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Music

Snowed In Under Ghostly Folk

Posted by Jer / February 20, 2009

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MP contributor and photo-taker Niki Hyde braved the mini snow storm on Wednesday night to bring you the scoop on out-of-town freak folkers Ghost Bees and in-town up-and-comers My People Sleeping. Niki probably wouldn't advise me uses this many dashes to introduce her post.

There is nothing that breaks the spirit of a Montréaler like the inevitable snowstorm following our first blush of spring. Nevertheless, in the heart of a snowstorm, I found myself shoulder to shoulder with a packed house of my rugged compatriots who braved the blizzard for a triple-bill of ghostly folk at Le Cagibi. Ghost Bees were the obvious draw for the show, once again bringing their brand of spooky songwriting to our fair city. The east-coast duo first emerged as a blip on the scene during this year’s Pop Montreal where they played to an enthusiastic crowd at Casa del Popolo.

This time around they’re bidding adieu to our belle ville before heading off to the European wilds for a tour that will have them hit France, Germany and the UK. For opening bands they picked wisely, choosing two local groups with a strong following. They complimented the Bees delicate sound with rockier riffs on the same themes. Although the Ghost Bees played a nice atmospheric set, the real stand out performance of the night was by Montreal’s own My People Sleeping.

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My People Sleeping are James Irwin, Ruby Kato Attwood, Katherine Peacock Pat Bastedo and john Ancheta. Irwin, Bastedo and Ancheta help the band launch their aural sneak attack by providing a simple framework to the delicate vocals provided by Peacock and Attwood.

20090220cagibiart1.jpgBeginning dreamily, they build over time into a surprisingly driving and at times even epic sound. Songs like “Yes, No, No, No, No” and “Tom, Tom” demonstrate the band’s potential, coming to a fever pitch of carefully orchestrated chaos. The slinky “RR Hood” got the crowd moving –as much as they could in the cramped space—and steamed up the windows of Cagibi like a couple of high-schoolers making dirty in a parked car.

I’d like to see what these kids can do with a bit more space, Cagibi was a great choice for the intimate Ghost Bees—who played their breathless ballads in near darkness—and opener Valleys, but it felt a little constrained for My People Sleeping. Something like Sala might give them enough space to explore some of the energy we felt a frisson of last night. Attwood told me that the band are wrapping up their album over the weekend so doubtless we’ll be hearing more from them in the coming months.

photos of the ghost tree, my people sleeping and the cagibi by niki hyde

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