Thursday, November 30, 2006

Sappy stuff

Normally, I stick to the one act, one post rule, but I'm going to make an exception for Julie Doiron, Shotgun and Jaybird and Woolly Leaves for the simple reason that there was a lot of overlap between the three acts. This show was the third night in a row where I'd gone to a show after bicycling home from work - to my amazement I actually felt pretty chipper.
As I approached the club, I could see the curly hair of Will Kidman bobbing above the crowd through the club-length windows that run along The Rainbow's bottom level. (Local openers Poorfolk had already been and gone, to my regret.)

Kidman's regular musical occupation is as the keyboardist for leonine Canadian new wave punks The Constantines. Despite the plural name, The Woolly Leaves is a solo act, with Will exorcising his singer-songwriter jones. A nice low-key entree. That's Julie's Hagstrom he's using - he said he normally sticks to acoustic.

Will in his entirety!

Here's a very mysterious pic of Will with Dick Morello guesting on bass.

Here's a much less mysterious picture, with Shotgun Jimmy on drums.

Julie also guested, hunching over a microphone to sing a duet. It set the pattern of overlapping acts for the rest of the night (unfortunately the pictures didn't turn out so hot). When Shotgun and Jaybird came on stage for their own performance, Kidman sat in throughout, playing drums and a tiny keyboard. This meant Shotgun and Jaybird had two drummers, since they have a regular percussionist, Paul Henderson.

And here he is (along with some hanging New Orleans bric-a-brac)!

Shotgun Jimmy. Thus the band name.

Dick Morello - or is it Freddie? Morello's voice bears a marked similarity to Lou Reed's. He peppered the set with absurdist banter, revealing his brilliant plans to patent a belt-buckle-mounted beer bottle holder to make it easier for people to applaud at shows, and his conception for a morning radio show where he would play his favourite 45s at 33 rpm.

And Ms. Doiron (with Paul just visible in back).

Julie sings!

Shotgun and Jaybird action!

Backup singing action!

A popcorn smell made itself evident partway through the set, leading Morello off on another absurdist jaunt: "Did I leave a bag of popcorn in the back of the guitar amp?!?" Julie gets in the spirit of things by miming catching popping popcorn.

The cumulative effect was in the vein of Neil Young's slower electric numbers.
Finally Julie came on stage for some of her solo material. Doiron picked her way through a few tunes before throwing the door open for audience requests: Elevator Show, The One You Love, The Best Thing For Me, The Surgery is Over, Wintermitts - this being the Internet age, a request to play a new Myspace tune, Me and My Friend, was also fielded. She also played a Shotgun and Jaybird track, Lovers of the World be On Time Tonight. It was the second to last day of Doiron's tour (not counting a homecoming gig in Sackville) and her voice was starting to feel the miles, but that did little harm. A bit of cracking suits her material.

There was, of course, also some band action. The set went on into the wee small hours. As the clock crept past 1 a.m. she inviting the remainder of Shotgun and Jaybird on for a few songs.

A few more solo songs and it was 1:45 a.m. There she brought things to a timely denouement and wished everyone a good night - "It's getting very late!"

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