There’s a reason why iconic punk bands like Face to Face, NOFX and Social D visit Calgary year after year; we like our music fast and loud, maybe with a bit of violence thrown in for good measure. By nature, we’re a pretty punk rock city. Here are five reasons why I believe Calgary is so punk rock and therefore awesome:
1. The Ship and Anchor. They’ve created an evening just for bingo and punk rock, and on any given night you can walk into The Ship and hear a Bad Religion album in its entirety. This local hotspot is probably one of the only places in town where most alcohol consuming Calgarians (between the ages of 21 – 35) can claim they’ve been kicked out of at least once, only to go back again for more. Thus making both The Ship and its patrons pretty hardcore to say the least.
2. Tubby Dog. We love our meat and we to thrash. Put the two together and you’ve got Tubby Dog. Only in Calgary can you order a hot dog with PB & J, and also have someone play power chords in your ear for a couple of hours. Sick.
3. The Fun Spot. One of several punk rock houses that have come and gone over the years. The Fun Spot (the most recent one I think) was an old house located in the Calgary core, where you could hear random punk bands jamming. The Spot is no longer a gathering place, but rumor is there are still some stragglers holding on to the dream. If you’re walking downtown-ish and happen to hear a double base accompanied by someone shouting about the government, you’ll know you’re close.
5. The Calgary Stampede. Stay with me here. Every year we practically shut down our fair city to eat grossly bizarre foods on a stick, drink copious amounts of alcohol while we cheer men, women and children on as they try to provoke large animals into dangerous situations. It’s like Jackass on steroids. You may judge me on this one, but I remember in the late 90s when punk bands used to play The Stampede… and it actually made sense at the time anyway.
There are so many other reasons, places and characteristics that make Calgary punk, the list could go on and on (The Distillery comes to mind). The point being, we should hold our liberty-spiked heads high, because we’re hard core, and we know it.