Having just spent a stint touring Canada, Melbourne 5 piece Darts learned a few lessons about the Great White North, and they’ve been kind enough to share their wisdom.
Touring in a foreign country, you’re bound to learn a lesson or two. Constantly moving around, having a new culture thrust at you from all angles, and engaging with locals through a love of music – it’s a pretty good way to get to know a country very quick.
Our friends Darts, who released one of our favourite records of last year, just finished up a stint of touring in Canada. Playing at the revered Canadian Music Week, the 5 piece performed five shows across three days at some of the most Canadian sounding venues ever – including The Horseshoe Tavern and the Bovine Sex Club. Having never been to the Great White North, we asked Darts to give us the lowdown on all things Canada. Here’s what they learned.
1. CANADIANS, AND DRAKE, LOVE THE TORONTO RAPTORS
We got immediately swept up in the hysteria of the NBA playoffs. It helped that the stadium was across from the street from our apartment. We support the Raptors now. Andrew and I bought hats. Here’s us at Maple Leaf Square celebrating the Game 7 win over… some team. – Angus Ayres
2. CANADIAN HOSPITALITY
The rumours that Canucks are decent humans are true. Every stage manager and venue manager for our showcase gigs all gave us the time of day, despite juggling a bunch of other bands. When we played at The Great Hall (literally a huge hall), the stage manager insisted on giving us a huge green room, gave us a tour of the hidden corridors in the building. And then tried to buy merch off us. Here is a picture of The Great Hall during soundcheck. – Paige X Cho
3. IT’S HARD TO SMOKE IN CANADA
Laws in Canada prevent smoking in outdoor areas at cafes and bars etc which is probably a good thing. But when one of your favourite things to do is sit outside a cafe and enjoy a coffee and a smoke it sucks majorly. So on this day we found some top notch coffee and headed to a nearby park. Turns out smoffees in the park rule, especially when squirrels are frollicking about in the sun. Here, our manager Lauren has spilled her top notch coffee in an attempt to grab a snap of one of the frolickers. – Andrew Ayres
4. OH, POUTINE!
I thought poutine was going to be a weird soup or something, but damn, I was so far off the mark. Fries, gravy, cheese curd (it’s all about the curd), but it doesn’t end there. There’s all kinds of crazy toppings you can try. I know you’re thinking “Lord of the Fries”, but no, It’s so much more. We had some late nights drinking, so when looking for the perfect hangover cure, this was where it’s at. I love that Poutine literally translates to “Hot mess”, as you can see in this pic of my half eaten pulled pork and chipotle number. – Ally Campbell-Smith
5. DAREDEVILS USED TO GO OVER NIAGARA FALLS IN BARRELS
The first person to go over the falls was 63 year-old Annie Taylor who wanted to make some extra cash for her retirement. A couple of days before her stunt, they sent a cat over to test the strength of the wooden barrel (mind you this was in 1901). Both survived, despite bleeding. Unfortunately for Annie, her manager ran off with the barrel and most of her savings were spent on private detectives hired to try and find it. – Jessie Fernandez
Final note from Darts: We’d happily go back to Toronto for Canadian Music Week anytime.