Moonface / Her Harbour Bluesfest School of Music & Art, Ottawa ON, October 30

Moonface / Her Harbour Bluesfest School of Music & Art, Ottawa ON, October 30
Photo: Scott Penner
After returning from his temporary residence in Finland, Spencer Krug scheduled a handful of shows in his native Canada that found this serial collaborator performing completely alone before an upright piano. Eighteen months later, Krug brought his Moonface project to Ottawa for an extraordinarily intimate performance at the Bluesfest School of Music & Art.

Once inside the renovated church, audience members were escorted past darkened desks and cubicles to find a small stage located within one of BSOMA's rehearsal rooms. Seated in plastic chairs or sprawled across the laminate wood flooring, the evening's 80 or so attendees were first treated to a rare solo performance from Gabrielle Giguere (aka Her Harbour). Seated on an askew piano bench, Giguere plucked her lonely autoharp through a handful of hauntingly breathtaking songs. Utilizing unique strumming rhythms, achingly moody vocals and copious amounts of rhythmic space, Giguere did a terrific job keeping the well-mannered crowd engrossed throughout her 30-minute performance.

Spencer Krug entered the stage incredibly relaxed and in good spirits as he straddled a drum stool to perform "The Fog," the opening track from his recently released EP, City Wrecker. After an impassioned rendition of Julia With Blue Jeans On's "Black is Back in Style," Krug announced to the audience that he would start playing the "weird stuff," which found the solo musician rocking back and forth on his stool, eyes pressed shut while belting out an hour of music that included "Love the House You're In," "City Wrecker" and a self-described "cheesy" version of Organ Music Not Vibraphone Like I'd Hoped's "Fast Peter."

Professing his worry that the audience may grow bored of his stripped-down show, Krug's charming between-song banter and his complete passion for his material had the small crowd hanging off his every word and off his every note.