Concert Review: A Hawk And A Hacksaw, Dark Dark Dark, September 22, The Rivoli

Toronto – Lately, there’s been a fair number of Elephant Six alumni making their way through our town – Olivia Tremor Control and Music Tapes a little over a week ago, Jeff Mangum’s sold out show back in August at Trinity St. Paul’s, and now former Neutral Milk Hotel drummer Jeremy Barnes’ current band A Hawk And A Hacksaw

Touring behind their latest album Cervantine, the New Mexico band played a mostly instrumental set of their heavily Balkan folk-influenced tunes.  Accordion and Violin abounded, along with a smattering of trumpet at times, some of it with a mariachi flavour.   Mixing in a few weird, moody numbers with a bunch of more upbeat tunes that got many in the crowd dancing (though technically not the right kind of dancing for this sort of music), they put on a fully entertaining show.

Openers Dark Dark Dark also put on a pretty good show, but set a much different mood than did the headliners.  Their kind of sombre tunes have been described as “chamber folk” by some and on this night were described as “introspective party jams” by singer Nona Marie Invie.  I remember that phrase because she said it twice.  After repeating herself, she continued, “That’s pretty funny, right?  It’s my first joke in Toronto.”  Well … no. Nona, it’s not actually all that funny.  At most it’s worth a chuckle.  But seeing as how the crowd was getting pretty chatty at that point, I can assume that she was doing this in an attempt to get the talkers to pay attention to her band.  If so, I’ll forgive the repetition of an aonly slightly witty quip.  They had a fairly rich sound, also full of accordians as well as lots of piano and banjo.  I had seen the band once before at the Roskilde Festival, and I have to admit, I was somewhat less impressed this time.  Perhaps it was the fact that they didn’t have a cello player with them this time around as I found that added a little extra gravitas or something to their sound.  Still, all in all, a pretty solid show.   

A Hawk and a Hacksaw, “Espanola Kolo” by NoiseNarcs

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Posted on by Paul in Concerts

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