By Vanessa Brazeau
Bands boats and booze; the Nautical Disaster Boat Cruise packed all three into English Bay on Friday, a field trip of sorts for “No More Strangers” – a weekly event at the Colbalt (917 Main Street). Guest bands and DJs hit the high seas – SuperCassette, Humans and DJ’s My!Gay!Husband! and Erik Devereux played aboard the Abitibi, filling English Bay with rhythm and helping a few hundred fans rock out to one of the last sunsets of summer.
They definitely weren’t kidding when they named it ‘No More Strangers’. Boarding the ship, I felt like it was my first day at a new high school. Everyone seemed to know each other, and eyes felt heavy on my small crew of wenches as we looked for a seat on the deck-turned-dance floor. The cliquey but friendly atmosphere gave me a chance for an objective experience and proved how tight the Vancouver music scene has become. We think half of those on board may have been band members of SuperCassette, as instruments were often passed into the crowd it was hard to distinguish where the stage ended and the dance floor began.
Back on the Abitibi, an unexpected storm of soot from the ships smoke stacks showered the crowd, marking us like war paint as Super Cassette fittingly began to beat their drums. Wardrobes were destroyed, but spirits remained high as the sun sank into the mountains and triggered a florescent sky and glow stick necklaces.
A pop-indie melody with an electronic edge caused 80 percent of the footwork on deck, while the other 20 percent was the result of a struggle for balance against an unstable vessel and a forceful wind. It was quickly resolved by a beer, than made worse by a second. And cured by a third.
By the time Humans were ready to play, sea sickness and beer had kicked in for some and a mesmerizing sun captured others. In other words, we missed the set. Shame on me, the boat was already docking when I realized it. But judging from the vibe on the boat and the high number of empty beer cans swaying with the Abitibi, it was just as entertaining as SuperCassette.
The after party didn’t live up to the main event in my opinion. Most things (including the Cobalt) are more fun with a big crew. It has a good diversity of bands, support for local music and they host a great selection of beer. The DJ’s tend to be hit and miss for me, so maybe that’s why I couldn’t get into it. But if the cruise is foreshadowing what No More Strangers has in store for rain ridden Friday’s to come, the rise of the Cobalt from Davey Jones’ locker is something to get hooked on.