Live & Alive with Angela Saini’s uplifting, sweet sweet sounds @ The Cameron House

 

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Angela Saini

Angela Saini threw a big party at The Cameron House on Thursday night—and everyone was invited! Saini launched her Live and Alive CD to a standing room only crowd in the back room of the Toronto music venue; the album went global on Friday.

Singer songwriter Paul Lamarche opened, treating the packed house to an acoustic set of his mellow, country-infused sounds. With notes of romance and melancholy, Lamarche took us from the wistful, nostalgia of “Ferris Wheel” to the more funkified “Make It Good” and a fun cover of Toto’s “Africa,” which included some audience participation. Closing with “All the Way” at the piano, Lamarche showcased his remarkable vocal range, especially in the upper register. Keep an eye out for Lamarche.

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Paul Lamarche

Live and Alive happened part by chance, part by design. Saini joined forces with Eric Stecki, who recorded her gigs at The Mod Club and The Drake Hotel; tracks were subsequently mixed by Ian Bodzasi and mastered by Harry Hess. Saini’s band includes Francois Martin (guitar/background vocals), Jeff Scale (bass) and David Sufrin (drums), who joined her onstage on Thursday night at the launch.

An engaging, sometimes cheeky, and always inclusive performer, Saini performed a mix of songs from the record, along with some brand spankin’ new tunes, giving us a sneak peek at what’s to come along with the fan favourites, in a combo acoustic/full band set (reflecting the recordings on the CD).

Saini’s pop sound is a soulful mix of of fierce and fragile. The lyrics are reflective and positive, even when calling out bad behaviour (“Sweet Sweet Mouth”) and, above all, tell us that it’s never too late to turn things around and make a new start (“U Turn,” “Here I Go Again” and “Living on the Bright Side”). Live and Alive also includes poignant, tender songs of love and connection, including connection to oneself (“Stay Here with Me,” “Something Like I’m Beautiful” and “Dear Diary”).

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Jeff Scale, David Sufrin, Angela Saini & Francois Martin

“U Turn” is one of my personal faves; turns out, it’s a fave of Lamarche’s too. And the whole audience was invited to sing along—and did, with great delight—on “Living on the Bright Side.” Saini’s encore, new song “Black Sheep,” shouts out not giving any effs about what other people think.

Awesome and uplifting, sweet sweet sounds at Angela Saini’s Live and Alive CD launch. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for Angela Saini.

In the meantime, check out Saini’s video for “Here I Go Again”:

 

Singing from the heart for War Child

Another amazing night of music and friends – all for a great cause – at the War Child benefit at the Drake Underground last night. So. Much. Fun. And so very moving as well.

MC Kat Leonard introduced an incredible line-up of music artists, all donating their time – as well as some of their CD and merch proceeds to War Child:

Kristine St-Pierre

Chris Assaad

Heather Hill, who was joined by Four Winds Collective members Kat Leonard, Meghan Morrison & Arlene Paculan

JP Saxe
Angela Saini

Decided to do a photo essay post this time – so here goes…

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Kristine St-Pierre
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Heather Hill & Meghan Morrison at the merch table
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MC Kat Leonard
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Arlene Paculan & Kat Leonard sharing a moment
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Chris Assaad
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Kat Leonard & Angela Saini (with some random cute bearded dude in the background)
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The Four Winds Collective (l-r): Meghan Morrison, Kat Leonard, Arlene Paculan & Heather Hill
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Eddie Paton accompanied Heather Hill
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Heather Hill (whose new song “We Are the Same” made me cry)
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JP Saxe (centre) with TJ Whitelaw (left) & Robin Claxton (right)
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JP Saxe
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Kat Leonard & Heather Hill
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Angela Saini’s band The Residence drummer John Burton (aka JB)
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Angela Saini’s band The Residence bass player Sarah Giles
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Angela Saini

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Shouts – some great events & gigs this week

Hey kids – happy Hump Day! Wanted to shout out some great arts events and music gigs happening in Toronto this week:

Tonight (Wednesday, October 10): Sarah Polley’s documentary Stories We Tell will be screening in support of the Mount Sinai Hospital Foundation of Toronto, with proceeds going to the Mount Sinai Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. There will be a chat with Sarah afterwards! Check here for details: http://www.mshfoundation.ca/SSLPage.aspx?pid=1804

Also tonight: Craig Stickland and his band play a gig at the Drake Hotel (1150 Queen St. W.); doors at 9 p.m. – $10 cover. You can find Craig here:  http://www.craigstickland.com/

Also tonight: Angela Saini plays at the Great Hall (1087 Queen St. W.) for the Girls Who Believe event; 8 p.m. – advance tickets $15. Check out Angela here: http://www.angelasaini.com/fr_home.cfm

Thursday, October 11: The Beautiful and the Damned, hosted by Lizzie Violet – with features Duncan Armstrong, Monica Kuebler and L’rock, as well as open mic performances –  at Glad Day Bookshop (598 Yonge St. – upstairs); 7 – 10 p.m. https://www.facebook.com/events/424355267614115/

Friday, October 12: Angela Saini plays another gig this week, this time at The Peacok (365 King St. W. Toronto) as part of an Indie Week Showcase; 9 p.m.

Also on Friday, October 12: Stories We Tell opens in Toronto. Check movie listings for locations/times.