It's off! Eight days before the first date of his North American tour, Paul Weller has blown the whole trip out.
A terse message posted on the Little Splinters chat board by Weller's manager and father John blames "unbelievable costs, which were disastrous!"
"Of fucking course the costs were disastrous," shouts Weller's unimpressed Toronto promoter, Bruce Eaton. "They were travelling with two semis, two buses and they were going to fly his piano here!"
The cancellation should come as no surprise. Weller has blown out tours before, and he was touring North America despite the fact that his record Heliocentric isn't officially out here. What is a bit of a shock is that Weller and his old man hadn't noticed these little details until a little more than a week before.
While father John is hinting at makeup dates in 2001, it would appear the unofficial word that this was to be Weller's last North American tour is official now.
Ted's, Sat, September 30
As the Rheostatics closed out their woodshedding week of shows at Ted's Wrecking Yard with a cover of One More Colour, a handful of new tunes and some old favourites, wrapping up early -- at least for the Rheos -- at 1:30 am, you couldn't help but notice the massive tour bus idling on the sidewalk outside.
Whose could it be?
Most of the Rheos live within walking distance of Ted's, so it wasn't theirs. And it certainly didn't belong to Peaches and Gonzales, who were turning stomachs with their shrill avant-slop downstairs at Barcode. The answer came when the Barcode door was thrown open and Elastica's horrifically dishevelled and barely upright Justine Frischmann staggered out, helped by a handler yet still barely able to negotiate the 4 feet between the club door and the steps of her bus.
Ah, the glamorous life of an international rock star.
Opera House, Sun, October 1
Subjects of the mullethead kingdom are nothing if not loyal, so it was to a full Opera House that desert dogs Queens of the Stone Age roared Sunday, despite having done the same barely six weeks ago at Lee's Palace.
Offering a similar meat-and-potatoes set, leader Josh Homme and band scorched the joint with blistering guitar noise. But strangely, far fewer fists were sent heavenward by the crowd this time.
Lord knows the band was doing fine, presumably owing to the 96 beers and huge bottles of vodka and Jack Daniels requested in their rider. As for the preponderance of hotties in the house, thank Brit music glossy Q, which staged a photo shoot with QOTSA earlier at the Brass Rail peeler bar. Viva la rock and roll!
NOW Lounge, Sat, September 30
Despite the gorgeous fall sunshine beaming outside, a generous clutch of people gathered mid-afternoon in the NOW Lounge to absorb the dour musings of Neil Halstead and Mojave 3 over chicken wraps and Heinekens.
While dishes and flatware clattered in the background -- very nearly drowning out the performers -- Halstead, backing singer Rachel Goswell, et al, cherry-picked sad-sack anthems from Mojave 3's back catalogue, all of which were met with breathless approval.
Why, given how well suited Mojave 3's tunes are to simple acoustic presentations, does the group even bother to play rock clubs, as they did later at a sold-out Horseshoe show? Compared to the effort to be heard above the din of chatty folks stoked on beer, a little plate-scraping is a cakewalk. Still, love-lorn bedsit pop at its finest.