If I were to name one place that always feels warm and inviting regardless of its extremely low-key status, it would be Le Cagibi. Their vegetarian nachos, loose leaf teas, comfortable sofas, and cramped, yet non-awkwardly placed tables and chairs will always have a place in one’s heart. That, and the tiny shows they put on in their back room every so often.
On leap-year day, three highly enjoyable acts played on the tiny stage set up in front of many supportive friends and fans.
Ollie North was the icebreaker of the night. His music consists of a mix of experimental and instrumental sounds, mostly attained by strumming and picking different string instruments that he’d temporarily “poached” from some friends, and a loop pedal.
To name a few of the instruments used: a classic guitar, two electric guitars (the heavy metal type and the rock/country cutaway type), and a banjo.
The music started out repetitive and lulling, perfect for sleepy time music! But by the 3rd song, Ollie picked up the pace a bit with a folksier sound, and started singing faintly but beautifully, leaving more space for the lullaby effect of his instrumentals.
After that, Ollie asked Adrian and a lovely lady, Nicole Buchanan, to come on stage. Guitar in Adrian’s hands, and pear (at least, it looked like a pear) shaker in the Nicole’s, they harmonized with his singing.
Arbor Glades were second to go on. I would best describe their music as some sort of low-fi, catchy rock genre that’s been spiked with a big load of charisma.
The four piece band, consisting of one vocalist-guitarist, another guitarist, one bassist, and a drummer, had surprisingly great stage presence (as well as off-stage, in the case of the guitarist who couldn’t exactly fit on the small stage). They made sure to get the crowd moving, keeping a constant source of energy going.
They also mentioned Chris Reimer’s (member of Women) recent and sudden passing and made a tribute to him. I’m not gonna lie, that made me grow even fonder of their upbeat distortion-fused music. I think it’s safe to say that Arbor Glades are just a great bunch of loud, fun-loving raucousy kids with good stage presence and chemistry. You should probably check them out, just saying. Really though. Bandcamp. Right here.
Adrian Underhill : the main act of the night. His set was, as he said himself, a “revolving door of musicians.” I personally thought he was going to play solo during the whole performance since his demos on Bandcamp (check it out, here) only consist of him and his guitar. However, I was obviously misled by my own presumptions.
The set started out with him singing and playing the guitar alongside another guitarist, a banjo player, a keyboardist (who was set up from the ground level, somewhat facing the stage, again, due to lack of space), and an upright bassist. Drums were also in the mix, but only with soft broom tapping.
With the band, Adrian’s music showed a blend of folk, dipped into bluegrass and blues with touches of funk.
When it came to switching arrangements and having Charlotte Cornfield come onstage to play drums and harmonize with him, Adrian’s music sounded more gritty and rock-based with a bizarre hint of hip hop/break-beat, probably from the percussions’ side.
The set ended all too soon with the rest of the band back onstage and Charlotte doing backup vocals. Apparently no one in the band was expecting an encore, but the inevitable happened, resulting in a great improvised cover of Talking Head’s “Burning Down The House”.
For more information on Adrian Underhill , check out our interview, coming up soon!
(Photos courtesy of Christelle St-Julien)