually pretty good and that’s like a hip hop version of Big League a remix that is really good mix with *Lose Yourself* By Eminem.
It’s very much spot on with this whole commentary of making it big, big and off the streets, into the big league, out of the small towns or the crappy neighborhoods and they’re really just jammin it out.
And the crowd that’s here really digs the heck out of it too and are bumping hard with the tunes as we’re in the latest parts of the night and the shows are the last attractions of the night.
The Nunchuck Girls are on next and they’re an all girl kind of punk band with a lot of heavy drumming and speed guitar and they’re playing a mix of their own tunes and some covers and they’re pretty good. Lots of high energy and they do really well even when they flub a little they recover good.
I see K&T show up with their stuff and they’re watching and getting ready and I give them a nod and Summer gives us the cold shoulder of course but Hannah comes over and she shakes a few hands with us and smiles at me.
“I heard you girls played this afternoon?” she sort of give Lorna a look while she sort of poses it as a question.
I nod. “The fair gave us a short spot.”
Lorna says. “The slot was sponsored up so The Fair made money off of it.”
She nods but looks thoughtful. “That’s cool we’re not really an afternoon kind of band anyways but it’s cool that we’ve got a longer night spot.”
And she’s looking at Lorna who nods. “K&T and Starlight Butterfly have the longest and latest spots.”
Summer sooooo looks like she’s going to say something.
Hannah just gives her a look and then smiles at us. “Well like I said we’re more a night band and that’s good for us with like recovery times so we’re not going to like get burned out and stuff. And...I best get ready too, you girls have a great set.”
She leaves and she’s definitely having words with Summer and I look at Lorna. “We were sponsored?”
She shrugs. “Sort of, truth is you’re good for business and can play for both kinds of crowd so we did put you girls into both slots.”
I look at her. “Summer’s pissed.”
Lorna shrugs. “She’s also difficult to work with and it’s not like K&T is actively working with The Fair or The Chamber of Commerce.”
“So we’re getting special treatment? Because we shouldn’t.” I say.
She shrugs. “Other than a couple of the bigger country and bluegrass groups that we’re playing here during the day and afternoon really Starlight Butterfly is our headline act. The internet traffic that you’re generating is pretty big. Hell Angel there are people that I’ve heard that are coming to town to stay over just to come to see you girls play tonight and Friday and Saturday nights.”
I blink. “Really?”
She nods. “Yes and I’ve been asking around and keeping track.”
“And you’re still media hot from the charity stuff so there’s folk that want to see you during the day.”
Jan and Kim Brewer are there having come over at one point. “It’s okay to be successful Angel, we’re getting good site traffic from having you girls for Halloween night.”
Okay I’m smiling at that and the girls are too. “Alright, okay I just didn’t want problems with Summer and the others.”
There’s some nodding all the way around with that and I see K&T starting up with a lot of intensity as they start everyone off with them covering *TnT* By AC/DC.
They do a really good cover of it with Summer able to get that woman kind of scream-note like AC/DC does. I got to admit Summer has a crazy good voice to go with her looks...and her guy bandmates with the Oi stuff is a good band choice.
I listen and then look at The Brewers and then at Danny and Kate then back at the Brewers. “How’d you like to have a queer space carnival?”
Both sets of them look at me and Kim asks. “Pardon?”
I gesture at Danny. “This is Danny Sawyer of Sawyer funrides here at the midway. I thought that given the big industrial parking lot of club that we could since it’s a girls night Halloween bash that you could actually do some rides all set up and some games and you could have this whole fair just for the crowd that’s coming for the show.”
I look at Danny. “Could you do it?”
He looks a little surprised and he nods. “Anything seriously, we’re a carnival we have always been one of those outsider deals anyway.”
Jan looks at him. “No qualms about rides and games for gay kids and lesbians?”
Danny shakes his head. “Honestly no, we can do that.”
Kim says. “Some of the bigots won’t like you doing that.”
Kate says. “Oh fuck that we don’t care, if two people want to hold hands and kiss and like be the same sex on our rides they can.”
Lorna’s looking at them and at me… she looks like she’s got a lump in her throat.
I look at the Brewers. “So what do you think? Set up the rides and games and have people having a whole other fun date experience and then open the club for the show?”
