Tuesday, February 13, 2018

New Duncan Imperials- The Albert, September 15, 1994

In mid-January of this year a local news story caught my attention, "New owner of Royal Albert isn't ruling out reviving famed music venue". The Royal Albert Arms hotel was up for auction a couple of months ago after failed attempts to reopen the once notorious hotel/bar/music venue. In 2007, pharmacist Daren Jorgenson purchased the Albert and intended to convert it to a boutique hotel. It has been closed since a water leak closed the restaurant and hotel along with many controversies surrounding the ownership and shady dealings related to the building. I thought perhaps the new owners might demolish the building to build condos or more parking for the area, so I was pleasantly surprised by the news the Albert could be back. It has since been announced Alycia's restaurant will open soon at the Albert. If you're from Winnipeg you would be familiar with Alycia's which was an institution in the North End for decades serving the city's best perogies and cabbage rolls.

The Royal Albert Arms Hotel, back in the day. photo: NDI fb
If you were a fan of loud indie-rock, punk or weird alt-music in the 1980's-early 2000's, you would be familiar with the Albert. It was a small grungy, decent place to see upcoming and touring alternative bands that weren't popular enough to fill the Pyramid or Spectrum or too alternative for the mainstream. When bands weren't playing the bar, it was a sketchy half empty joint except for old regulars, but was packed on draft night, bands or not. The next door bar, Wellington's had a similar vibe musically, but I always thought of Wellington's as the scarier version of the Albert, if that's possible. I've seen many great bands and shows at the Albert in the day. Green Day before they went major label, the Weakerthans, Nova Mob, Monsula, Liquor Giants, Plumtree, New Duncan Imperials and many other punk bands I can't remember well before I started taping bands. Unfortunately, I didn't see Soul Asylum or Husker Du when they played there in the mid-80's.

Poster from show at The Albert. (not from the 1994 show) Photo: NDI fb
The band that I most associate with the Albert was the always entertaining, New Duncan Imperials from Chicago.  i don't know why, but the band clearly had a love for the city and more specifically for the Albert. Before I even saw them live, I heard that they played annually at the Albert since their days when the three members of NDI were in the band, The Service. They traditionally, at least in the early days to the mid-90's, played three consecutive nights and played two sets a night. Back in the old days bands in bars played multiple sets instead of opening warmup bands. I've seen NDI at least four times, the first show in 1994 and I must say they were one of the best live bands I've ever seen. At least, dollar for dollar they were the best value for your entertainment dollar because I think the cover charge was only $5. The small crammed stage was filled with props, bras hung across the front and back of the stage and a big furry velour monster (complete with moving mouth and lit up eyes) that was terrifyingly cuddly. They tossed out lots of "free stuff" such as noise makers, confetti, silly string and they gave away a real velour shirt after the velour sex dance dance off. If your idea of a good time is watching 3 guys in straw hats and baby blue tuxedos rocking out to the White trash Boogie, the New Duncan Imperials are a must-see! A little politically incorrect at times (by today's standards), it's funny as hell non-stop action that must be seen to believed. They are amazing to see once or twice, but after the third or fourth time, their shtick does repeat itself, but who cares! They played their final show ever in 2011, but they have reunited since, so who knows maybe they'll be back to christen the "new" Royal Albert when it re-opens. Keep your fingers crossed!!

This live recording was my first ever recording on my Sony recording Walkman almost 24 years ago. The sound is actually pretty good considering I was squeezed tightly in the crowd on the small Albert dance floor. Lots of crowd noise, but it adds to the excitement and craziness of the show. Listening to it now really brings back a lot of great memories and it does have that "feels like you're there" sound. I converted my cassette master to FLAC for your listening pleasure. They play two sets, the break is between track 15 and 16, in case you're burning to disc.

Do NOT sell or convert to mp3 (except for personal use).
Please share!

Royal Albert
Winnipeg, MB
September 15, 1994
AUD Master

Sony mic> Sony WM-GX35 Recording Walkman> Sony CDitII-100 Cassette> Aiwa tape deck> ADS Instant music> usb> Nero SoundTrax> WAV> Direct WAV splitter> FLAC> rar

01. Pitch A Fit
02. Mystery Date
03. Piss Me Off...
04. Queen Of The Road
05. Good Lovin'/6-Pack Of Love
06. Polka Pocahontas
07. Shut Up and Drive
08. Home Sweet Mobile Home
09. Pistol Packin' Mama
10. Turkey Neck
11. Gizzards, Scrapple & Tripe
12. Aah!
13. Pensacola 99
14. Shook Me All Night Long
15. Tilt-A-Whirl
16. Don't Hate Me Just Because I'm Beautiful
17. If I Like You
18. Oh My God, We're Fucking
19. Queen Of Venus
20. Evl Uncl Bud
21. Skipper & Prince
22. Female Voodoo
23. Velour! (Sex Dance)
24. Feelin' Sexy
25. Running With A Fork In My Mouth
26. I'm Schizophrenic (No, I'm Not)
27. Motel 666

28. String Of Pearls
29. (Fight For) Your Right To Party

NEW DUNCAN IMPERIALS- 1994-09-15 Royal Albert, Winnipeg, MB FLAC AUD Master. rar

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