I didn’t receive any online comments about the first batch of haiku telling me to knock it off, which I take as license to keep firing away, so here’s some more!
Nick And Norah’s Infinite Playlist
movie and songs like Cera
Tom Waits – Mule Variations
grit gravel and dusty soul
worthy of all praise
not what I think of
when I remember the book
but what do I know?
The Verve Story (boxset)
so many classics
it almost boggles the mind
I could live like this
Tanglefoot – A Grain Of Salt
folk sea shanty brilliance
On this night we caught Tanglefoot live for our first time, and what an excellent show it was! Marking the end of their touring year, this Christmas performance was well-attended by exuberant fans who have known much longer than we have just what a treasure this band is to our culture. This was, apparently, the 7th consecutive year that they’ve ended their tours with this show, at this venue. Right on.
Avid KMA readers will recall that we’ve seen side-project groups My Sweet Patootie and the Ritchie Brothers perform gigs at Knox, but to see the whole group together was an entirely different, completely compelling spectacle. The individual personalities are still very visible, and as a whole they are unstoppable.
The energy and musicianship of this group is phenomenal. They ripped through song after song with huge energy, flinging boggling solos into the crowd and singing their tales and tunes with passion and an apparent glee. It was truly refreshing to see a band having such a great time performing.
It would be hard for me to pick a favourite tune of the night, so I won’t even try. I very much appreciate the fact that their songs so proudly embrace all aspects Canadian culture, history and myth, all tied perfectly to their rich, warm roots sound.
I heard some grumblings during the intermission that the sound wasn’t so great, but we had seats halfway back in the middle and it sounded alright to us. The vocals were a bit low in the mix for Steve Ritchie at points, and Sandra Swanell’s violin was a bit loud at the start, perhaps, but otherwise it was fine. Some also groused that the band talked too much between songs, that their stories broke the rhythm of the show and went on too long. Well folks, think of the tradition from which this music comes and then give your heads a shake if their talking bothered you. It’s all part of the experience, so relax already.
Now, I did have a couple of beefs myself. First, I offer a note to the thoughtless woman who was sitting behind us: Lady, you have no idea how close you came to having that chewing gum you were gnawing like a cow stuffed straight up your nose. Get some manners, for Pete’s sake. You’re disgusting. And secondly, to the Roxy, it would have been nice if you’d shut off the radio in the background for the duration of the performance. We couldn’t hear it when the band was in full swing, but when they came stage-front and sang a beautiful tune a cappella, it was plainly audible. Pretty weak planning.
But these things are small in comparison to the brilliance of the show itself. These are road-tested musicians who’ve been serving up great songs with enthusiasm and excellence for many years. We were fortunate indeed to have been in the room last as Tanglefoot showed us just why they have earned their excellent reputation.
We loved it.