Amy Millan Live at the Casbah
'Feels just like another rainy day.'
Though the above pictorial display is not actually from the
show Sarah and I were at last night, it sort of depicts the
view we had - front row centre. Amy Millan did not
disappoint as her soothing, silvery voice glazed the microphone
and left it dripping with some of her 'honey from the tombs'.
From the onset, Sarah and I knew we were in for a treat. After
the loud opener 'The Rest' had finished (and their wall of
sound had finished exploding into itself), Miss Millan took the
stage by herself, claiming her band was 'still busy in the back,
drinking'. She played 'Losin You' and a song off of the very
first Stars cd (from 2003 'Nightsongs') all by her lonesome -
very folksy and quiet. What a cool way to start a show. After
that little intro, her band (who apparently don't have a name
but are now commonly being referred to as 'the dirty strangers')
took the stage and a plethora of instruments were manned
and well-represented. The mandolin player (Dan Whiteley)
was exceptionally fast-fingered and enjoyed himself thoroughly
while playing. The best part about his performance, though,
was the fact that he was late getting to the stage and as Amy
was shouting through the bar, looking for him, a voice boomed
out 'I'm comin! I'm just refilling my prescription!'. Another
awesome instrument wielder was the tall dude beside Amy
who played EVERYTHING from the trombone to the tablesaw.
I would like to know his name...and I would like to recruit his
One of the coolest things about this show was the setting - every
other show I had been to at The Casbah (all of which were
Joel Plaskett) was standing room only and very loud. It was
such a different but welcome feel to actually go to a show, sit
at a candlelit table, have a few pints, relax and hear all the
different levels of each individual instrument and voice blending
Though it sounds like (from this review) everyone who was
there that night was hammered, such was not the case. Amy played
a great set - only about 10 songs or so- and sang each song with
confidence and late-summer comfort in her voice. Any chance
I would get to see her live again, I would take in a cat's meow.
Here's hoping some new material will be 'bringing out the whiskey'
in all of us VERY soon. For any of you who have not picked up
'Honey From The Tombs', I highly recommend you get off your
couch-fitted arse and make it happen.