Last Friday, Nov. 1st, The Fugitives and White Ash Falls played Club Lambi in Montreal. The audience took awhile to arrive, but by the time the opening act, White Ash Falls, hit the stage, there was a good crowd ready to be thoroughly entertained.
White Ash Falls played a strong set, and after a short interval Fugitives front-men Adrian Glynn and Brendan McLeod, along with the four other musicians who make up the current traveling incarnation of the band (Sly Juhas – drums, Sahra Featherstone – violin, Matt Elwood – banjo and Tricia Foster – bass), opened with “Blue Belle Lament” and progressed through a set featuring complex six-part harmonies, hand clapping, foot-stomping, a couple of sing-alongs: all backed by rousing and deeply textured instrumentals. Music and banter were equally enjoyable, and following the show the band members proved just as approachable as they appeared onstage.
Highlights were “Haunted,” a fusion of traditional spiritual and spoken-word driven by a strong rhythm and colourful lyrics; “Bigger than Luck.” a tune that gets your toes tapping and both your heart and mind humming; and “Breaking Promises,” a source of banjo bliss courtesy of Matt Elwood. Listeners also came away with a new appreciation of the balalaika as played by Adrian Glynn – specifically a delicate, well-worn and deeply resonant instrument that belonged to his grandmother.
The band’s latest album Everything Will Happen holds up on repeated listenings and never gets old. Besides the songs that were part of the live show, there are some slower tracks and even more instruments on the recording: most notably piano, accordion, and horns. While the songs are pleasingly varied in tempo and layered in sound, the album is driven by very emotional and sincere lyrics that linger. As the Fugitives make their way back west, attendance at their shows is strongly recommended.
Blue Belle Lament
Start a War
Solo by Brendan McLeod – Robocalls Song
Solo by Adrian Glynn – Mother Mary
Bigger Than Luck
All This Trouble
Everything Will Happen is available on iTunes