Saturday, August 28, 2010

City Perk, Saskatoon: Nicole and Friends show, Aug 26, 2010

Text and photos (c) Robert Barry Francos, 2010

Not every show is a big one. Sometimes its fun to watch those just starting out. Heck, as I've said, the first time I saw the Ramones and Talking Heads was to an audience of 12 at CBGB's in June of 1975, and the Heads were awful - it was their first show (they got better, though). But I digress, as usual...

City Perk, in the City Park area of Saskatoon, is a lively and lovely coffee restaurant on 7th Ave and Princess St, where I often go to get a cuppa java (though they also have sandwiches, smoothies, etc.). I noticed the sign above a few weeks ago and did as it said and asked the barista about it. Seems she was Nicole, and she told me more about the show.

August 26 was a hot Thursday, near 30C / 90F, and even hotter indoors with a small crowd of people who seem to be made up of the performers' friends. I was easily the oldest one there, but what the heck.

Nicole came up first, and she had sort of a Jewel vibe to her voice, performing originals like "Peter Pan Complex," "Piano vs. Guitar," "Cartoon Heart" (which he states was one of her favorites), and "Stormwatcher." While she fumbled in a few spots here and there, the songs were lovely, and personally I believe mostly what she needs is to play out more to get comfortable performing. For one song early on in her set, she was joined on violin by Adrian, who added a nice touch.

Rachelle Lucyk was up next. She looked and sounded more like a rocker, with a tattoo on her chest that reads "Don't Lose Hope." She sang singer-songwriter style, and yet I kept thinking this would be a great rock song. She had tendinitis and had trouble with the guitar, but mustered through with a few missteps on her playing (and remembering lyrics occasionally). My opinion is that she needs someone to play guitar for her, a la Patti Smith, which would solve her pain dilemma. She did a mix of originals like "What a Mess" (which had the same chord structure as "Rock Lobster" in parts), "You Probably Can't Relate," and an excellent one I believe is called "Lately," about a woman married to a substance abuser. Her covers included L. Cohen's "Hallelujah" and Patsy Cline's "Crazy" (written by Willie Nelson, FYI).

Both played for about 45 in the sweltering heat. They should be playing more. Well, definitely more than Dustin & Dylan Williamson, who did not play at all, though they were listed on the poster. Good work setting up the show, Nicole.

Nicole [plus Adrian]

Rachelle Lucyk

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