Breagh Potter, doused in silver and gold upon the mantle, sings her swan song to the night. Accompanied by a voice as clean and as raw as the hands of Judas, she sways heartily to the backdrop of a cello bemoaning a bow. Standing before the passion of the Christ, she sings to the pews. It is a very cold night outside these walls.
Pat LePoidevin, accompanied by a guitar, a ukulele, and a story, prepares his sermon. American fiction and underground tales of coal are the subjects of the evening. Golf courses and mountain men, broken hearts and the magic of Disney. Prepare yourself. Pat is, as usual, accompanied by his reverb voice-looping shtick and a whispering shout that suckers your soul into a violence that is kind and sweet to the ears but vicious to the heart. A second time around since the Slow Dough fiasco, this BC native does not grant any excuses to the power of his voice. An untitled album, due this May, speaks of themes of obscurity and guilt in an ever-changing world. Relevancy is key these days, isn’t it?
Breagh, in the shadow of the Christ, sung with a sweetness reserved only for the sanctity of angels. Much in part like Regina Spektor, Breagh holds fast to a Francophone charm that breathes whimsy, pleasure, and joy with every note presented to the ears. Joyous and careless in charm, she effectively whispers the highs and lows of fate to an audience of eager listeners. In this instance, my ears are roused and pleased by the sound of her kind, joyous voice.
Sound in mind and body, Pat and Breagh brought a close knit, colourful show to Manning Chapel. As is common with Baptist architecture, Manning Chapel is lined with gold, marble, stone, and a feeling of joy. Juxtaposed to the wild debauchery present at Wolfville’s Anvil on a Friday night, this chapel show offered some much needed respite from the frigid repetition of a Nova Scotian winter. Who knows, a church pew may be the comfiest lap you have ever slept on.
I cannot convey music through word. I cannot detail the highs and lows of a voice, of an instrument, of an emotion of song, through the power of the written word. All I can say is; listen to Pat LePoidevin. Listen to Breagh Potter. Listen to Joan Baez, Warren Zevon, and Bach. Listen to the countless poetic artists that portray the influence of my writing, of anyone’s writing, of the power of the Earth’s creativity. These artists do not reflect everyone. I am not “original”, a special snowflake. I am simply and hopelessly trying to express myself through the written word of my actions and emotions.
Turn on, tune in, drop out. Timothy Leary spoke this mantra in 1967 while high on LSD in front of 30,000 strung out hippie compatriots at the Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Take from this what you will, dear readers, but I pray to whatever deity may be above us that you will practice the trades of free speech and creativity to the ends of the Earth. Do not adhere yourselves to complacency, to mediocrity, to woefulness. Practice your dreams, express your utmost desires, and speak what silliness fills your mind. Do not let the majesty falter. It has been spoken ages before, and shall be spoken now.
I wish you luck. Sincerely,