Travelling during the holidays is invariably hellish. On top of the suppurating crowds carting their expensive luggage, all modes of transportation take a perverse pleasure in simultaneously breaking down at this particular time. Thus, one is left not only with post-exam/work exhaustion but with the added aggravation of being kept in those states for long periods of time.

At least, that describes my train ride to Kingston last month. The train was delayed for three hours and I would have been driven very close to “the edge” if pop/rock fortuity had not placed Luther Wright, guitarist of Weeping Tile, in the seat opposite me and my travel companionette.

We didn’t recognize him immediately. Initially, we were convinced Wright was simply an attractive, older gay man. A theory supported by his clothing: a tasteful black cowboy shirt with silver studs, brown polyester pants and matching jacket. Not to mention his hair (red and spunky) and the effete way he scribbled in a faux-zebra fur journal (The book he was reading at the time: The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory by Brian Greene).

We didn’t recognize Wright until he mentioned to the loud, self-proclaimed violin aficionado behind him that he was in a little rock band called Weeping Tile. So we introduced ourselves. Over the next three hours, Wright proved tremendously charming and disarmingly self-deprecating. He was also deliciously frank about music. Thus the following pot-pourri of Lutherian trivia was gathered:

  1. He thinks the new Hayden album (Skyscraper National Park) is beautiful.

  2. He went to the last ever Eric’s Trip show.

  3. He has played with The Wooden Stars.

  4. He can’t get the line “My brother is the meat man,” from the Royal City song, out of his head.

  5. He practices Ramones and Cars songs with his band, Luther Wright and the Wrongs (country blue-grass music), claiming their simplicity makes them “addictive.”

Wright was returning to Kingston to play some holiday benefit shows with the other members of Weeping Tile—something he and the band, including media darling Sarah Harmer, have been doing for the past six years.

The Kingston show took place on December 21st at a tiny venue called The Elixir. Opening act Lederhosen Lucil offered up a post-modern pastiche evoking genres from hip hop to punk, wearing long blonde braids and a skirt held up with, what else, lederhosen. Weeping Tile followed and played with the air of an inexpensive but well-aged port. Luther Wright shook his booty and peppered the show with such stunts as playing his guitar with wandering beer bottles. It was a great show, with nothing for Wright to be self-deprecating about.

Early on in the show, Wright sauntered amiably back into the club’s darker corner, where I was sitting, and exclaimed: “You came!” (As though I had condescended to make an appearance at some appalling high school play.)

Now, I don’t know what most celebrities are like, but I have some idea what they should be like.

Wright sets a good example.

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