Anna Calvi in Toronto – A Review

May 29, 2011 at 9:31 pm (Uncategorized)

And for the second time in a week I headed down to the neon palms of the El Mocambo for a Collective Concerts show. Earlier in the week, it was for Stornoway and Sea of Bees, but this time it was for Anna Calvi, whose Canadian debut had been rescheduled due to a hand injury.

Calvi has received a lot of buzz about her work. Names like Patti Smith, Polly Harvey and Nick Cave are often bandied around in connection with her debut album. In truth, she doesn’t sound like any of them, but what you do have is an extraordinarily powerful record.

I didn’t catch the name of the opening band, and while they seemed like nice fellows who played a Talking Headish funk, they didn’t really move me. Other audience members disagreed and they received a positive reaction from the crowd.

But it was the main item, we were really waiting for.

Calvi took to the stage shortly before midnight, with the two members of her band multi-instrumentalist Mally Harpez and drummer Daniel Maiden-Wood. They show began with the instrumental opener from the album  and very quickly it became clear just how much of a talent Calvi is. Leaving aside the guitar and voice, the songs are remarkably seductive, pulling in the audience.  

jumped from one instrument to another, and Maiden-Wood created a fiercely intense backing for Calvi’s guitar. And despite her recent hand injury Calvi played most of  her album as well as a cover of Elvis’ Surrender and the Edith Piaf song Jezebel.

And once again I’d have to say that my only complaint was the shortness of the show. Around fifty minutes including the one song encore. A few more songs to take us over the one hour mark would have been nice, but in all fairness, the show was so good, that I was just happy to be there.


1 Comment

  1. Goodbye 2011 « Notes from Underground said,

    […] yeah, critical buzz, but ignore that; she really is that good. I saw her twice this year, at the El Mocambo and at Lee’s Palace. She basically played the same set, but it was sooooo good, I didn’t […]

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