St. Albans is slowly becoming one of the better venues in town. Having only been there once before for Fresh Snow and the Yips, I had an idea of the potential. But after hearing the wonderful acoustics the high ceilings provide, I was singing mental hallelujahs that Arboretum is starting to promote shows here.
Leif Vollebekk took to the stage with his band of merry men and played an excellent set for the second night in a row. Having sold out the night before, this was an extra show added a few weeks ago. The second show attracted over 130 people who got quite the treat. The group from Montreal kicked things off with the ever popular “Off the Main Drag,” I love that song. Leif really wanted to honour the crowd that had amassed, and while tuning for his next song was taking a little longer than anticipated, he said “I just really want to get it perfect for you. I know it will never be good enough… oh wait now it’s perfect. Yup, now it is perfect for you.” He played other original tunes from both his albums, including one of my favourites, “Cairo blues.” He also played a few covers such as Bob Dylan’s “Nettie Moore” and The Killers’ “Read My Mind.” The stop in Ottawa was part of a multi-city tour throughout North America which goes until mid-June. For more information on when and where you can see this Canadian gem, check out his website.
The church’s acoustic and setting was made for the mystical sounds of Bosveld. The duo from Ottawa, Théan Slabbert on vocals and guitar and Jeremy Mulder on saxophone fed through pedals, are incredible. Théan’s voice wonderfully guides you along a beautiful soundscape. Their sound takes you on an adventure through fields and dreamlands. Whether they are singing or just playing instrumental pieces, I was blown away. Théan introduced the song “Everything” by saying “One night I was dreaming that R Kelly was writing a song with Sarah Harmer about their love for each other. When I woke up, I wrote down the lyrics and then I went online and found out they actually wrote a song together… this is a little different.” Bosveld are set to release a cassette EP on Saturday February 8th and a full-length album later this year. Do yourself a favour and indulge in some great local talent.