Barely Illuminating

Lamper, bon vivant & yarn-weaver Kevin Hilliard takes you behind the scenes and sheds a tasteful amber wash all over SLOAN.

Moncton. COULD YOU POSSIBLY HAVE ANY MORE SNOW???? Jeez Louise. We awoke in the morning to what seemed like blizzard conditions. Or as the locals would say, ‘Just another Sunday in February’. Kuddos to our bus driver Bud for getting us there in one piece. And to the folks that run the fixed link to PEI for keeping it open so that we could make the drive happen. Note to self - let’s tour in the summer next time!

The snow continued all day/night getting up to about 30 cms. This poor guy on his park bench could barely read his kindle it was so snowy!

But the Twice Removers could not be stopped. Neither snow, nor rain, nor freezing temeratures can stop these rugged gentlemen of rock. Guys - you are the true heros… along with other actual heros.

Although the streets were essentially empty pre show,

bodies began to emerge yeti-style through the mists of time and by 9PM we had a full house. And that full house got a straight flush of ROCK!

Onward to an exciting day off. We earned it!

Oodle Boodle!
KH
@Kevin Hilliard

PEI. Land of the rising mud. Birthplace of one Chris Murphy!
Awoke on the bus as we were driving over the bridge to the island. No more two hour waits for the ferry. Yeah! But that means no video arcade or mini golf during the wait. Boo! It was a pretty cute view though. Mini icebergs for miles!

Someone MAY have gotten up on the wrong side of the bunk today. Any guesses?

The gig itself was at the Confederation Centre Theatre in Charlottetown. A great venue with an even greater tech staff! Holy moly those guys were enthusiastic and did an amazing job helping us get all of our rock together today. They even moped the stage for us!

Sloan would later go on to mop the stage… with rock!
Onstage at soundcheck - the world’s happiest bassist!

…along with the world’s strongest lighting guy.

There was a star studded lineup this month at the theatre so we were glad just to be rid of Razzle Dazzle Red and all of their BS.

Post gig Mr Andrew Scott took time out to tinkle the ivories while a the rest of us may or may not have inhaled 6 LARGE donairs. Yum! A maritime tradition!

Off to Moncton…

Yabba!
KH
@KevinHilliard

…and we’re back!
After an extended hiatus (I hate us?) the mighty Sloan machine is back up and running. It’s just a small run this time out to the Maritimes for 6 shows in the band’s old stomping grounds-ish.
On the drive out East we had a day off in QC and experienced a delightfully romantic evening together in Quebec City on Valentine’s Day. Just a bunch of dudes together, you know, on a day off. No Biggie. At dinner there were 10 of us - we were the only table NOT a couple…

Onward to the gig! Nestled up against the mighty East River Of Pictou, the first show of this leg was in New Glasgow, NS.

There was quite a buzz in the air once we had everything set up. Turns out ‘the buzz’ was coming directly from the PA. but our crack team of Ryan ‘The Haz’ Haslett and ‘Scuba’ Steve Krecklo dropped the hammer on the situation.

The New Glasgow show saw the debut of the new Twice Removers crew toques! How could we possibly look any better? Voila!

One of of the Twice Removers did a great job setting up an immaculate merch table. Guess who?

Backstage engines were revving up once again. “Jay, how do we play Coax Me again”?

I am the captain of this ship and we’re taking this venue to Cuba!

It was fun to get back in action after a few month layoff, and the band pulled it off just fine, almost like they have been at home rehearsing. Almost. The crowd was ecstatic if not well behaved. They even hung up their coats on the coatrack outside in the hall, Sunday school style. Cute.

Rock was rocked, roll was rolled.

See ya on the Island, wah!
KH
@KevinHilliard

Today’s Episode: “Scuba” Steve Krecklo

Name: Scuba “Steve” Krecklo
Position: Stage and Instrument Technician
Bunk Position: drivers side front bottom

Likes: Ramps, Loaders, Big Stages, Gaff Tape, stewartmacdonald.com, The Source Shop, Welder’s Coffee, Pabst, Late Night Bus Pizza
Dislikes: 2nd Floor Venues, 3rd Floor Venues, Opening Acts
Fave Touring City: Austin, TX
Fave resto to hit on tour: Tie - Skylark Diner and Lounge, Edison, NJ / Salt Lick BBQ, Driftwood, TX

"Scuba" "Steve" is the newest member of the Twice Remover crew. A good lookin’ boy from the outskirts of Toronto, Steve is one of the best musicians in the whole entourage! He can play that guitar like he was ringin’ a bell… Drums too!

