One thing you can say about Martha Wainwright is that, no matter what, she is up for the party!! Smiling and calling out to the bartender for a different drink every show seems to be a trademark. Along with her appealing voice. What a voice! Rich, warm, wispy, strong and versatile. And, a lot like her fashion -- so hot! It's the contradictions. This show she came out in a frilly, flowery, flapper-like dress and high top sneakers. With slippery laces apparently, as she had to stop a couple times between songs to tie them back up. Its moments like that that makes her live performance so engaging. She engages with individuals, she really responds to each unique audience.
She represented her album material well, but added a few surprises, including one I think is called 'dis quand reviendras tu', made famous by someone called Barbara. Clearly she has a New York following, that actually follow her, since a guy next to me in the club asked what North by North East is in a thick NY accent. I enjoyed the opener Ridley Bent, though it meant a shorter set from her full band than I would have liked, and which I assume was the NXNE impact; I know that the first 50 wrist bands were allowed in. The crowd loved her, wild with applause in the pauses in listening intently. The bartender advised that the capacity of the venue is 550, and that it was indeed a sold out show. I had an extra ticket for a handsome potential date who didn't take me up on the offer, which made her material resonate stronger for me dancing solo. Then she took a solo trip to the ladies for a smoke before the encore and closed the evening with a mantra I'd hoped she'd share, about not declining the invite tonight. So, all I have left to say about another fantastic show is that one should never miss a chance to see the marvelous miss Martha.
Writer: Kim Logue