Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Intimate and interactive: Julie Doiron & Fred Squire

A few stellar shows have taken place in Halifax over the last few days, which we are doing our best to review. I know most people could care less about a few grainy photos and the classic, "man, you should have been there", but getting some nice theatre/sit down shows in Halifax is nothing to scoff at.

First up? Well, last night was the second night of a two-night stint for Julie Doiron and Fred Squire (of Shotgun & Jaybird and Calm Down It's Monday fame) @ the revamped Carleton restaurant/Listening Room and the cozy confines of the room was the perfect setting for both Fred and Julie and their trusty electric guitar and amp.

Fred opened the night with songs, stories, Welcome Back Kotter references and the admission that he can no longer play Marquee Glass. Jokes aside, he's a talented song writer, and strangely, he's somehow as much a part of seeing Julie play as she is now. Whether he's warming up the crowd or playing the drums behind her, Julie without Fred is kind of like Ketchup without the Heinz. One nice piece of info we found out is that he's finally putting out a record of his solo work, due out sometime in March.

Up next was Julie "Dwa-ren", and for anyone who has ever been lucky enough to see her perform, you know she is one of the most charming, endearing personalities you will come across. She doesn't talk at the audience, she interacts with it as she takes requests, reveals incredibly personal thoughts in her tangential ramblings and still holds onto the nervous energy of a young performer. It's these special things that make you smile every time she plays, but honestly her songs are even more enjoyable.

Last night was a quick hitting performance that took us all back to her back catalog and pushed forward with some new material from her upcoming record, I Can Wonder What You Did With Your Day. Plus, she played Snow Fall in November, so honestly, I couldn't have been happier.

Wait, don't leave, there's more delicious live coverage down here! Friday night the Ack made our way through a ridiculously rainy and windy evening to take in the re-scheduled CD release show for the new album from Fredericton folk heroes, The Olympic Symphonium. They were joined on the bill by singer-songwriter Don Brownrigg and the groovy sounds of Heavy Meadows, and that added up to a show worth braving the weather for.

The show took place at the Bus Stop theatre, and this marked the first time either Ack or I had been there. It's a nice little space, intimate, as the Ack mentioned, but still spacious enough to create a makeshift dancefloor if the spirit moves you (as it did for a few folks during the Heavy Meadows set). In other words, it was perfect for the acts on this bill. Brownrigg and the Meadows both did a fine job warming up the appreciative crowd, and the Symphonium treated us to excellent renditions of a number of the songs from their new album, More In Sorrow Than In Anger, and a few from their previous outing Vol. 1 (which they may re-release with some re-workage in the near future).

So thanks to the Symphonium for an enjoyable evening, and congrats on the new album, glad the weather here finally let you celebrate it's release (if only just barely). Enjoy some sights and sounds from the show.


Don Brownrigg - Eggs (Live @ The Bus Stop f. Rose Cousins)

The Olympic Symphonium - Intentions Alone (Live @ The Bus Stop)

Posted at 1:30 PM by ack :: 0 comments

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