Live Reviews

  Devon Sproule and Chris Garneau live at ABC2 in Glasgow

Ladies and Gentlemen, for your edification and delectation, we are proud to present the calming and inspirational singing voices of Devon Sproule and Chris Garneau. At least that is the way the Bluesbunny think these two fine artists should have been announced. Like a reflection of better times long past, they could well be an antidote to the "Oh, I seem to have forgotten my panties" purveyors of popular music that pollute our sensitive bunny ears these days. Judging from tonight's attendees, there are a whole range of people seeking something altogether more charming than the usual popular fayre.

The slight, bearded figure of Chris Garneau takes the stage first. Takes the stage is probably too strong a term. He just sort of drifts over onto the stool behind his keyboards. He takes a sip from a bottle of water. His songs - mostly from his "Music for Tourists" album - are little urban stories full of loneliness and sadness powered by sweet, wistful melodies. In a way, he is like Tom Waits without the alcohol and the twisted soul. He leaves the stage to the applause of a clearly satisfied crowd.

Devon Sproule comes on stage. Armed only with her trusty antique guitar and that vintage dress, she faces the Glasgow crowd and treats us to a solo version of "Stop By Anytime" from her " Keep Your Silver Shined" album. There is a timeless quality to her music that is quite refreshing in today's pre-packaged world. She is not a natural performer and possesses little of the stage presence that we would have expected of someone so talented. It is almost like she was playing to some friends in a house rather than being on stage. Mind you, as her set progresses, the music almost seems to burst out of her resulting in spontaneous bouts of on stage dancing. You would have to have a heart of stone not to like her. "Let's Go Out" entrances us before she brings her band on stage for the old-timey "Old Virginia Block". It is actually quite difficult to classify her in musical terms. You might think old style country music with a splash of western swing but there are these jazzy undertones as well. Perhaps that is what makes her special as she manages to sound like more than the sum of her influences. You have to add in the warmth of her performance too so that when she sings of wanting of cute shoes and a vintage dress, you don't think of avarice but instead of hope.

Feeling curiously warm and satisfied, Bluesbunny heads back out into the dark city streets and wonders if he can catch a bus to that promised land that Devon Sproule hails from. Goodnight sweetheart, goodnight.

Review Date: September 10 2007