Piper Burns, member of the Florals and Piper and the Gates of Dawn, is organizing Live at the Tartan, a concert series over at the Tartan Curling Club. Ten bucks get someone curling time, a beer and a couple of sets from a local band, the Slim City Pickers last time and Herb and the Humans tonight. OR you can pay $5 and just see the band.
Despite putting all this together, and having worked at the Tartan since Grade 11, Burns only started curling last year. How did he hold out so long?
“Because we hated curlers, kind of,” he tells me before a shift at the Tartan with a bunch of good nature in his voice. “Curlers, you can’t go home until they’re done.
“We kinda had a lot of animosity towards curlers, but then Marshall [Burns, Piper’s brother] suggested, ‘Man we should just start curling.’”
The Burns brothers have been playing in a league since then, on a team that features a good chunk of the membership of the Pickers plus some other guys. With all these musicians around, curling and bands just makes sense. Plus, they already had the P.A. system around.
“We had this P.A. from –– we used to do something called glow curling. We used to play Katy Perry and what not.”
Was glow curling what I’d expect it to be?
“Glow curling was what you would expect it to be.”
The first night was easy going, and Burns plans for the series to continue that way.
“Everyone’s a person with a mind. There’s no super-dictator or anything. It’s all loosey-goosey. You’re all there to have fun and curl. You can figure it out on your own for the most part.”
The appeal is clear. The Tartan provides “a different place to party”, says Burns, while getting “a small bit of exercise”. More at least then if you’d hadn’t curled and had just gone out drinking. Plus, curling and sad alt-country and rock music are well matched.
“Mostly curling’s just about being shamed by your teammates. Half of the sport is scowls from your teammates, no words spoken.”
Live at the Tartan is happening tonight, Friday, December 19 at the Tartan Curling Club. Herb and the Humans are playing. Go to the Facebook event for more details.