Thursday, December 04, 2008
RRR PERFORMANCE SPACE
The coldest and wettest day in months is an oddly successful way of tightening the sense of intimacy already evoked by tonight’s musicians and the small crowd, drawn to the stage like hikers around an evening’s campfire. Simultaneously, it was likely the weather kept away most of those whose Facebook events page listed them as going. “Hello!” Says Pikelet after setting up. “Maybe I should say hello individually. I think I know all your names. Second names too.” Tonight’s set features several new songs, all heavy on lyrics and showing variously a more traditional folk and lyric-oriented approach and a new level of complexity of arrangement most notably on Swooping Buzzards and Gamelan which are both beautiful and enticing harbingers for her forthcoming album. By the end of her set the place is busier and her closing A Bunch concludes a show accurately described by Woelv as “super insanely exciting” and possibly her finest ever. That new album is seeming pretty exciting.
Ambling to the microphone while keeping another in her back pocket, the barefoot Quebecer proceeds to cast a spell. “I’m from French Speaking Canada. My name is Genevievè,” says Woelv with a lilting, warm and strong voice that begs to be heard over and over. How fortunate it is then that it is also a fantastically effective instrument because you have little option – a guitar motif here and there - but it’s her voice that provides the looped backing and delivers her songs. Without being fluent in French the songs, initially, are simply gorgeous lullabies, and seem more personal vignettes than overly concerned with defining meaning.
Opening with Drapeau Blanc, which, like many songs from her Tout Seul Dans… album, is rendered all the more compelling for being unadorned. The loop station is used at times to soporific and hypnotic effect, drawing you in as she draws out and segues songs. Though sometimes overly long, it’s when she puts down the guitar and enacts a song it becomes more like an unsubtitled one-woman play. It’s galvanising to watch her gestures and expressions and hear that voice journeying.
The striking androgyny and almost telepathic relationship between both Lloyd and Michael is so odd and beautiful that they’re lucky their voices and songwriting is as great as they are. Their voices add another sense of genetic similarity, so familial and complementary are they. Soon enough gorgeous songs like Along The Freeway, A Real Time Here, The World Moved On and the Byron Bay inspired I Saw A Whale, backed with some minimal electric guitar chops and riffs and occasional shaker win over an already susceptible crowd. The songs keep things cosy, and, along with an impromptu Q&A session, and some easy and hilarious chat make it hard not to love them. With some big name fans, it’s onward and upward for these girls.