Psychic Fair The Ship, St. John's NL, May 7

Psychic Fair The Ship, St. John's NL, May 7
Photo: Noah Bender
9
By the end of Psychic Fair's set, vocalist Josh Salter and guitarist Charles Austin were trading solos by tossing the same Stratocaster through the air to one another, catching it, and following through on the same feedback-soaked lead the other had started. It was a surprisingly unhinged set by a band featuring some elder Halifax pop legends.
 
Austin plays in the Super Friendz, Cliff Gibb played drums in Thrush Hermit, Andrew Glencross has played with both in Neuseiland, the Lodge, and with Austin, backing up Buck 65, and Salter plays in Nap Eyes and Monomyth and is like 30 years younger than everyone else in the band. Salter is a playful brat, who possesses an indifferent strut and delighted in letting his microphone feed back and get tangled up in anything its cord came into contact with. It got tangled up in a lot of different shit.
 
Meanwhile, the instrumentalists in his band put on a damn clinic, running through songs from their new EP, Chipeater Deluxe. Austin recalled the wild precision of Richard Thompson at times, while the rhythm section were locked in tight, making wise moves you might expect from a powerful pop band. It didn't have to be a rock'n'roll circus but, thanks to Salter's antics and some brilliant musicianship, Psychic Fair were a festival highlight.