September 20th, 2015 was the last night of the Ottawa Folk Festival…er…Cityfolk. With the venue moved to Lansdowne just a mile from my house I had a good time pedalling back and forth at will, and the closing night was one I had been looking forward to, though it ended up being a bit of a bust.
I had just moved to a house that had been a sheesha club for years before being invaded and abused by students for a half-decade longer (I should know – I lived next door for ten years) and everything, and I mean everything had to be cleaned, painted, or replaced. I literally used a chisel to clean the kitchen cupboards, curling 2mm-thick shavings of smoke-drenched sticky ick from the wooden doors and drawers.
Anyway, just as I was heading out to catch Lucinda Williams at the festival my cat knocked over a tub of paint thinner and got a stinky (and perhaps toxic) bath in the process. I had to bath, dry, and monitor my cat and by the time I finished nursing my wounds I had missed my most anticipated set of the night.
When I was confident my cat wasn’t going to die I headed out, catching most of Wilco, a band I have no interest in despite the many accolades from friends and associates who insist I give them another chance, so I always do. But despite the fact that they are all great players and are a band in a niche all their own woe is me: I just can’t get even moderately excited about them. I’m sure their brilliance will dawn on me one day, but this wasn’t that day.
After that I walked into the pavilion for Built To Spill, a group that comes even more highly recommended and one I have even less interest in. I’ll admit I walked in with prejudice, having previously experienced nothing but horrendous sound and oppressive heat in the otherwise great room, so only unbridled brilliance was going to keep me there. And again – despite the protests from all my friends and associates – I was out the door in less than ten minutes.
And so went the closing of this year’s Folk Fest. I think they did a bang-up job and I’m a fan, the previous two paragraphs notwithstanding.