Shred Kelly and Moonfruits performed to a packed and enthusiastic crowd at Raw Sugar Wednesday night.
Getting things started as the rain came down outside was Ottawa’s very own Moonfruits. The recently married couple, Alex Millaire & Kaitlin Milroy, were playing only their second show since tying the knot. Millaire, playing one of the most worn down acoustic guitars I have ever seen, and Milroy, equipped with an amazing voice, wowed everyone with their bilingual set. From their very first song “Amalfi,” they got the crowd involved and encouraged them to repeat after them to close out the song. The crowd obliged and were hooked from there on out.
Keeping everyone on their toes, Moonfruits changed back and forth from English to French songs. Their original songs were wonderful and often cute, such as “Gloria,” “Gris,” and “Les Marins.” I can’t help but mention that their rendition of the classic French folk/campire song “Au chant de l’alouette” blew me away. I could listen to it again and again. Towards the end the show, Millaire put down his guitar and they performed an a capella rendition of Guy Lombardo’s “Enjoy Yourself (It’s Later Than You Think).” Check out their recorded version here. They were both very playful and animated during the show. But showed the true extent of it during “Enjoy Yourself” as they danced and acted out the lyrics.
Speaking of fun, it was time to kick it up a notch with Fernie, British Colombia’s upbeat banjo driven folk band Shred Kelly. The five-piece has loads of energy and it is reflected in their fun up-tempo songs that gets your feet stomping and your hands clapping. The band was very happy to be playing in the packed and intimate setting of Raw Sugar. “I really like this. So nice to be here, it’s really like a kitchen party,” said keys player, Sage McBride. The set featured so many highlights thanks to them playing music off all three of their records. They dug deep to their first album with fan favourite “I Hate Work” which had the crowd hooting and hollering along. They played most excellent songs like “New Black” and “Cabin Fever” off of their second album In the Hills. They also played my new favourite song “Stereo” off of their new album Sign to the Night. “Stereo” is about how a few of the members do a lot of work with troubled youth in Fernie and the one thing they realized really helps is taking long drives and listening to music. powerful stuff.
Even with all that, there was one moment that shined above the rest. The moment banjo player Tim Newton grabbed an instrument that had been loaned to him, the flanjo. What was so special was that this is a one of a kind instrument which is a banjo with a whammy bar. Newton looked so excited and moved he just could not wait to play it. The instrument’s creator was standing near the front and appeared equally as excited. The band played an awesome rendition of their song “Rowed Away.” Newton loved it so much the flanjo made many more appearances throughout the show. Shred Kelly are one of those great Canadian talents that you can go see even if you have never heard a song of their’s because their sound is so fun and accessible. I highly recommend you catch them as they continue their tour across Canada and the next time they are in town.