Woodpigeon NXNE, Toronto, ON June 17 to 21, 2009

Woodpigeon NXNE, Toronto, ON June 17 to 21, 2009
Woodpigeon front-man, Mark Hamilton's pristine vocals and storytelling acumen evoked a number of twee acts, but without any cloying earnestness. Austere tracks, like swelling, choral selection, "I Live a Lot of Places" and nostalgic stock-taker, "Oberkampf," kept the crowd rapt (the pitch-perfect, CBC-indebted sound didn't hurt). Bigger full-band songs sacrificed subtlety, mostly detrimentally, though an ominous, extended closer expertly utilized the consortium setup. Hamilton's natural storytelling prowess and wry sense of humour rounded out an already layered showcase. Incidentally, few songwriters can pull off a folk-ish, comic-strip-inspired ballad, but Hamilton did it without relying on irony.