In this Crazy Tour Stories segment, the alternative folk band, Birds of Bellwoods, talk about some of their crazy moments from touring. You can check out the feature, after the break.
The few magical and chaotic days we spent in Jasper, Alberta produced some unforgettable stories. We played the music festival there two years in a row, brought back by popular demand. It’s kind of our home away from home, and our Graceland all rolled into one.
Our first tour through we were there for all three days. It was the first time Stevie had really seen a mountain up close and personal. On the drive in we listened to the Fleet Foxes song Montezuma and realized we were all going to die one day and pretended we couldn’t hear each other crying. When we got there, we only made one rule for ourselves – do not get banned from Jasper. Kintaro had broken his leg only a few weeks earlier, which threatened to cancel our trip, but he managed to get by on a pair of crutches and a bottle of Jameson. After three days of partying with the local community, we found that not only had we achieved our goal, and played a set under a double rainbow, but we had become honorary Jasperites.
So the next year we went back. This time we had a tour built around the date, and so on our way, we stopped in at Lake Louise. Again, one of the most majestic places on earth. We climbed all the way up to the top and found an old tea house, apparently built to shelter travelers if the trek was too much to bear. There was a sacred and stunning quietness to the mountain, you could feel not many people were nearby. When we reached the top we decided to sing a Fleet Foxes song for old times sake and to show love for the mountains. As we were singing a girl came out from the tea house, and said in French ‘Are you guys Birds of Bellwoods?’ – we’d been recognized before but never in so remote a place. It was wild. We sang her some songs and shared a couple warm beers and then headed back down feeling pretty cool, and ready to head back to Jasper.
When we got to Jasper, we found that our reputation had gained momentum in our absence. Just as we took the stage the rain parted to reveal, you guessed it, another double rainbow. We wound up playing to a crowd of hundreds and it seemed like they all knew every lyric. It was real special. So that night we really tore it up with the locals, Adrian with probably seventeen taquitos and as many beers in his arms, Chris had so much fun that he thought it would be a good idea to tell a police officer who had stopped him that his name was ‘Randy Lahey’. The cop had apparently seen Trailer Park Boys and was not amused. When we were walking back to the hotel late at night, we came across a beautiful, majestic elk that had wandered into town, just staring right at us in the middle of the street. We wanted to get close but our friend Devon who worked for the festival informed us that we should instead get behind a fence immediately, as it was mating season and this elk was definitely looking to pick a fight. So we got out of there. We came across more elk on the way out of town the next morning.
We’re looking forward to racking up many more tour stories when we drop our album this fall.