Holly Golightly & the Brokeoffs / Buddy McNeil & the Magic Mirrors

La Sala Rossa, Montreal QC November 11

BY Lorraine CarpenterPublished Nov 25, 2008

New Zealand’s Delaney Davidson was a no-show, so local youngsters Buddy McNeil & the Magic Mirrors were left to support Miss Golightly all on their lonesome. But their garage-esque frequencies failed to sufficiently light a fire under the crowd on a chilly Tuesday. Fittingly, perhaps, their fruity army surplus attire was the most memorable element of the set, on Remembrance Day.

Holly Golightly cranked it up a notch just by climbing on stage, with one-man band the Brokeoffs, aka Georgia-based native Lawyer Dave. Having played bass in her last ensemble, he and the onetime Headcoatee go way back, and judging from the alchemy oozing from their banter, they’re pretty hardcore party people, in every sense (probably including the biblical).

As a spectacle, the show was rather subdued, as was the crowd, who expressed their love with gracious applause and awkward heckling, the latter courtesy of the drunkest guy in the room: "Are you a feminist?” he yelled at the top of the set. Golightly deferred to Lawyer Dave, the comeback king, who dryly replied, "I like the womens. My mom was one.”

Disappointment was palpable once it became clear that we’d hear none of Golightly’s back catalogue, but once the duo’s guitars and voices locked into their particular brand of American gothic blues, some masterful stuff was afoot. Lawyer Dave’s hair-raising slide and Golightly’s clarion "chantoosy” tones laid the perfect foundation for tunes about trains, booze, marriage, firearms, suicide, escalators and the devil.

Dishing out material from their two albums, You Can’t Buy a Gun When You’re Crying and Dirt Don’t Hurt, the pair evoked the Victrola age, playing the roles of wayward travelling entertainers trotting out a tune for a buck, cheap whiskey in pocket. And there’s no arguing with that.

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