We just played to a sold out crowd at The Branch in Kemptville, ON, but there was a dark cloud over the show: our van was dead behind the restaurant.
We had everything loaded in before we realized the van wouldn’t start. Sherman jokingly said it was because of Andrew’s many three point turns trying to fit the 15 passenger van into the tiny loading space. It’s still better than breaking down on the highway somewhere, at least we had made it to the next gig. Unfortunately it was a Friday at 4:00 before we realized we had a problem.
Andrew did what he could, but there was nothing that could be done without a garage. But it was Friday afternoon! Now, anyone that follows the band knows that this wasn’t our first time with van troubles. We were worried that this story was going to end the same way our last tour (and van) ended- us having to cancel a gig and renting a U-Haul. Unfortunately- if the van gave out now we’d have to cancel about ten gigs. We needed some luck on our side.
Here’s how our luck unfolded.
1) There was a garage really close to the restaurant.
2) They couldn’t do anything for us because it was 4:25 and they closed at 4:30.
3) They were open at 8:30 on Saturday morning!
4) Bruce, the owner of The Branch, owns a cube van and said we could use it as we needed. Good to know, just in case. Our next few shows were within an hour of each other around the Ottawa Valley.
5) He also got us in touch with Anda, a lovely lady who sometimes puts up musicians who play at The Branch. Free accommodations while we waited on the van!
6) We used Bruce’s van to get us to and from Anda’s house after our gig. We drove Bruce’s van back to our broken down van the next morning, thinking we were going to have to push it to the garage down the street.
7) Luckily, Andrew The Van Whisperer managed to get a rolling start once we started pushing and drove it down the street to the garage.
8) They ran a test and figured out what part we needed, which Andrew bought at the auto parts shop NEXT DOOR to the garage. They had an opening that morning, so we were back on the road by the time we finished breakfast.
All said and done, it cost us $200.
We got lucky.
We made it to Sharbot Lake for Saturday night’s gig on time.