Ok. I love the Rankin Family. From the moment I saw them on stage in Victoria in the mid-nineties, I knew that the Rankin Family were the real deal.
I bought all the albums. Still play them.
It was with much rejoicing that I had the chance to see them on the first leg of their reunion tour.
Apparently I was not the first in line to buy tickets. I think I waited a week.
As a result, our seats were up in the ceiling somewhere.
No problem. The Royal Theatre in Victoria is designed in such a way that there are no bad seats. It is true. There are none.
This concert was to be stop 3 for the Rankins – Nanaimo was the first. I think they had two gigs up there.
Because of the loss of a sister in Calgary, they attended the funeral and cancelled the first 2 of the concert dates.
Victoria B.C. was stop one for the Rankin’s 22-city tour.
Tragedy struck their family a week ago when one of the Rankins died in Calgary. The Rankins are a large family – Raylene, John Morris, Jimmy, Cookie and Heather, began touring together professionally in 1989. But they are 4 of 12 kids. On September 17, 1999, the band officially broke up to pursue their separate careers and lives. One of the anchors of the band, John Morris Rankin, died in a car accident on January 16, 2000.
Anyway – back to the show.
With our luck (of 1500 seats in the Royal Theatre) we were seated directly in front of a row of young, ex-Pat Cape Breton trailer trash – they were pumped, half-drunk and ready to party.
Now, do not get me wrong. I like to party. Really. At concerts, I get crazy.
But correct me if I am wrong, but I think you have to sing and scream when the band is actually playing.
I did turn around and glare a couple of times at Trailer Park Boy behind me after he yelled: “I lav youa Jammmy!” one too many times. These are the worse kinds of concert goers.
Anyway. The Rankins kicked ass. After a slow start (they seemed road weary or grief weary and this was stop #1!) they wound the audience and themselves into a Celtic-Breton frenzy.
They played the new stuff. They played the old stuff. They trotted out some new Rankin talent; John Morris Rankins surviving teenage daughter – a crack step dance and fiddle player. She sang once. It was rough, but the Rankin magic is in her voice and blood. Ah. Just like old times.
Welcome back Rankins!