Hey Ocean! – Divan Orange – 30.06.11
At around 10 p.m., Folly & the Hunter, an indie folk trio from Montreal comprised of Nick Vallee, Laurie Torres, Christopher Fox, began their set after experiencing a lot of technical difficulties. Each member of the band rotated their instruments, switching from banjo, acoustic and electric guitar, organ and piano. They created a soothing ambiance with simple harmonies and an impressively full sound, although the crowd chattered continuously throughout their performance. Vallee addressed the audience several times by shyly mumbling into the microphone and thanking the crowd for being there, but sadly, the buzz of conversation persisted. Nonetheless, they delivered a fantastic set highlighted by one of their originals called “Ghost” and their cover of Gordon Lightfoot’s “Steel Rail Blues”, which they said they were going to record the next day as part of a tribute album. Unfortunately, it seemed the crowd only started to warm up to them near the end of their set, as is often the case with opening bands.
Next up was Sweet Mother Logic, a quintet that plays music hard to categorize, however their songs are best described as instrumental, electro-acoustic and progressive. It is always a pleasure to watch a band mix strings (violin and cello) with electric instruments (electric guitar, keys, samples) and pull it off exceptionally well. Sweet Mother Logic’s performance was captivating because each member seemed just as consumed in the music as the audience. They kept everyone on their toes as they effortlessly shifted meters and textures. It seemed like every composition SML performed was written with a specific image or setting in mind.
Once Sweet Mother Logic was done, the crowd was very enthusiastic to hear Vancouver’s Hey Ocean!, but due to more technical difficulties the band did not start until 12 a.m. They started off with an extended version of “Too Soon” off their latest album It’s Easier to Be Somebody Else. They also mixed in some compositions from their next album, which is yet to be released. Hey Ocean! seemed thrilled to be performing and had great energy on stage. It was nice to see each member sing along to fan favourite “Fish” and to the catchy chorus of “Fifteen Words”, as the lead singer Ashleigh Ball urged the crowd to clap along.
All in all, Folly & the Hunter, Sweet Mother Logic and Hey Ocean! did not disappoint. The three bands complimented each other well because, although they all play different styles of music, they seemed happy to be there and performed with great energy.