RK’s Toronto Tour Diary

cowpuncher Toronto

We flew to Toronto on Thursday for Canadian Music Week. Landing at about 6PM Toronto time we grabbed our bags and took a ride straight to Rancho Relaxo from the airport to drop off our gear.

Bye bye Calgary. Hello Toronto. #cmw #cmw2014

A post shared by Cowpuncher (@wepunchcows) on

In the interest of saving money we booked the Canadiana Backpackers Inn until Sunday. There was some sort of miscommunication and they only reserved 5 beds for us instead of the whole 6-bed room. For the entire stay we had a random bunkmate each night which isn’t too ideal when we have expensive gear to guard. But all of the bunkies were nice and the hostel became a great central HQ in downtown YYZ.

Dinner was a ripoff. We ducked into a Chinese restaurant and the prices on the menu were reasonable. Like $6 for a big soup. Couple bucks for spring rolls. Yet somehow I was charged $22. I had one drink so I guess it was a $14 a bear? It didn’t sit well.

Scotty, Jeff and I (RK) went over to former Calgarian musician Greg Cockerill‘s porch for a beer. I forgot they have racooons in Ontario skeezing around people’s garbage cans! MonkeyJunk‘s Steve Marriner was there — one of the only baritone players I’ve met in recent memory! We caught some of his set up the street at El Mocambo. Old rockabilly friend Ronnie Hayward was there. Small world!

We went over to the Horseshoe Tavern and caught a bit of JR Gone Wild before heading over to our show at the Rancho.

The show was a blast! Greg, Matt Angus from Fast Romantics, and Lindsay from AB Music came by! We didn’t play until 2AM so it was nice to finally get on stage after watching all the other bands. Anyone following us on twitter or facebook probably already knows that a viscous brawl broke out after the show and Matt got beat on pretty bad…

I was at the bar getting a beer when I noticed some chaos with a guy screaming and going bananas. Throwing chairs, tipping over tables, climbing on the stage and knocking over speakers. I kept my distance until I noticed Matt’s hat fly up in the middle of the skirmish. We had no idea he was close to this shitshow going on. I ran over and by that time he was being pulled out covered in blood. One of his lenses got busted out of his glasses. It was a mess. The guy that hit Matt ran away past the cops into the night.

Talking to the bar staff we found out that two customers were aggressively hitting on some girls. As they were nearly getting booted out the door they lost their shit and went full on berserker. That fight sucked. Matt and I got a cab back to the hostel and cleaned up.

Guess who got the shit kicked out of him tonight? #cmw #cmw2014

A post shared by Matt Olah (@mjolah) on

Second black eye of the year! #cmw2014

A post shared by Matt Olah (@mjolah) on

We had the Friday off so our day started with a meeting and caesars at the Horseshoe. Jeff, Scotty and I found a ramen place we remember from a couple of years ago: Ajisen Ramen. It’s so damn good! Especially after that terrible duck soup meal the night before.

Our agent Trent and some of his crew met up with us and we killed time at the Blue Jays game. SPORTS!


Matt and Scott got kicked out for alleged flask drinking. In the evening a few of us went to watch Derek Downham‘s two-piece. I had to tap out by that point so I got a cab and hit the sack.

On Saturday we slept in super late, walked around Kensington Market, had burritos and eventually went back to Ajisen for more ramen.

Shari, Matt and I went to the SiriusXM Indies (14th Annual Independent Music Awards).


We caught up with fellow YYC music champion Michael Bernard Fitzgerald (MBF). Ever the gentleman he presented the award for Favorite Pop Rock Group to previous Calgarians and good friends Fast Romantics. YYC representin!

Damn good band Wildlife took the rock group category.

Nice work fellas! Rock group of the year! @wildlifeband

A post shared by Cowpuncher (@wepunchcows) on

We were so excited to see people we love do well this year!

After the awards we went to watch Wildlife play at Adelaide Hall. They killed it!

Our show at The Hideout was sold out. We had been honing our CMW set for the last month and I felt like we crushed it. A shout out to Charlotte for helping to blow up balloons and bar manager Jimmy for being so Irish!

On Sunday Jeff went to his third baseball game of the weekend and the rest of us went to Matt’s cousin’s burlesque event. Call our moms for Mother’s Day, rooftop patio lunch and then the flight home. #Homesweethome

All in all, it costs us so much money to fly east that it’s something we can’t afford to do very often. We packed in a lot of shows, meetings and adventures. A huge thanks to everyone who came out to visit, listen to and party with us!

Our next show is going to be in Calgary Friday May 23 at The Gateway SoundOff! showcase.


SoundOff! is a 2-day showcase and workshop event focusing on exposing export ready talent from Calgary and area to prominent members of the Canadian and International music industry, as well as the general Calgary public. SoundOff! plays host to these leaders, where they have the opportunity to mentor, share knowledge, and attend showcases of a dozen of Calgary’s most promising export ready talent.

Advance tickets are $15 – door is $20. Come out to see some of our city’s heavy hitters!