Steve’s job includes but is not limited to: tuning guitars, fixing broken amps, restringing guitars, replenishing Patrick’s cider stock on stage, 86ing over zealous fans and generally remaining calm while all others around him are losing it. He is the ‘rock’ to everybody else’s ‘roll’.

Besides being a noted musician, he is what we in showbiz call a ‘foodie’. If there is ever a culinary related question on the bus Steve is sure to have the answer and a kick ass recipe. Yum!

Whenever anybody’s spirits are low Steve is sure to whip out his trusty guitar and serenade anyone within listening range with a heartfelt rendition of ‘Manhole Inspector’.

Steve enjoys long jogs in the morning, a good solid breakfast and sometimes can be seen adding his own selections to the setlist just for kicks.

Scuba Steve “Krecklo” - another one of your award wanting Twice Removers Crew!



Oh Montreal with your bagels, smoked meat and cute girls. If only we had a week to take it all in. Sadly we only had about 12 hours with you this time…

Special guest star on the last night of this leg of the tour was Tommy, Andrew’s dog. It’s about time we had a bus dog!

After getting all set up for the show we noticed a certain piece of equipment that we all agreed should be standard issue at all venues. The ‘instrument persuader’ seems like the kind of thing that would come in handy no mater what the occasion.

The gig being in Quebec, our main man Mike took it upon himself to provide a translated setlist for the band. Although we all thought the job he did was tres bien, one of the local crew said, “This is the worst translation I have ever seen”. C’est dommage indeed.

After another fabulous show…

it was time for us to pack up the carnival, pile into our little clown car and head off into the night. But not before catching one last cat…er, dognap.

Happy trails, y’all.
KH
@Kevin Hilliard

Yo TO, whatup?

The whole gang was stoked to finally be playing a show at home. Biggest and best show of the tour I am going to say!

The day began with the usual setting up of the gear/lazing around. Home game: guess who was doing what? I think you all can guess… Soundman Ryan ‘The Haz’ Haslett was busy building a brand new frankenstein as far as I could tell. Are we now under nuclear attack???

[video not available at press time, stay tuned…]

Uberfans will notice the rare sighing of the mighty ‘Scott Crab’ bass drum decoration, a holdout from the Enchantment Under The Sea dance from a few weeks before.

The show was recorded for posterity (and maybe even for prosperity!) so hopefully one day, my fine reader, you will be able to see and hear exactly what went down. Hint - what went down was a party!

Among the many high points of the night was a surprise appearance by Jennifer Pierce, who you will know was the one person outside of the band to sing on Twice Removed. She did a swell job on both ‘I Can Feel It’ and later during the encore of ‘I Am The Cancer’. Huzzah!

After the show hi-fives were exchanged and backs were mightily slapped. It’s been a long haul since way back in Portland so playing at home and sleeping in your own bed is a wicked cool payoff. Special guest appearance by the one and only Chairman Of Rock, Mr. Pat Steward. He’s a rock legend people - look it up!
There’s nothing more satisfying than making the hometown proud show kick ass Just ask J. Ferguson! Off to Montreal….

Vive la resistance

KH

@kevinhilliard

It seems fitting that after the amount of times ‘Whiskey River/Stay All Night’ by Willie Nelson has been played on the bus this tour that we would wind up playing at a country bar. After making our way through the wilds of suburban Toronto, past all of the giant toilet outlet malls, 

we ended up at the crossroads of the tour in more ways than one. Perched right on the corner of Highway 1 and County Road 50 was The Loretto Tavern. And nothing else. For MIles.

From the time we arrived until the last guitar was loaded out all we heard was country music. It began to drive me insane after about 45 minutes. I checked the jukebox AND the CD rack but nothin’ doin’. All country, all night. The band even walked on to boot scootin’ boogieness.

The show as usual was great if not a bit rowdy. As one gal who got tossed out told security, ‘Sure, I’m hammered but I’m not sh*tfaced’. Well said.

As you can see here the pole onstage was at the perfect angle for all of those huge Jay Ferguson fans.

For the encore our pal and fellow Twice Remover Jay ‘The Coyler’ Coyle was tapped to play the skins during ‘Underwhelmed’. He was far from it!

We got on the bus without further incident.

