Irma Thomas

Irma Thomas
The Soul Queen of New Orleans had some idea why her Montreal audience skewed so young, and it wasn’t her recent Believer cover story; on stage, she thanked the local Irma Thomas Fan Club, run by the proprietor of a tiny Montreal record store who held gumbo and bowling nights in her honour several years ago. The 67-year-old was showered with love throughout her set, and little wonder why — her voice is every bit as strong as it was 45 years ago in her hey-day. Her long-time backing band was a bit too laidback and lacking fireworks; one suspected their four-song opening set of soul standards was more about warming themselves up than the crowd.