Saturday, September 10, 2011

Trip to Cumberland, BC, to see No Means No and Ford Pier

We took a short road trip up to Cumberland for a taste of the big city, a rare chance to enjoy a couple of rock bands from Vancouver we knew well from the old days. Cumberland is about an hour north of Parksville, or an hour and a half from the Departure Bay Ferry Terminal, but unlike its sister cities, Courtenay and Comox, it's inland off the highway. It's an old coal mining town with a long history and a quaint old-timey feel.

We started off at the Fanny Bay Inn, or FBI as it's known to the locals. My companion had a half dozen oysters on the half shell and a seafood wrap, and I couldn't pass up the $13.95 baron of beef buffet with real Yorkshire pudding and a spicy horseradish. It was a beautiful late summer evening so we ate in the outside patio yard with a view of the Strait.

Cumberland has a more youthful population than does the town where I'm from, so they tend to get more original touring acts, including the feature this week of No Means No with the Ford Pier Vengeance Trio. The Waverley is a great bar for music, a nice warm wooden room with decent sound and delicious and cold craft and Island beers, including Philips Blue Buck and Tree Brewing's Thirsty Beaver at a reasonable price.

We solved the problem of deciding who would drive home after the show by booking a room at the Riding Fool Hostel just around the corner from the bar. The hostel caters to the mountain bike and ski crowd, as close as it is to Mount Washington and the trails around. You can sleep in a dorm for $23. or get a private room with a double bed for $60.00. The building also houses Dodge City Cycles. I hope we didn't wake any of the other sleepers by playing pool too loud at 2 a.m. in the large common area.

The purpose of this blog is not to act as a source of music or gig reviews, suffice it to say that both acts blew my mind with the intensity and sophistication of their music, but Cumberland, and the Waverley, proved themselves fantastic spots for a gig of any kind, including their annual Big Time Out.