Before my adventures in the U.K., I must get the following story off my sack and into the ether.
The night before my flight to London, I got a text from my old friend Eddie from the Golden State. He was passing through la belle province and invited me to hang out with him and his clients instead of packing my bags for England. Eddie’s clients vary from Drake to KISS. Last time around, he invited me to hang with Enrique Inglesias, but I pretended to be sick that night. This time around, Ed’s clients happened to be the Backstreet Boys. Apparently, the Boys were touring smaller Canadian markets and decided to take a night off in one of their favourite cities: Montreal. I accepted the invitation.
I meet them at their hotel, which smelled like a fancy escort, or Hugh Hefner’s bathrobe. Turns out Lana del Rey was also staying at this baller of a palace called le Crystal. So here I was having Grey Goose and tequilas with Eddie, the Backstreet Boys and their over-friendly, massive bodyguards. I asked BB ludicrous questions, like what shampoo they use and how many times a day they look at themselves in the mirror.
Nick Carter posted a pic on Instagram hinting the Boys were in MTL, resulting in fans dressed up like Prom #2 making their way to the hotel. I ended up escorting the band to some downtown clubs that don’t allow hats. We literally became the BackDoor Boys after sneaking in and out of back doors, to avoid lurking female fans. This was some Justin Beaver or One Erection sort of shit. I totally have Backstreet Cred now.
That’s as Hollywood as Mikey gets (aside from that morning I woke up at Daryl Hannah’s house in Malibu).
Next thing you know, I’m on a plane to London burping Grey Goose the entire trip. Thank God I had an aisle to myself.
My first night in London, Montreal’s newest heartthrobs, Seoul, played their first ever show in England in a small, packed basement called the Social. If you don’t know this band by now, imagine the lovechild of Montreal bands like Half Moon Run, Suuns and Malajube. Their track “Stay With Us” was one of my favourites of 2013.
The show was presented by the BBC’s Huw Stephens, who replaced the late, legendary John Peel back in 2005. Huw first saw Seoul at last November’s M for Montreal festival, and he’s been spinning them and other Montreal bands, from Duchess Says to Dead Obies, on his radio show ever since. Huw handed me a card that gave me access to free drinks at the Social.
Good night. Rough morning. ■
Stay tuned for The Great Escape pt. 2, coming up at Cult MTL tomorrow.
See all of Mikey’s festival reports here.