OLIO FESTIVAL – VANCOUVER, BC
Thursday, September 20, 2012/ Biltmore Cabaret / Slim Fathers / Legs / Nu Sensae
The Olio Festival is back for its fifth year and has once again brought an assortment of local and out of town artists together in a smorgasbord grouping of varying artists, but it’s not just music, it’s comedy, film, and fashion. The Thursday night showcase at the Biltmore saw three different local acts grouped together with a unifying theme of they all were female fronted. Courtney Ewan of Slim Fathers belted out tunes that reminded me of something Emily Haines might have been involved with early in her career. Allie Sheldan of Legs has the charisma and chops that can only come from a confident performer, her soulful voice juxtaposed their southern gothic rock style sound. Nu Sensae capped off the trio of groups and once again established their place as one of the top hardcore/punk groups in Vancouver. Andrea Lukic has perfected her screaming growls which capped an interesting night of contrasting female vocal styles.
Friday, September 21, 2012 / The Waldorf / Needles // Pins / Dude York / Natural Child
For the early set at the Waldorf, local heroes Needles // Pins had the rare distinction of opening up for a couple of young out-of-town up and comers. The Needles established a set that would begin a theme of groups that love to play music, and look like they’re having the time of their lives on stage. Dude York are two dudes and one chick from Seattle that play enthusiastic fuzzed out pop songs. Their unfaltering energy lifted the band higher than their songs probably, but it’s what will keep them going for some time if they want to continue. Natural Child then blew in on the stage, hailing from Nashville, Tennessee, but if you saw them you’d be able to tell where they’re from. If you heard them you might guess where they’re from too which is definitely not anywhere from around here. Their straight ahead southern rock with vocal harmonies is a sound that you don’t often hear anymore, and if you do it’s not coming from a place of authenticity like Natural Child. They sing songs about drinking, doing drugs, and general partying and they do so with complete conviction. You might call their sound southern garage, but on stage it just looks like good ole boy rock and roll. They seemed confused, perhaps a bit tired from traveling, even acknowledging the crowd from Toronto, but it didn’t discourage the crowd from demanding an encore after their set was through. They quickly conversed and played the only other song they knew: “Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)” by Neil Young. Sufficed to say, they won over everyone in the audience, and probably gained a few more fans.
– Michael Unger