For some time, now, I have been hoping to get to see Andy White. But since Andy White is an Irish Musician who lives in Australia, the chances were pretty slim that I was going to see him in these parts.
I was surprised and pleased to hear that not only was he going to be here in the area, but he was going to be at my favourite venue, The Blacksheep Inn, in Wakefield, Quebec.
So…. I headed off to Wakefield, arrived early enough to order AND eat something from the restaurant next door (great food at a reasonable price!), run to the bank machine, AND get a spot right up front. Andy is really personable and a great songwriter. While the crowd was small (something we have to rectify next time he is in town!) it was enthusiastic. I think most of the audience were familiar with his music and had seen him before. I am new to his music and have only heard the songs he has on his MySpace page, so I was really interested to hear a wider selection of his work.
He is great!
Andy’s songs are pure magic, both in terms of the lyrics and in terms of the on-stage sound. He said towards the end that sometimes his guitar, which is a small 12-string (I’m not sure if it is a guitar or another guitar-like instrument… It is the size of a child’s guitar but puts out an incredible sound), seems to just have a mind of its own and start doing its own thing (in a good way)… It starts to hum and vibrate and reverberate, and coupled with some pedal-tweaks by Andy, you get a surround-sound, synthesizer experience! I was so caught up in the music I didn’t want to videotape, which is a first for me.
Some favourites? “Looking for James Joyce’s Grave“, “If You Want It“, “Italian Girls on Mopeds“, “Travelling Circus” (My favourite of the favourites).
Andy also co-wrote “If I Catch You Crying” with Stephen Fearing for Blackie and the Rodeo Kings which I didn’t know until this evening. That’s a favourite song from the B&tRK CD…
Andy White, at The Blacksheep
After the show, I took a brief trip up the hill to the cemetery behind the Blacksheep to see whether you could see any stars (it’s a great spot for viewing). Unfortunately, there was some cloud cover and a bright moon, so the stars weren’t terribly bright.
It is a cool night and the smell of woodsmoke was in the air.
Coming home, I took the River Road down through all the little which have been (why oh why do they do this?) renamed Chelsae… Completely idiotic, if you ask me since the signs all down the highway has “Chelsae” in large letters and the old name in brackets. Why not just leave the damn name alone? Was there anything wrong with the names “Farm Point” or “Larimack”? Of course, this was an idiotic fad of the late 1990s to create “megacities” which petered out when most of the smaller communities which were absorbed into the much larger ones found (no surprises, here) that they gained nothing from amalgamation and lost autonomy. I STILL have to put my address as Nepean, despite being told “Oh, that’s Ottawa” because if I don’t my mail gets lost…. ten years after amalgamation.
On the road down through “Chelsae” I spotted a bunch of what I thought were raccoons but discovered was a pride of cats out for a prowl. There must have been 5 or six all darting across the road. Luckily for them, I was taking my time on the road.
Crossing the Interprovincial Bridge, on the Hull (oh… SORRY… the “Gatineau”) side of the river, there were a whole lot of fire trucks, ambulances, paramedic vehicles, and police cars with flashers on. They fire engines seemed to have their spotlights trained on the Ottawa River on the North side. Not sure what was going on.