Quidi Vidi Music Crawl with Dark for Dark, Gianna Lauren, Donovan Woods and Weaves Various Venues, St. John's NL, April 25
Published Apr 26, 2015The Quidi Vidi Music Crawl is just another example of Lawnya Vawnya's attention to detail, as the fest allows patrons to hit all of landmark Quidi Vidi Village's main attractions while taking in four mini-sets by festival artists.
The crawl started with the lovely Dark for Dark, a trio — comprising Jess Lewis, Melanie Stone and Rebecca Zolkower — that eschewed their acoustic-electric-bass setup typically complemented by Evan Matthews on drums for a quieter, acoustic-only set. In the Quidi Vidi Plantation, their soft but full voices were supported by just the single guitar; the songs were sparse, highlighting the trio's gorgeous voices.
On the first song, "Owls," and throughout their three-song set, their voices blended perfectly, as each sang lead once while the others provided harmonized call-and-responses and background vocals.
Gianna Lauren played second, at the upstairs room of the Quidi Vidi Brewery. Back by Mauno, the set was expertly arranged, as the four musicians swung through Lauren's songs with gusto. She draped her gentle alto sweetly over the instrumentals, like flower petals in a stream, as Evan Matthews and Eliza Niemi powered the songs forward on drums and bass, respectively.
Over at Mallard Cottage, the crawl's third stop, Donovan Woods played as softly as could be to a crowded room of restaurant patrons and crawl participants. His sparse ballads were barely audible even in the stark silence, his performance an intimate whisper broken only by applause and some deep-voiced banter from Woods.
He asked if anyone had requests — "Sometimes this doesn't work out, and no one knows your song, and it's embarrassing," he quipped — and then joked that he'd planted people with requests in the audience and paid them.
It was a simple, sweet performance punctuated by a new song, "First Time," and the revelation that Woods' mom thinks his legs are short.
The afternoon ended at the incredible Inn of Olde, where lovable, eccentric bar owner Linda Hennebury hosted Toronto band Weaves. Singer Jasmyn Burke was her usual charming self, shooting the audience coy looks after each line and visibly enjoying every detail of their ornate compositions, often striking a pose as guitarist Morgan Waters added a guitar flourish.
Their jerky, dynamic songs, subdued just a little for the intimate pub, sounded good: "Hulahoop" had all the coiled up dynamism of their set the night prior, and they even crammed "Motorcycle" into the tiny space, every spiralling bass line and spring-loaded drum part. They played a lounge-y new song, followed by "Birds and Bees," and then toyed with wrapping up before the audience convinced them to play just one more.