Thursday, August 15, 2013

Ottawa -> Toronto (Joshua Radin gig)

Even though I had just arrived in Ottawa I was heading back to Toronto for the night to go see Joshua Radin perform an intimate gig as well as catching up with my family over there.

After an amazing sleep in my first real bed in two weeks and my first real shower in about two weeks I got up and packed my stuff for the night and headed out on the brief trip to the bus station. Ottawa bus station is definitely not the most impressive way to arrive into the city if you care about first impressions. It is desperate need of a revamp -especially compared to the airport and train station. The building is pretty shabby and stuck somewhere between the 70's and 80's- as is every bus station around the world.

I arrived a good half an hour early for my bus and the queue was already out the door. I have learnt in Canada that they rarely factor in the size of the bus when they sell tickets as there are always too many people for the bus - so get there early. Needless to say, the bus was packed and I of course ended up with a rather large man from Hong Kong whose chair was broken so he spent the trip huffing and puffing in frustration. That was until he started talking to me and wouldn't stop asking what my favourite Claymore was once he found out I was Scottish.

Five hours later and I arrived in Toronto where I was collected by my cousin Fiona and her son Chetan - who already looked older even though I'd only been away a few weeks! The only real physical difference was that he had had a hair cut but he had  more of a voice and was trying to have conversations even if the words weren't quite there yet. It wasn't long after I'd sorted my laundry and updated all my devices when it was time to go to the gig.

The gig was at Mod Club which was owned by Virgin and it looked like they had to renovate it to look like a dingy club all the while making it hip and modern - a very specific design brief. The queue outside was full of women with the occasional boyfriend strung along- even though I do know plenty of guys who love Joshua as much as the next girl.

The show started an hour later than the tickets said but this was good as it was a seated gig so you couldn't just jostle to the front. However, a bonus about coming to a gig by yourself is that you can take that one single seat in the front row without a fuss. The warm up band were called "My Name is You" and were made up of Bernard, who regularly plays with Mr Radin, and a girl called Anna Williamson whose accent took me far too long to work out but I was pleasantly relieved when she said she was Scottish. In the interval I made sure to go and express my joy at finding another ex-pat. They played a nice little acoustic set which wouldn't go astray somewhere on my ipod.

Joshua Radin came on shortly afterwards and it was simply just him, a guitar and a spotlight - just perfect. He had got a few 'complaints' that he doesn't play enough intimate gigs with old songs - so he did this tour. As well as a pristine singing voice, Radin also has a speaking voice like coffee as he entertains the crowd with the stories behind each song.  His first three songs was a compilation of a very old song (What if You), a song off the new album (My, My Love - which is one of my new favourites of his) and one that he had just written a few days ago (Old Friend). Joshua Radin likes to pen his own genres for his songs such as "baby making songs" and "ill-timed songs" but I like to pen my own terms for artist genres and Joshua Radin fits into my favourite genre alongside Passenger. They are both what I like to call "pin-drop" musicians which are best experiences live as they have the ability to get everyone listening so intently to their songs that you could hear a pin drop.

After the gig I listened to Joshua's new album 'Wax Wings" which I'd uploaded to my ipod beforehand and I appreciated them so much more after hearing them live. I ended the night rekindling the joy of just wandering around at night listening to music moving between streetlights and moonlight - something I'd discovered after hearing Joshua Radin's first album.

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