The Undesirables (October 27, 2007)
Last night’s Knox Acoustic Café show with the Undesirables was brilliant. This local series of shows has been a resounding success, and last night was further proof that, with the quality of acts such as this being presented, we’re very, very lucky indeed.
Fresh off a three week tour of England, Corin Raymond and Sean Cotton may have been (deservedly) a bit tired prior to the show, but they quickly rose to the occasion and all traces of exhaustion disappeared once they got rolling. Marrying folk, blues and funky pop, the sound of the Undesirables is definitely unique, full of energy and creativity. Their songs intricately meld poetry, humour and stories from their experiences with a refreshing ease.
This was our first time seeing the band, or really hearing their music. As you’re already aware (because you’re a savvy KMA reader), a live setting can sometimes be the best possible way to be introduced to new music, and that was definitely the case last night. There’s an unspoken bond that gets created at a show like this, where the band offers their best and the audience responds in kind, everyone locked into an engaged, aware communication. Having seen this band play at the recent Summerfolk festival here in town this year, it quickly became obvious that many in the crowd last night were repeat customers and fans. The duo played a range of songs from their two albums and, judging by the reaction of this large crowd, all were favourites and many people knew every word.
They told a series of travel and music experience tales between songs, all of which had an element of humour and wonder to them, told with a quick wit and a wink that was endearing and welcoming. Sean Cotton’s guitar work was completely beautiful and intricate, and Corin Raymond certainly gets his entire body into his performance and vocals, contorting himself and giving fully with every syllable. There’s magic in these songs, to be sure.
Highlights from the set were many, but for me the gorgeous guitar work united with a harrowing tale on The Names Have Been Changed To Protect The Lonely was a stand-out, as was the wonderful new song Northern Girl, from an album apparently due out in 2009 sometime. We also loved Overwhelmed and Credit River and… of course, I shouldn’t start naming songs I liked because then I’d need their setlist so I could just give you that. But you know how it is, right? Right.
In sum, a great show and I would go again without question. If the Undesirables are going to be in your town, get out to the show. Don’t think twice, just go! It’s a fantastic time.
As an added bonus, we had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity after the show to hang out with the band and the show’s organizers and a few other fans, just telling tales and having a couple of drinks. This experience added a whole new level of amazing to the night, and it’s a memory we’ll always keep.
Thank you, Corin and Sean, for your great, great music. You’re welcome back any time. And thanks again to Susan and Irwin and the entire Knox Acoustic Café for all of your hard work and enthusiasm.
PS. I’ve got the link to the Knox Acoustic Café web site up in our Links section, so you should definitely go check it out, and come out to the shows if you can!
PPS. We also bought the Undesirables’ album Doghouse Dreams (and got it autographed!) at the show, and I’m playing it now as I type this. Of course, having just heard and seen many of these tunes performed live, I have excellent memories associated to them, but hearing some of them on the CD as arranged with drums, bass and the beautiful vocals of Treasa Levasseur and Dala make the entire experience brand new again, too. Lovely.
01 This Town
02 Fill Me Up With Sound
03 Asking Me To Give You The Blues
04 Credit River
05 Danicing On The Faultline
06 The Dog You Forgot To Let In
07 The Bus Stop Walk
08 Look Out Jack
09 The Names Have Been Changed To Protect The Lonely
10 Down And Out