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THE ACORN, JIM BRYSON, EVENING HYMNS, ANDREW VINCENT, ANDY SWAN, ANDY SHAUF, CHRIS PAGE and RHUME as part of KELP 20 TORONTO at the Horseshoe, Thursday, May 29 Rating: NNN
Twenty years of music from Ottawa indie label Kelp Records is plenty to celebrate.
Evidently, it's also ample time to forget lyrics and chord changes: a spirit of bashful forgetfulness seemed to swoop down and mess with nearly every brief, revue-style set, met with comical and forgiving response. (Folkie Andy Shauf seemed too young for the excuse, yet even he had to bail on one of his songs as it was a story and he couldn't recollect some of its words.)
Like You've Changed, the label who celebrated its fifth anniversary at the Horseshoe a week before, Kelp is a community. In this case, however, it's a community of ball cap-wearing dudes with great guitars, who are pretty friggin' great at playing their guitars, and yet were oddly self-deprecating about their musicianship onstage (Jim Bryson, I'm looking at you).
Evening Hymns' Jonas Bonetta ended his set with the looped refrain, "Women of the world take over, because if you don't, the world will come to an end," which begged the question: where were all the ladies? With the exception of Guelph's Jenny Mitchell (who stepped in on bass for one brief, rocking song during Andrew Vincent's loose but brilliant set) all of the musicians onstage were men. Here's hoping there will be more ladies on-board at Kelp 25.