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Pop Montreal 2006

Pop Rocks: Royal Mountain Band, Starvin' Hungry

Posted by Sara / October 7, 2006

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Pics by Sir Hill, Lord of the Commonwealth Fotogs

Let me tell you a little something about Heavy Metal Bus Driver. Heavy Metal Bus Driver had a city route in London, Ontario. For all I know, he still does. He wore one of those regular city bus driver uniforms - you know, dark blue slacks, light blue collared shirt with city bus logo. He wore this uniform with SNAKESKIN BOOTS. And a giant rawk belt buckle. And big ol' rawk sunglasses. And waist-length, bleached, permed hair.

In conclusion, he was my favorite person ever.

One day, Heavy Metal Bus Driver was driving me home from a long shift slingin' donuts at Tim Hortons. We were about two blocks away from my stop, which was in a kind of sketchy area of a very sketchy downtown core, around Richmond and Dundas. Heavy Metal Bus Driver stopped at a light and we noticed a commotion on the sidewalk nearby.

Two burly cops were trying to subdue this dude who was exhibiting that crazy-ass strength that PCP freakouts are legendary for. He knocked one big cop down and started punching the other in the head.

Heavy Metal Bus Driver didn't miss a beat. He calmly opened the bus door and sailed down to the scene of the altercation. Like, without touching the steps or even really hitting the sidewalk 'til he was there. In the blink of an eye he had the PCP dude sitting on the ground and ready for the sheepish cops to handcuff. He didn't hurt the dude, and he didn't mess his own beautiful hair or boots. He calmly got back on the bus, sat down and started driving again. Without saying a fucking word.

When I think Starvin' Hungry, I think Heavy Metal Bus Driver.

IMG_5734.jpgThey don't wear snakeskin boots or giant beltbuckles. But they do seem sort of untameable - something that draws a startling number of female fans. And last night, despite a late start, they were just so on that it was clear they could step up and be heroes as necessary.

P'tit Campus is starting to feel homey, despite shitty sound and goddamn $4.50 beer. It's funny that in the midst of a city-wide festival encompassing dozens of venues and a huge range of musical styles, we've chosen to hole up here for three solid days. But it's been this amazing showcase of the Canadian rock revival - unpretentious, creative, and alive as hell - with Montreal acts front and centre.

Following the Leather Uppers' thoroughly endearing performance to a sparse audience, we were subjected to roughly an hour of CHOM-inspired DJ stylings, from Pearl Jam to the Red Hot Chili Peppers. The growing crowd was getting pretty antsy by the time Milchey ducked in after catching Roky Erickson's set. All was forgiven by the end of the first song - seriously, how has Starvin' Hungry not been signed yet? Danzig-calibur vocals and blues-drenched boogie that would turn John Spencer green with envy - maaaaaaan!

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The Royal Mountain Band played to a crowd swarming with MP contributors, recovering Doughboys and the coolest 70 year-old man I've ever seen, tapping along to every song with his cane. RMB recently landed a gig playing the Band in the upcoming Bob Dylan biopic, and it's easy to see why. Their familiar, mega-tight Southern rock from the North had asses shaking and grins of real joy on a lot of faces.

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Discussion

20 Comments

Dave / October 7, 2006 at 02:41 pm
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Sorry there were not more photos of Starving Hungry. I think I was distracted by beer and foot tapping. Also, the mass of young girls was hard to get around. I didn't want to get in a "hair pullin'" fight with any of them.
rrrobyn / October 7, 2006 at 06:43 pm
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omg, sara, heavy metal busdriver story is such a good story!! i love him too!
Sara / October 7, 2006 at 07:16 pm
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yeah, i can still hardly believe that actually happened. it was really fun to finally write it down.
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