Laura Sauvage Seahorse Tavern, Halifax NS, October 22

Laura Sauvage Seahorse Tavern, Halifax NS, October 22
Photo: Lindsay Duncan
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Under a bed of green lights, Laura Sauvage took to the stage in a noisy Seahorse Tavern, by herself.
 
"My band didn't make it," said Sauvage, the alter ego of sorts of Vivianne Roy, also known for her part in New Brunswick indie folk trio Les Hay Babies. "This is 'no one' on the drums," she joked, gesturing back to the empty kit, set up for the Barr Brothers' show that followed.
 
The absence would have been noteworthy even if Sauvage hadn't noted it. Sandwiched between a stellar full-band Basia Bulat set upstairs in the Marquee Club and a rollicking Barr Brothers show afterwards, she played to a crowd far too wired to pay enough attention to an enigmatic solo performance.
 
But for the devoted who stood close to the stage to escape the venue's din, Sauvage's set was a quiet charmer. Songs like "Have You Heard the Good News?" and "White Trash Theatre School" from this year's Extraordinormal are sharp and witty, their dour-yet-wry observations set to hummable melodies. Her voice is raspy and warm, and she even threw a Beck cover ("Cyanide Breath Mint") into the set for good measure.
 
The timing and setting may have been a bit off, and the set a bit short overall, but for those looking for something different in between two of HPX's peak shows, Sauvage's performance more than fit the bill.