John Parish/Sue Garner El Mocambo, Toronto ON - March 11, 2003
Published Apr 01, 2003Having waited a long time to see ex-Run On singer Sue Garner back on stage with her latest and third solo album, Shady Lines, it was disappointing that her guitar kept conking in and out during her set. However, whether drumming sweet beats on her guitar or strumming with a paintbrush, Garner set the tone for an evening of quirky and engaging music. And when Jesse Morningstar (noisemaker from Parish's band) joined Garner onstage with his treated violin, all that mattered was Garner's wavering and quaking voice. Later on in the evening, as the audience sat dumbly entranced, John Parish too overcame technical difficulties. Stopping his 11-piece orchestra in mid-song, Parish informed the audience that the current song he was playing, "Westward Airways," "does sound lovely with the bass." A minute later, the kazoo-like sounds feeding back from Jim Barr's bass amp brought the whole room to its knees. Whether intrinsically melodic or at a strange tempo, the music that Parish's band wove was gorgeous. Switching back and forth between drums and the microphone, Tammy Payne's voice was as eerie as it was enchanting. And Aaron Jury's cornet playing was so tight that it seemed like the sound of saliva collecting in the coronet's spit valve was as choreographed as Clare Mactaggart's exquisite violin.