Camera Obscura River Stage, LeBreton Flats, Ottawa ON, July 5

Camera Obscura River Stage, LeBreton Flats, Ottawa ON, July 5
Photo: Jessica Deeks
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"This is what happens when you invite Glaswegians to play your festival — it rains." Opening their 50-minute set, Camera Obscura frontwoman Tracyanne Campbell presented the Ottawa Bluesfest crowd with this doozy of an understatement. Hitting the fest's River Stage 20 minutes late, due to a heavy downpour, the Scottish chamber rockers were greeted by hardcore fans, brave souls trying to stake out a good spot for She & Him (who would come later) and a couple hundred umbrellas.

Looking characteristically stoic, gratifyingly confident and very, very pregnant, Campbell led her expanded six-piece live band through a pair of tracks from their fifth LP, Desire Lines. As the rains moved from tropical to torrential, causing the stage crew to build a makeshift tent over Carey Lander and her Moog, the band grinned through the remainder of their set list, treating fans to immaculate renditions of favourites like, "Lloyd, I'm Ready to Be Heartbroken" and "French Navy." Although the band skipped over a few obvious choices, including "Let's Get Out of This Country" and "Troublemaker," Camera Obscura sonically and temperamentally showed what kind of seasoned pros they've become, especially in the wake of what Traceyanne would describe as, "a performance we'll never forget."