G’night y’all!
KH
@KevinHilliard

Mayor Vaughn: I don’t think either of one you are familiar with our problems.
Hooper: I think that I am familiar with the fact that you are going to ignore this particular problem until it swims up and BITES YOU ON THE ASS!
Yes. He was still there!

As had happened for the previous two nights, it seemed once again we were being followed around southern Ontario by a torpedo shaped underwater brute. A creature so wicked in nature and stature that we had to seek refuge pre-show in our rock ‘n’ roll submarine and cower in terror. Who or what could save us from such a fate? Patrick’s subaquatic wah-wah pedal?

Chris’ stick spearing skills? 

We were quickly running out of ideas, good or otherwise.


About 19,999 leagues under the sea later…

…there we were with our heads barely above water just treading there with our [*blanks*] in our hands. There was no where to run [swim?] anymore, nowhere to hide! But I had a plan. An awesome plan. The one thing that any good marine biologist knows… is that if you’re trying to make any headway underwater you are gunna need some serious wattage to crank up those lights. How the heck else are you supposed to scare the damn sharks??? Since yours truly was in charge of lights I knew exactly what to do: drop the hammer! So I did.
But no matter. It was not a fair fight. Man versus beast rarely is. We simply couldn’t escape the clutches of the mighty underwater monster! it is said that the sea is a harsh mistress and on this night it was proven to be so. Yarrrrrrrrrrrrr! You win again…. this time.

That’s right ‘Shark Week’ continued in The Forest City, London Ontario. Don’t worry, the irony of ‘Shark Week’ taking place in a city nicknamed after trees was not lost on anyone, band or crew. Luckily Sloan’s guitar tech isn’t just anyone - he’s ‘Scuba’ Steve Krecklo! Finally - the nickname came in handy. Speaking of handy, here is some of his photo handywork now…


Also helpful after such a maritime adventure was the ‘floatation device’ that some quick witted young lass threw onstage, thus saving Patrick’s life.


Afterwards the lucky few who stuck around got to chat with the band and swap old sea shanties. I think a ‘nautical musical tour’ is most certainly in the works.


My personal favorite fan bon mot of the night: ‘You guys sound like a combination of The Beatles meets… John Lennon’. This fan would later go on to try and steal our inflatable dolphin from the stage and claim ‘It’s my dolphin’ right to my face. Upon getting busted she did what any good person would do in that situation - immediately stab and deflate said dolphin. Thanks honey.
I can’t make this stuff up folks it’s just what happens when you go off the deep end…

Splish splash!
KH
@KevinHilliard

Happy Birthday to The Great Scott!


St. Catherines had the pleasure of hosting a birthday party for Andrew and did not disappoint. The whole day was spent scouring the town for just the right gift and celebratory accessories. Where might one find such items? The party store naturally!


After what can only be described as a ‘rock ‘n’ roll party show’ onstage the band and crew retired to the depths of the bus… which was transformed into tonight’s birthday theme: Enchantment Under The Sea! Yes, the shark party from the night before was held over for a second night as the master of ceremonies, Mr. Mike Nelson, decorated the bus in full underwater attire as the band played the show inside. What a knockout job that man did! That’s what two tanks of helium and 75 balloons will do. Naturally we surprised Andrew with a remote controlled shark of his very own to keep. Awwwww.

And as the crowned ‘King Of The Underwater World’, the God of the sea took his throne

Hilarity ensued.

I present to you Sloan (Ft. Neptune).

Blub blub blubbbbbbbbb.

KH
@KevinHilliard

Dear Diary,
It was like an awesome dream. As we loaded in to the lovely Empire Theatre there they were just staring us right in the face. Just off stage left, a collection of items so enticing they could not be resisted. Like chocolate cake to a fat kid they could simply not remain untouched. I am speaking of course of the full set of congas/bongos/timbale that sat there glistening in the glow of blue stage light. What’s that you say lil’ conga - you want to be played onstage tonight? Well, get you and your brothers all tuned up and we’ll see you onstage during the breakdown of Money City Maniacs.
As they say in the maritimes ‘the arse is right outta her now, bye’.  And so it was…



And did you catch that at the end? No, your eyes weren’t deceiving you, that was indeed an inflatable remote control shark onstage.

We found that big guy watching over his tropical brethren and didn’t even consider not playing with him.

I wonder if we’ve seen the last of him?
Patrick Pentland: ‘Do we have a song called ‘Shark Attack’?
Andrew Scott: ‘We will…’

Viva Bellevegas!

KH
@KevinHilliard