Julie Doiron stops in at Chaucers

Packed house enjoys folksy opening acts

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Julie Doiron

Gazette File Photos

WHEN SHE'S FEELING DOWN, JULIE LIKES TO HOLD HER AMP. IF THAT DOESN'T WORK, SHE CAN ALWAYS CHILL IN THE WOODS. Julie Doiron and openers Slow Down, Molasses and Bryan Pole played at Chaucer's Pub Friday night.

Canadian songstress Julie Doiron rocked London this weekend as part of her Canadian tour with Saskatoon’s Slow Down, Molasses and London band Bryan Pole. The event was put on with the help of the Open House Arts Collective.

The bands played to a packed house at Chaucer’s Pub on Clarence Street, where the concert was relocated after the recent closing of The Alex P. Keaton. The venue, which fit about 100 of London’s finest music junkies, suited the bands perfectly and added to the cozy and relaxed atmosphere.

Although Doiron had an obvious fan base, the crowd was less than enthusiastic to start, staying somewhat stiff throughout the first two performances and only starting to loosen up when Doiron rolled in. Her sultry tunes sounded like they belong on an episode of Grey’s Anatomy and were both romanticized and peaceful.

A seasoned songwriter, Doiron’s newest album I Can Wonder What You Did With Your Day features songs that touch on various aspects of Canadian life, such as growing up in New Brunswick and falling in love in the summertime.

Doiron noted it takes quite a while to come up with her songs.

“I go into the studio with songs about two thirds written ... I wrote most of [the current album] over the winter. We would play for a while and then I would go sit outside with my guitar and work things out.”

The set ran for almost an hour and a half, which pleased the crowd who repeatedly shouted out for more. A relaxed Doiron didn’t seem to mind and was eager to take requests and work out the kinks with the band.

Student Matt Morris was most impressed with the folksy sounding Slow Down, Molasses. “They reminded me of The Arcade Fire but are more relaxed … you can see their passion when they are on stage and its produces beautiful music.” The six-piece band featured the banjo, trombone, violin and even a toy piano.

The greatest surprise of the night was Bryan Pole. The London-based band’s “Curse of the Sleeping Bear” had the audience smiling and lead singer Sam Shelstad had the audience laughing. Overall, the evening showcased the finest of emerging Canadian talent.

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