Jan and Kim are both looking at me and then at Danny. “How much?”
He says. “Honestly we just usually only ask for the permit costs to be covered and we take our profit from the games and tickets.”
They nod. “Deal!” and they seem pretty excited.
Danny looks at me. “We’ll talk fees for this?”
I nod and the Brewers are looking at me. “He’s dealing through you?”
I nod. “We’re trying it out, after all Sawyer’s Funrides is entertainment and we’re not just a band.”
Jan shakes her head and smiles a little. “You’re into everything aren’t you?”
I shrug. “He’s here all week for Fall Fair and you’re show’s pretty much right on top of that so that’s both easy and it’s something that’s really new here.”
Kim nods. “I don’t think anyone’s ever done that?”
I shrug. “That was another thing that I kind of thought of too and hit the websites and some of the community stuff for the LGBT and get the word out and we could bring in a bigger crowd for both.”
They’re nodding and so is Lorna.
I look at the brewers. “And Danny’s pretty local so this in theory if it works could so become a yearly deal since you all do a bash every Halloween right.”
Jan grins. “Yeah it’s like queer Christmas.”
I’m grinning. “So there we go, we can try it all out and we can see if it’s something that will work out as a thing yearly.”
Lorna wipes at her eyes really quick and yeah we’ve noticed, it’s pretty obvies that she’s either in the closet or she’s like newly out. She says. “I’ll get the permit, this could be a big deal.”
Jan looks at her. “And the bigot squads?”
Lorna shakes her head. “It’ll get squashed with the money potential. Stratford’s not just famous for it’s cooking school or its Theater it’s the gay marriage capital of Ontario and that’s made a lot of spin off money for the town. I’m going to push the hell out of that.”
We’re shaking hands all the way around and Summer and K&T are hitting things really good with a lot of their songs mixed into their harder covers and they have the crowd really going too like they’ve picked up a lot more fans than I thought that they had.
They finish from *Edge of my seat* By Kisses and Thorns into…
Summer steps up to the mic. “Alright are you ready to hear something brand new! Well it’s not quite brand new a few hundred fans and friends got to hear it for the very, very first time last night but do ya still wanna hear it!?”
There’s a lot of cheers and screams.
Then she pulls off her shirt and she’s just in a really hot looking bra.
“Right the fuck on!” she yells into the mic. “Here’s Running Hot!”
*Running Hot* By Kisses & Thorns.
“Burn me blue.”
“Like high octane…!”
“You make me zoom!”
“You’re a five speed!”
“Red hot chick!”
“And you got me…...! Running Hot!”
(Chorus) “You’ve got me burning inside!”
“As you take me for the ride…!”
“Your mouth on mine!”
“And Revving, and revving, and revving...OH!”
“You got me Running Hot!”
“You’re a five speed!”
“Red hot chick!”
“Oh, oh, oh like Gasoline…!”
“You’re a five speed!”
“Red hot chick!”
“And I’m revving and rumbling and shakin and vibin as you drive me, drive me, drive me…...oh...oh baby...just drive me.”
“So, so, so...fuckin hot…YEAH!”
…...I’m honestly kind of blown away.
This was good, this was really, really good and it’s easy to learn and it’s really, really catchy too which had the crowd learning it fast and that’s helped out a lot by there being people that heard this last night at wherever they played for a couple of hundred people.
We’re all kinda stunned really.
Kimmie is staring hard like the rest of us but gets out a “Holy...fuck.”
I’m looking at Rayne and she’s got this sort of wistful sad but happy kinda smile going. “When she’s good, she’s really good...and look.” (Sniffle.)
I look over and Summer’s kissing Hannah in front of everyone on stage….hungry and over and over kisses and she only breaks it to say really sultry like into the mic.
“My driver everyone...and the songwriter…”
Yeah okay jaws dropped.
I look at everyone and take a breath and step out enough and do the two finger whistle in my mouth and whistle cheer them on then start clapping and i start yelling.
“Another lap! Sing it again!”
I start clapping for them and saying in more and more until the crowd picks it up and the girls are too in between Rayne, Brooklyn and Kimmie wiping tears from their eyes.
Good is good...We all need to do better.
I’ve no problem starting that.
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