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Sunday, March 06, 2016

Frank Turner, Northcote and Mo Kenney - Some kind Of Wonderful!

Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls
Mo Kenney

MacEwan Hall, Saturday March 6, 2016

Well, unfortunately the pics I snapped for this event didn't turn out sharp enough for formatting into my online Calgary Herald space, so I'll post them here regardless along with a few comments about the show. Great night of outstanding music from Canadian's Mo Kenney, Northcote, and English folkster Frank Turner And The Sleeping Souls.

First off, apologies to all the artists for the low quality images, which do not speak at all to the quality of the work they did onstage last night - what a great blend or music, and the crowd jammed the place to capacity for the gig...

Mo Kenney

Opener Mo Kenney clearly had fans in place as she went through her set - from where we were standing at that point, you could hear folks singing along, and it was a great introduction for anyone not familiar with her catalogue. 

Just a few highlights for me had to have been the wonderful In My Dreams, Sucker For Your Face, and The Happy Song, which she prefaced as a balm for all the sad songs she tends to write. 

Sad maybe, but catch-your-ears for sure lyrically. Her co-write with Joel Plaskett Déjà vu was another  great piece, and her pair of covers (Bowie's Five Years, and Tom Petty's Yer So Bad, which she came out to perform with Northcote) make it no surprise at all to see all the recognition she has garnered.

Matt Goud - Northcote 

Speaking of Northcote, I've been a bit out of the rock scene as of late given my current focus on folk roots and blues, but these fellas sure brought back memories with their bright, no-nonsense set. 

I saw acts like these back when I was the age of most of this audience (to avoid getting carded at the beer garden, I pointed to my hair...), and Northcote doesn't miss with how they do it. This is a group poised for a breakthrough as evidenced by the production team on their latest album, and the demand the group has seen - over 160 shows in 2014!

In particular, songs like the sturdy anthem Hope Is Made Of Steel, A Thousand Nights, and Counting Down The Days all point to these gentleman making a mark, and having legs while they're at it. 

Frank Turner

And your headliner? Well, sweet Maggie on a rock, this Frank Turner and The Sleeping Souls act is a special kind of incendiary... 

There was a Celtic band out of Kelowna (Kinship) that I used to think was high energy and in your face. 

Great Big Sea was known to be a bit raucous on occasion.

Frank Turner makes any preconceived notion of "explosive", "volatile", or "combustible" quaint by comparison. The Celtic roots are evident, but the exquisite combinations of buzz, punk and power folk were the catalyst to set this crowd on fire. 

By the time he switched to an electric guitar, it was already clear he could have rocked the house with a ukulele, but the faux track the band apparently works into recent shows featured that aforementioned buzz, and the electric guitar was the appropriate instrument to bring that segment of the show forward.

Frank Turner and (at least one of) The Sleeping Souls

Mandatory sing-a-longs that really required no prompting,  energy that appeared unabated by the time I had to leave, this was the capper on a great evening of folk-based music. 

Certainly not your Grandpa's folk music...




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