For a long time, I associated bowling alleys solely with the Cosmic Fridays of my youth, watching pals throw gutter balls under disco lights while Dance Mix ’95 blared in the background. It also turns out that you can put bands in a bowling alley, compounding the good times for all. Musician and CKDU host Trevor Murphy is doing this for the second year in a row at Fairlanes (Halifax Shopping Centre) this Sunday with Halifax Is Bowling 2, a fundraiser for the station that features local heroes The Graboids, No Flyers Please and The Caravan, $15 for all-you-can-bowl and punishingly cheap beer from the alley’s bar, Kegglers. (Seriously — it’s $3.75 per bottle and $11.25 per pitcher. That’s couch-change prices!)
I was intrigued and phoned Fairlanes to speak with Doug Blackler, who has managed the bowling alley for the past 24 years. He says last year’s bowling fundraiser was the first time anyone’s used the place as a live music venue. “(The station) approached me, so I said sure, more power to you,” he says. “It’s an interesting idea and the staff enjoyed it, so we agreed to do it again.” Proceeds are split 50/50 between CKDU and Fairlanes, and bands bring in and set up their own equipment in the arcade room. Blackler says it’s been a good way to get new faces out to bowl. “Once they see how cheap the beer is, I know they’ll be coming back,” he says.
Since the alley is located in a mall, the shows have to take place on Sunday nights, when business is slower, and the show runs from 7 — 10pm. I asked if last year’s bowlers could hear the bands from across the room over the clatter of balls and pins. “Oh God yes,” Blackler says. “It’s very loud.” The alley currently only hosts the CKDU fundraising event, but if you have a creative idea that involves music and bowling, you can try pitching it to Blackler by calling Fairlanes at 455-5446.