The Geomatic Attic had another sold out show on their hands, Tuesday, Sept. 29 with Winnipeg pop/ soul band Chic Gamine and country/ soul singer Lindi Ortega.
While organizer Mike Spencer removed a row of seats to allow room for dancing, surprisingly, there's wasn’t a lot of it.
Chic Gamine enveloped the crowd in layers of sound and vocal harmonies with the occasional tasteful guitar solo. The three frontwomen Andrina Turenne, Alexa Dirks and Annick Bremault crawled over wires and instruments to play three different different keyboards, plus guitar and hand drum as they took turns singing lead vocals, all the while adding gorgeous vocal harmonies throughout. They rhythm section was tight with steady drums, pretty guitar licks and occasional bass.
They began their set with “Light a Match,” the title track off their new their new album, which featured nice organ playing. They sounded like a blend of Sweet Alibi and Destiny’s Child, especially on outstanding tracks like “Girlfriend,” one of the more perky tracks. A lot of their set was like “Daydream” was daydreamy sweet, slower pop music. Much of their set was laid back, dreamy pop influenced music, though more experimental numbers had a Pink Floyd feel.
They played much of the new CD, winding down their set with “ I Could Be Your Girl,” which reminded me of Miss Quincy and the Showdown’s.“ Bad Love.”
After a quick tear down, Lindi Ortega and her hot band (guitarist Champagne James Robertson, bassist Ben Martin and drummer, whose name I missed) brought a more straight ahead country sound with a touch of soul.
Ortega focussed mostly on her last two CDs “ Tin Star” and the most recent “Faded Gloryville.”
They opened with “Run Down Neighbourhood,” and hit a lot of the new CD's highlights including their cover of the Bee Gees’ “To Love Somebody.”
She noted “I get to play guitar on this one, which is always fun,” as she picked up the guitar for “ I Ain’t the Girl,” one of my favourites from the new CD and added a few older tunes like “Demons” and “Angels,” which is when her guitar died, forcing her to sing on her own, while her band expertly improvised around the missing instrument.
It resulted in a set which perfectly showcased the Toronto born Nashville transplant Ortega’s beautifully unique and soulful voice, supplemented by some excellent picking by Champagne James Robertson, who in addition to playing multiple musical parts on the guitar, added some sweet slide playing as well.
The petite brunette Ortega was dressed in a black veil, a shapeless black skirt and bright red cowboy boots. She had a beautiful voice reminiscent of a mix of Dolly Parton and Kasey Chambers.
A lot of the lyrics were about lost love, fighting personal demons and being lonely while trying to make it in Nashville.
They ended their set on an up tempo rocking note with the dirty, blues tinged“ All These Cats,” but were called back for an encore of Janis Joplin’s “Mercedes Benz” and a spooky, psychedelic version of Johnny Cash’s “ Ring of Fire.”