14 September 2009

Madison Violet

Madison Violet enjoying themselves
There's nothing like a late Sunday evening for a crush in the  overheated room over the Cabbage Patch that plays host to the Twickenham Folk Club (now cunningly rebranded as TwickFolk@CabbagePatch)

We were there, Mrs Botogol and I, to hear an obscure Canadian country roots/folk duo called Madison Violet (as featured by whispering Bob Harris on Radio 2)

Doors were at 8pm so, obsessively punctual, I hurried us there for 7:59. But there were two support acts. Of course there were; it was very hot and the wine was warm. Mrs Botogol was not amused.

But it was worth it!  If we had not been entirely warmed up by the slightly sulky1 Good Intentions who preceded them ("We've come from Shoreditch. Just now that is. Actually, we're from Liverpool. Well Gaby's not") it wasn't our fault, but when these two upbeat, wise-cracking  women took the stage, positively revelling in each others' company, it was impossible not to smile.

In a packed set they played almost all of their new album - No Fool For Trying - the upbeat title track contrasting with the bitter and angry tones of Woodshop and Black and White, the yearning of Ransom and charming nostalgia of Small Of My Heart

There were a couple of Flight of the Concords moments as very dedicated tour-following fans fresh from New Brunswick and Switzerland made themselves known, Lisa and Brenley handling with aplomb, and the crowd sang cooperatively when called upon.

Here are MadViolet singing the most moving song of the evening -  Woodshop - Brenley MacEachern momentarily choking up in her introduction as she recalled the death of her brother, and the family tragedy about which the song is written.

The set finished with singular - and sinister - cover of Simon & Garfunkel's Mrs Robinson, the  somehow menacing arrangement and heartfelt, angry vocals emphasising the less than wholesome nature of the story - and the familiar song suddenly took on a unexpected hue.

Exclellent. They are touring UK and Ireland in next two weeks - go see them.

1 - I reckon they had a row in the traffic, for their music was actually laced with some wry country wit "I was a poor boy this morning / and I'll be one again tonight / there is nothing I call my own / and I will not need my 12 string / when the angels call me home"


Burgin Streetman said...


Botogol said...

to explain the song, I should probably have provided some of the background details that B gave at the gig: that her brother was murdered and his death was reported in the papers as the 52nd murder in Toronto that year - so now you can make more sense of the chorus.

Big Softie said...

Wow, what a powerful song. "They brought home his things in plastic bags" :-( just about says it all.

M4GD said...

Madison Violet:
Agree with Big Softie. A Beautiful song, music, voices, and lyrics! You selected well. That’s a group worth posting about indeed! I have not heard of them before but found them on Rhapsody and listening to their full collection as I write this comment. In addition to the Woodshop, I love No Fool for Trying, Small of My heart, Crying, and Time and Tide. Don’t you think it’s surprising that they do a rendition of Mrs Robinson. Where did that come from? I like Paul and Art. Not sure what is happening with each these days. Paul is experiencing a revival here (i.e. USA) I’m not sure if we can deduce this from the fact that his CDs are selling well in Starbucks!!! Art was touring in London in early 2007. I happened to be there and was able attend a performance at the Palladium. It was packed. He has a soft spot for London. During the concert he reminisced a great deal on his and Paul’s life in England. It has a hand in shaping their music.
Back to Madison Violet; The Canadian country music scene is full of many undiscovered talents. In my twenties, I lived for few good years in Canada. A dear friend in grad school with an amazing voice and guitar skills used to frequent country music themed clubs and I tagged along. Her hunk brothers failed to teach me line dancing or truthfully I sucked at it. She now opted for a quiet family life and left the city job doing a bit of painting, and some virtual consulting. She is a great painter. And all is happening on a beautiful family owned cow and milk producing farm in Northern Ontario.
Three Myths:
Excellent analysis. It makes sense. Late timing though. If available earlier may be the Federal judge who rejected the settlement between SEC, Bank of America over Merrill Lynch bonuses yesterday, would have changed his mind reading it. The banking industry is still to blame though. Its complex executive compensation structure should have been more transparent years ago that way there would be no room for confusion with or without recession. People fear what they don’t understand. Make it easy for the shareholders and average people to understand and they’ll buy it. It would simply reflect the nature of the industry. I worked for an organization where everyone knew what the other one made (office boy to the CEO) and how the bonuses were calculated. We could even ask to look at the company books if we wanted. Well, my friend that was my answer to a question re Bankers Bonuses during an interview early this year. My call for transparency did not appeal to the two interviewers. Sadly, I did not get the opportunity I applied for. Moving on – I’ll stick to what I know;-)

Pulling a Sickie:
Unbelievable – a non starter within a US employment context.

Botogol said...

@M4GD - they were invited to thing called 'women sing men' where female singer sog-writers covered songs by men.

they thought as they were a duo they should cover a song by a male duo.

..but why they chose this song, or what they thought about it, or S&G, they didn't say.... leaving it to the audience's (no doubt over-active) imagination

M4GD said...

Thanks tons for the clarification. Appreciated. You know there was a modern follow-on movie to the story of Mrs Robinson in the old movie the Graduate, experimenting with what could have happened down the line…I think it was called Rumor has it. Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Costner, Shirley McLaine. It was okay nothing earth shattering.

Burgin Streetman said...

Rumor Has it. Terrible movie. Rob Reiner definitely jumped the shark on that one.

I saw The Graduate before I understood what it meant... now it speaks volumes. Just rented it from the library a few months back. Lovely film.